Tag Archives: poem

Lenten Psalm contest

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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 12 submissions now open

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Photo (CC BY): Magdalena Roeseler

We are now accepting submissions of short stories and poetry for Structo issue 12. It doesn’t seem five minutes since the last one, but we seem to be a bit more organised this time around, as we have already conducted the interview for this new issue – with the novelist and poet Margaret Atwood.

The deadline is midnight GMT in the evening of Monday April 7th. For more information and for our submission guidelines, head over to our website, where you can also find the link to send in your work. Can’t wait to see what comes in this time around.

— Euan

Issue 11

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After a fun launch party in Oxford, Structo issue 11 is now available to order! It will be available from our stockists on the weekend of February 1st.

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Issue 11 is our largest ever, and features 11 short stories, 12 (or 16, depending on how you count) poems, two essay features, and an interview with First Story‘s co-founder Katie Waldegrave.

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Several of the poems are in translation, from the Gaelic, Irish, Classical Chinese and Jèrriais.

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One of the essays is our regular Incidental column, and the other is a profile of the Surrealist painter and author Leonora Carrington. She had an interesting life.

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We’re very proud of this issue. I hope you like it as much as we do.

— Euan

Issue 11 launch

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Tomorrow night from 6pm we will be celebrating the publication of Structo issue 11 at one of our very favourite bookshops: The Albion Beatnik in Oxford.

If you’ve followed our exploits for a while, you might remember we had our issue nine party there, and you will already know why we’re going back.

Expect a pile of magazines, some short readings by some ace writers, wine and/or tea, and cake. Confirmed readings by issue 11 short story writers Melanie Whipman and Tara Isabella Burton, and by the Oxford poets Nikul Patel, April Pierce and Leo Mercer.

It’s going to be fun. Hope you can join us! Facebook event page here.

Update: Sadly Tara can’t make tonight, due to being on the wrong side of the Atlantic, but we have some exciting Oxford poets making up the ranks!

Evie Wyld competition

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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 competitions@structomagazine.co.uk, 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!

Issue 10 now online

An early Christmas present: the online version of Structo issue 10!

Click on the preview above, or head on over to Issuu, to read the issue for free and in its entirety. It features 10 short stories, 10 poems, two interviews (author Evie Wyld and poet/translator/author/editor David Constantine) and an essay about hereditary book addiction. It’s a great issue, even if we say it ourselves.

There are also a few print copies around if you would like to read it on paper.

Happy Christmas on behalf of the entire Structo team.

— Euan

Once upon a time: Siobhan Harvey

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Photo © Siobhan Harvey

We recently kicked off a series here on the blog in which we talk to erstwhile Structo authors, finding out what they’ve been up to since appearing in the pages of the magazine. We would usually wait more than one issue before catching up, but Siobhan Harvey just had her issue eight poem ‘Considering the Autistic Boy as a Cloud’ selected for the Best New Zealand Poems anthology, so it seemed like a fitting moment.

How long have you been writing poetry?
I have been writing poetry since I was 16 years old. When I was at school, creative writing began to be considered as an accepted part of the curriculum. In the journey towards O-Level/GSCE exams, my English teacher asked us to write stories. From somewhere unknown, somewhere I am (for various reasons) unable to name but can ‘touch’, narratives, long and complex poured out of me. Neat short stories. Epic, cliff-hanger mysteries. I wrote them all. In the journey towards my A-Levels, we were encouraged to make the inventive leap into poetry, and I fell helter-skelter into the form. Within a few years and a move to London, I was spending much of my time at the South Bank Centre, at the Poetry Library, reading, writing and gathering poetry competition entry forms. To my surprise, to my wonder, poem publications in magazines and competitions followed.

Can you share the back-story to ‘Considering the Autistic Boy as a Cloud’?
This is an extremely long and complex back-story, and one which, as yet, I know hasn’t achieved its resolution – because that’s the nature, the essence of living with a child who has Autism/Aspergers/ADHD/Autism Spectrum Disorder. The expedition of child and parent through this (I dislike the word) “disorder” is incremental and on-going. But for the sake of concision, I can say that at the age of seven years old, after five years in which I knew instinctively something was different (not wrong, or defective, just different) about my son, he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum. If that seems straightforward, the path to reaching that diagnosis, and indeed the path we have trodden thereafter has been very complex and nuanced. For instance, my partner and I were told by educators (kindergarten teachers) that our four year old son was not playing “normally” with other children. It wasn’t long before we were told that our son was “gifted”. But the essence of the definition over that which is “normal” and that which is “other” stayed with me and became so deeply apparent to me when my son started school. By then, at the end of each school day he was dragging me to a local park to look up at the heavens and lose himself in decoding the pictures presented to him by the clouds. And this indeed seemed deeply “different” from his peers who dragged their parents down to the local park to play swings, slides, see-saw and, indeed, play with one another. At this point, I made the additional realisation that though my son’s nephology was his creative venture, it was also a vehicle by which he became an outsider, divorced from the everyday world of his peers. The motif of the cloud-watcher who (a truism it seems to me relevant to all hobbyists) in his fixation becomes something akin to the object he is fascinated by was the spring board into ‘Considering the Autistic Child as a Cloud’. Continue reading