Sunday, May 21, 2017


Huge hoorahs for The Canberra Times still publishing Saturday poems. Newspapers are one of the few opportunities contemporary poetry has for a really big reach. Newspaper audiences are big. Like, really BIG.

We like to think every person who buys/reads a newspaper also reads the poem. I like to believe almost everyone indeed does read the poem. I base that on the number of people who have told me that they do. (Hey I get around. I speak to people.)

Plus the fact that even people who confess to not liking poetry, often tell me: ‘… but I always read those Saturday poems!’ And that they like them and even look forward to them. I have clasped this close to my heart over many years – so you may have heard me say this before.

So know that I am beside myself with excitement, when I tell you that Yours Truly is taking over as The Canberra Times Poetry Editor shortly. I’ve been sitting on this for months, while having coffee and delightful discussions about the role, the importance of the Saturday poem and poetry in general, with outgoing editor Melinda Smith.

Yes, it’s Melinda Smith you can thank for the superb poems published in the Panorama arts supplement for the last two years. (Almost – Melinda’s selections will appear up until early August or so.) Thanks go to Melinda, who by the way has just released a new book Good Bye, Cruel (Pitt Street Poetry) and thanks go to all poets who sent in their poems.

So here I am. It’s a privileged position to be in and it’s put a superb wind in my sails. I will read hundreds of new poems. Of course some will not be up to scratch, but most will be good, a lot will be terrific, some will be exceptional. Bring it on!

With only fifty-two Saturdays in a year, like any submission call the hardest thing will be declining good poems. Be assured each and every one will be handled with care though.

The full Canberra Times Editorial Policy for Poetry is available in the top menu. Please read. To give you a kick start, the essential nuts and bolts are: send up to three unpublished poems of up to 28 lines (not counting title and stanza breaks) to canberra[dot]times[dot]poetry[at]gmail[dot]com by May 31. (Poets published in The Canberra Times are asked to skip the next year.) 

Pass the word on far and wide.

Photo taken at the National Museum of Australia.

No comments:

Post a Comment