We are very happy to announce our nominations for this year’s Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. They are:
‘Postcards from the Northwest’ – Caitlin MacKenzie (issue 10, read here)
‘Our Return to Sierra Vista’ – Jeffrey C. Alfier (issue 11, buy here)
‘Lunch in Ars en Ré’ – Lucy Furlong (issue 10, read here)
‘Birdsong in the May-wood’ – Tim Keane (issue 10, read here)
Best of luck to all the nominees! We think they’ll hold their own.
Previous Forward Prize winners include Thom Gunn, Seamus Heaney, Alice Oswald, Ted Hughes, Carol Ann Duffy and Kathleen Jamie. The Best Single Poem prize is open to poems published in the last 12 months in a British or Irish print publication.
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
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.
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.
Several of the poems are in translation, from the Gaelic, Irish, Classical Chinese and Jèrriais.
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.
We’re very proud of this issue. I hope you like it as much as we do.
Solecism cover art © VAC/Rosebud Ben-Oni
One of the greatest shortages in contemporary literature, at least up until the immediate present, is the lack of unique, fresh perspectives. As the world, and especially the United States, becomes more and more integrated, so will the arts. The overwhelming number of single-race novelists and poets coincided with the obvious distinction between races. Luckily, the world has become more and more open, and the barriers between racial integration (literal and metaphorical) have been broken down. Thus, we are starting to see books like Solecism by Rosebud Ben-Oni that offer a refreshingly new perspective on what it was like growing up in the divide between extremely different cultures, and what it is like now.
Ms. Ben-Oni, the daughter of a Mexican mother and Jewish father, can not only speak from the perspective of two races that have their own distinct literary cultures and tropes, but she can also speak as a woman with a foot in each camp. In the poem titled ‘For the Mixed Child with Pale Skin,’ the author takes aim at the assumptions made about her by both outsiders of her cultures as well as the current state of each. She writes,
But now you’ve offended by writing this. You have to be careful
in conferences by ethnicities you half
belong to. Nothing sings how there is never unity for you.
Turn not to your parents: love still blindsides them.
In this poem, the author speaks honestly about her subject, telling the audience that even though some consider race to be a sort of trope that “is no longer taboo,” it is still a part of who she is. In other words, how can the truth of one’s emotions be considered passé?
Photo (CC BY-NC-SA) by Catunes
We are now accepting submissions of short stories and poetry for issue 11! Head over to our website to read submission guidelines and find the link to send in your work. On the poetry front, we are particularly interested in seeing translations from the Gaelic, Irish, Manx, Cornish, Channel French and Welsh, however would love to read original poetry in English too. As usual, there isn’t a theme and the deadline this time around is October the 7th.
Can’t wait to see what comes in this time.
Photos by Structo (CC-BY)
So here it is: Structo issue 10. Double digits! Five years! Available now!
This issue contains 10 short stories, 10 poems, two interviews and an essay on book addiction in the family by our (newly minted) fiction editor. We’ve decided to pretend that the 10 stories and 10 poems thing was deliberate, rather than an amusing coincidence, which it obviously was.
Our interviews this time are with Evie Wyld, bookshop owner and Granta-listed author of After the Fire, A Still Small Voice and All the Birds, Singing; and David Constantine, most recently a Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award winner for his story collection Tea at the Midland, but also a poet, translator and ex-Modern Poetry in Translation editor. Two very different, very fascinating and pretty damn long interviews.
The fiction and poetry comes from the UK and all over the world: Australia, the United States, South Africa and the Netherlands. There are translations from the Norwegian and Icelandic in there too.
It’s 108 pages, and costs £5. Online, it’s available in our shop, as well as from Magpile and Anikibo. You can also buy it from one of our stockists as they get their copies over the next week or so (The Society Club in London, The Albion Beatnik in Oxford and Cornerhouse in Manchester already have their copies).