Submit to ‘Beneath The Boughs’ (May)

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This is the fourth (and penultimate) of our monthly calls for submissions for Beneath The Boughs. The call for poems from the previous months yielded some great results, and we’d love to continue receiving your fantastic poetry for our upcoming summer exhibition, ‘Beneath The Boughs’. (The exhibition will run from July 19th to September 9th 2013. Read more about the project here.)

For a chance to be involved in the exhibition, and to have your work displayed in the beautiful historic gardens of Lowther Castle, send us your SHORT POEM(S), a maximum of TEN LINES.

Please ensure that we receive your submission(s) by the deadline of 23:59, Friday 31st May, 2013.

For information on how to submit, as well as submission guidelines, click here.

If you’re looking for inspiration, then check out the pictures in our insipration gallery.

(Although we are posting new monthly poetry prompts for the exhibition until June, the earlier you send in your work, the more chance you have of getting it displayed, so don’t dawdle too long! Looking forward to seeing your work.)

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Submit to Beneath The Boughs (April)

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This is the third of our monthly calls for submissions for Beneath The Boughs. The call for poems from February and March yielded some great results, and we’d love to continue receiving your fantastic poetry for our upcoming summer exhibition, ‘Beneath The Boughs’. (The exhibition will run from July 19th to September 9th 2013. Read more about the project here.)

For a chance to be involved in the exhibition, and to have your work displayed in the beautiful historic gardens of Lowther Castle, send us your poem(s) inspired by the above photo, and the theme of DISCOVERY.

Please ensure that we receive your submission(s) by the deadline of 23:59, Tuesday 30th April, 2013.

For information on how to submit, as well as submission guidelines, click here.

(If you really aren’t inspired by this theme and photo, then you can also send us a poem inspired by one of the pictures in our insipration gallery. Remember, the same guidelines and deadline apply.)

And keep your eyes peeled. There’ll be a new prompt here in May!

(Although we are posting new monthly poetry prompts for the exhibition until June, the earlier you send in your work, the more chance you have of getting it displayed, so don’t dawdle too long! Looking forward to seeing your work.)

‘Beneath The Boughs’: Inspiration Gallery

Fancy writing for ‘Beneath The Boughs‘ – our summer exhibition in the beautiful historic setting of Lowther Castle Gardens? We’re looking for poems inspired by the gardens, or that fit in with the feel of the gardens.

It doesn’t matter if you can’t get yourself there to write in situ. We’re bringing the gardens to you, with the gallery below. Have a browse, and let something spark your imagination!

(Don’t forget – although many of these photos feature a snowy landscape, the exhibition itself will take place over the summer, from July 19th – September 9th 2013.)

Still stuck for something to write? Check out our current monthly prompt to spark some more ideas here.

Or why not check out Lowther Castle’s own photos on their facebook page, here?

Click here for rules on length, and to submit your work.

‘Poems are poems because…’

‘Poems are poems because we want to listen to them. Some poems have a prominent argument; some poems don’t. But all poems live or die on their capacity to lure us from their beginnings to their ends by a pattern of sounds. This is why a poem we don’t understand may seem wonderfully satisfying, and this is why a poem we understand all too well may also seem wonderfully satisfying. A poem may harness the power of meter, rhyme, syntax, and line to establish and disrupt a pattern of sounds, and a poem may with equal integrity reject the power of meter, rhyme, syntax and line. But the poet needs to understand what she is rejecting as well as what she is harnessing. Every poem is based at least implicitly on a choice to do something rather than something else, and, as a result, every poem takes power from its exclusions as well as its inclusions.’

– James Longenbach, The Art of the Poetic Line

Looking for inspiration?

Thinking of submitting to our Cafe Poetry venture, but not quite sure what to write about?

No worries! As always, we’re here to help.

Back in August, we posted some information about poetry prompts, to help kick-start your writing. You can check that out here: https://guerrillapoem.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/poetry-prompts-galore/

Or feel free to browse our general back catalogue of poetry related quotations to help you on your way.

Failing that, you can always read through the [insert text here] zine, Dawn Killing Darkness, or take a look at some of the other poems on our site, here: https://guerrillapoem.wordpress.com/poetry/

Still stuck? Here’s a picture of a squirrel to help you on your way.

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To find out more about our Cafe Poetry project, and how you can get involved, click here: https://guerrillapoem.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/call-for-submissions/

‘…the values of creative work…’

‘Often when my friends pronounce responsibility about the values of creative work I experience a loss of contact. I want at such times to voice what may appear to be an antagonism, maybe even a wilful stupidity, about “culture.” To “learn the tools of writing,” to “understand the essentials of the craft,” to “base my practice on models that have proved to be fundamentally sound” – these apparently winsome and admirable phrases put me in a bleak mood. When I  write, grammar is my enemy; the materials of my craft come at me in a succession of emergencies in which my feelings are ambivalent; I do not have any commitments, just opportunities. Not the learning of methods, not the broadening of culture, not even the preserving of civilization (there may be greater things than civilizations), but a kind of dizzying struggle with the Now-ness of experience, that is my involvement in writing. And I believe it is this interaction between imagination and its embodiment as it develops which sustains the speaker and the writer – and sustains the artist in other materials.’

– William Stafford, Writing the Australian Crawl

‘…be better than yourself…’

‘Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.’

– William Faulkner

The one rule…

Over the years, I’ve found one rule. It is the only one I give on those occasions when I talk about writing. A simple rule. If you tell yourself you are going to be at your desk tomorrow, you are by that declaration asking your unconscious to prepare the material. You are, in effect, contracting to pick up such valuables at a given time. Count on me, you are saying to a few forces below: I will be there to write.

– Norman Mailer

‘You ask whether your verses are good…’

‘You ask whether your verses are good. You ask me that. You have asked others, before. You send them to magazines. You compare them with other poems, and you worry when certain editors turn your efforts down. Now (since you have allowed me to offer you advice) let me ask you to give up all that. You are looking to the outside, and that above all you should not be doing now. Nobody can advise you and help you, nobody. There is only one way. Go into yourself. Examine the reason that bids you to write; check whether it reaches its roots into the deepest region of your heart, admit to yourself whether you would die if it should be denied you to write. This above all: ask yourself in your night’s quietest hour: must I write? Dig down into yourself for a deep answer. And if it should be affirmative, if it is given to you to respond to this serious question with a loud and simple ‘I must‘, then construct your life according to this necessity; your life right into its most inconsequential and slightest hour must become a sign and witness of this urge.’

– Rainer Maria Rilke, in a letter to Franz Xavier Kappus (translated Charlie Louth)

‘…the way we assert our title is by writing…’

‘As poets, we have a title to assert – a part of our inheritance lies unclaimed. And the way we assert our title is by writing. The way we refute, say, the death of the sonnet, or the reported demise of the epic, is not by argument but by assertion. My sonnet asserts that the sonnet still lives. My epic, should such fortune befall me, asserts that the heroic narrative is not lost – that it is born again, perhaps in some form which seems hardly at first recognisable, but nevertheless, there it is, born again.

As poets we do not ask permission before we begin to practise, for there is no authority to license us. We do not inquire whether it is still possible to pen a drama, for the answer to that question is ours alone to give. It is our drama, spoken or sung, that asserts our right to the title of poet. It is our decision that counts, and not the opinion of some theatre management, or the ponderings of the critic, or even the advice of our friendliest mentors. It is our decision, our assertion, that alters the whole state of affairs.

This is possible, we assert, because this is what I have just done. This is achievable, because I wanted enough to achieve it.’

 – James Fenton, An Introduction to English Poetry