It is our pleasure to introduce the judge for this year’s Magpie Award for Poetry, Surrey BC’s Poet Laureate Renée Sarojini Saklikar.
Renée Sarojini Saklikar writes thecanadaproject, a life-long poem chronicle. Work from the project appears in journals, anthologies and chapbooks. Renée’s first book, children of air india, un/authorized exhibits and interjections, (Nightwood Editions, 2013) won the 2014 Canadian Authors Association Award for poetry and was a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Award.
Renée is currently a mentor and instructor for Simon Fraser University, and co-founder of the poetry reading series, Lunch Poems at SFU. With Wayde Compton, Renée co-edited The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them (Anvil Press/SFU Public Square, 2015). She is currently at work on the long poem, “Thot-J-Bap”, excerpts of which can be found in Eleven Eleven, The Capilano Review, DUSIE and The Rusty Toque, as well as in chapbooks published by Nous-Zot and above/ground presses.
Renée is the inaugural Poet Laureate for the City of Surrey and the 2017 UBC Okanagan Writer in Residence. She collects poems about bees.
We are delighted to have Renée onboard as the Magpie Award judge. Thank you, Renée!
The 4th annual Magpie Award for Poetry is open until April 15th. Contest guidelines here.
Poets, this is your chance to earn solid money, and what a pleasure it is for our magazine to be able to offer this opportunity to you again this year. The Magpie Award for Poetry gives $600 in rewards to the writers who can capture our judge’s eye, ear, and heart. We are pleased to announce that last year’s Magpie winner, Diane Tucker, will be the final judge for this year’s contest. Early bird entries begin March 1st at the discounted rate of $20 for the first poem, and all entrants receive a digital 1-year subscription to Pulp Literature. To get the poetic juices flowing, we are giving you a taste from Diane’s storehouse …
little peach, little ball of pale
sunset, soft palmful of summer
when you’ve ripened
and I cut you open
you pull away from your stone
easily; you disgorge your heart
how to let the centre go
and when we really apply the heat
to you, you let yourself dry, become
leather; this sharpens all your flavours
and fills you especially full of iron
so you are for the blood
and the tongue, all this
after you’ve fed the eyes
and the nose
and the hand’s dry palm
with your mole-soft skin
It’s the season for spring flowers in Vancouver, and the birds outside our window are singing their poetry to the beat of the wind in the trees. (Our apologies to the rest of Canada.) At Pulp Literature, it’s the season again for poets to submit their best works to our Magpie Award for Poetry, with final recognition given by Vancouver’s first poet laureate, George McWhirter. Last year’s entries were inspiring, and the winner received $500 in addition to publication. Our contest is open until April 15th, and we challenge you — no, we double dare you — to make us cry, laugh, or revel in the awful beauty of this temporary condition called life.
Earlybird entry fees are in effect till March 15th. Submission guidelines here.
Do you have a love-hate relationship with contests? Do you get cold feet before hitting ‘submit’?
I used to. After all, turning writing into a competitive sport is a crime. In my experience writers are the most supportive and collaborative people on earth. But contests serve a purpose. Not only do they help fund fledgling magazines like ours, and put money into the pockets of deserving authors, they help groom good writers. What author can resist the inner excitement that comes from the challenge of capturing a prize? What poet doesn’t both thrill to and loathe the sharp focus that comes from the dual pressure of dreaded deadline and hope of glory? Such is the deepest desire of all writers: to be seen fully, their souls naked on a page, and crowned with a laurel wreath. To be noticed, to be known, is to be validated.
Winning is good. But truth be told, no one else can give a writer that internal validation. I’ve received awards before, and they felt awkward things in my hands. I wanted to hide myself rather than be on a stage. Other people’s compliments and praise never live up to expectations, never satisfy that inner longing we all have to be truly heard. No matter how many prizes we win, I’m not sure that the yearning ever leaves us. I’m not sure I want it to, or else I might stop writing with the same intensity.
Winning a contest is an important feather to tuck in your cap in an occupation that has no promotions, performance bonuses, or yearly raises. And a cash prize of $500 is nothing to sneeze at either! So please do enter our Magpie poetry contest. (Deadline is June 15th, limited to 500 entries.) Our editors will be reading your poem, gently and with reverence, and we will appreciate the coins you are tossing into our cap. We are brothers and sisters together, dreaming of the laurel wreaths that hide our fears.