Tag Archives: Thomas Shapcott

2011 Arts QLD Val Vallis & Thomas Shapcott Awards now open

It’s that time of year when QLD Poetry Festival teams up with Arts QLD to present the 2011 Arts Queensland Poetry Awards.  Full details below:

The Arts Qld Val Vallis Award for Unpublished Poetry is named in honour of distinguished Queensland poet Val Vallis and is open to all Australian poets. Entrants may submit more than one poem/suite of poems, but each entry must be accompanied by a separate Entry Form and a separate Entry Fee of $20.

Entries close 5pm Thursday 7 July 2011.

1st Prize: $1,000 plus 1 week fully paid at Varuna Writers House
2nd Prize: $500
3rd Prize: $250

The Arts QLD Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize is named in honour of distinguished Queensland Poet, Thomas Shapcott. Now in its 9th year, this prestigious prize for an unpublished poetry manuscript comes with total prize money of $3,000 plus a publishing contract with UQP.

Entries close 5pm Tuesday 5 July 2011.
Entry Fee: $20 per entry

The winners will be announced at the opening night of the Queensland Poetry Festival at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, on 26 August 2011.

Visit Queensland Poetry Festival to download guidelines and entry forms.

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Interpeting Poetry as Song

Poetry and song are never too far away from each other… as Ezra Pound famously quoted, “poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music…”

So when I read recently that The Waterboys were setting a number of Yeats’ poems to music as part of their show An Appointment With Mr Yeats, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. The Waterboys are one of those bands that transport me back to my early teens – in 1985 I was madly in love with their song The Whole of the Moon and  even now it gives me that giddy floating feeling .

The smile on my face was particularly wide because I just knew in my gut that in the hands of Mike Scott, often descirbed as more of a poet than a songwriter, Yeats would really sing (and you can check this out for yourself  in this clip from the show and this review) and I could not help but think of my first year as Director of QLD Poetry Festival in 2004 when I had the opportunity to commission Katie Noonan and her band Elixir to present a concert of songs based on the poetry of Thomas Shapcott.

The end result was a night I will never forget… Thomas would read his poem, sitting side of stage on a stool and the band would look over at him, wide-eyed with amazement as if hearing the words for the very first time, then they would perform the lyrics and Thomas would return the same astonished grin. The true magic of the collaborative process played itself out on the stage that night… and it was a thing of rare beauty. 

So with memories of that show warming my heart, I just had to include a link to one of the tracks that was later recorded for their Live at The Cornish Arms album. Here is Last Night’s Comfort… hope it gives you all the same warm glow it gives me.

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The Best Australian Poetry 2009 (UQP, ed Alan Wearne)

Well, I came home to a copy of UQP’s The Best Australian Poetry 2009 tonight, featuring poems from some of my Australian poetic heroes – Geoff Goodfellow, Robert Adamson & Thomas Shapcott – so it is a nice feeling to have 5 of my haiku included alongside these gentlemen and about 30 or so other fine poets.

These haiku, written during my residency at the Ekka, have been displayed as part of Museum of Brisbane’s ‘Ten Days in August’ exhibition as well as at the Ekka, so they have been really good to me.

I’m off to crawl into the pages and soak it all up… here’s one of the haiku published in the sequence.

                                                                      first date
                                                                      too scared to kiss
                                                                      on the ghost train

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