Friday, May 15, 2009

NPP 09

I've just started putting paper to pen for this year's Newcastle Poetry Prize, Australia's most prestigious poetry prize. Entries are due in July.

I'm full of gusto and uncertainty all at once. I have two main ideas I'm fleshing out... One involves Joannes Lees, Peter Falconio and the Stuart Highway. I was traveling through the Northern Territory in July 2001, when Falconio went missing - it was a surreal time. I recall Identikit images of Bradley Murdoch being in shop fronts in Alice Springs and this creeping unease under the surface of things. When driving at night, you had to distract yourself from thoughts of being potential prey. The other concept centres on possible truths stemming from humanity's relationship with North Queensland's wilderness.

Who knows which of the two pieces will bloom and radiate the most? At the end of the day, I'm not that worried. If a poem makes it into this year's anthology, as my work did in 2007, well and good, if not, there are always other avenues to explore... As Karl Wallinger from World Party sang in the early 90s, 'the possibilities dance all around me.'

LJ, May 2009.

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