Contest logo by Sarah Mushong
For the last couple of years, Structo’s poetry editor Matthew Landrum has run a Lenten Psalm contest over on his blog. This year we’re running it together, and in addition to Matthew’s excellent US$200 first prize, we will be publishing the chosen poem in Structo issue 12 and giving the winning poet a two-year subscription to the magazine.
The idea is that you pick any biblical Psalm and create your own version in English. There’s no wrong way to go about approaching a Psalm, but the end result should be a poem that combines the soul of the original with your own personality as well as poetic and personal vision. Feel free to mangle, tangle, make strange, reverse and experiment. The goal is to make strong poetry, whatever form that takes.
You don’t need to have any knowledge of Hebrew, and no religious affiliation is necessary. This is a chance to engage and wrestle with ancient, beautiful, complex poetry. The 150 poems which make up the Psalms contain some beautiful language and imagery—there’s a reason they’re quoted so much in literature—and this is your chance to make that language your own.
Entries will be judged by panel on originality, musicality, accuracy (to the psalm’s spirit) and aesthetic. Submissions are open from Ash Wednesday to midnight GMT on Easter Sunday, which this year is on April 20th.
Send us your poems using using this link. There is no entry fee.
To give you an idea of the breadth of poetry that’s possible, head below the fold to read last year’s winner, To the Pilot Bridegroom, by Jen Hinst-White. Continue reading
Issue 10 has just been released online to read for free, and to celebrate we are running a competition to win a copy of Evie Wyld latest book, All the Birds, Singing, as well as one of the first ever Structo tote bags. The bags won’t even be available to buy until the new year. Exclusive I tell you.
All the Birds, Singing is a remarkable book, and if you want to get a taste of what to expect you can read our interview with Wyld in the newly released issue here.
To enter the competition, email firstname.lastname@example.org, with ‘Evie Wyld competition’ in the subject line and your name and address in the body text. The draw closes at midnight on December 31st. We’ll choose somebody at random from the entries on January 1st and let you know if you’ve won soon after.
Rules/notes: The draw closes at midnight GMT on December 31st; UK addresses only please; we won’t use your email address for anything else (unless you’d like to be added to our mailing list, in which case let us know in the email).
Update 1/1: The book and tote bag have now been won – congratulations to the winner!
Thanks to the kind folks over at Faber and Faber, we have two signed copies of The Beautiful Indifference by Sarah Hall to give away. This is the first short story collection by the author of Haweswater and The Electric Michelangelo, and quite frankly it’s ace. In fact, the publisher gave us three copies, but an editor who will remain nameless nicked one after a quick glance through and refuses to give it back.
There are two ways to win one of the couple which remain!
The first will be given to a Structo subscriber chosen at random on the 20th of December, with the book heading out just in time for Christmas. So if you were thinking of taking out a subscription, now might be a good time!
The second draw is open to everyone, whether subscriber or not. To enter, simply email email@example.com, with the phrase ‘Sarah Hall competition’ in the subject line and your address in the body text. We’ll choose somebody at random on the 20th and, all being well with the post office, the winner will have an extra book under the tree come Christmas morning.
Rules/notes: both draws close at midnight on December 19th; UK addresses only please; we won’t use your email address for anything else.
Update 20/12: Both books have now been won! Congratulations to the winners.