I had a blast attending Proverse Publishing‘s Autumn Reception at the Helena Maylast Thursday, mixing and mingling with the winners and finalists of the 2021 Proverse Poetry Prize! Congrats to all and to Proverse for organizing such a fun event! I’m also excited to be interviewing a couple of them for my next series of Mental Ideas, which will broadcast in 2022. S2 explores the relationship between mental health and imagination in a psychedelic way! First up is the incredible Vishal Nanda, who blew me away with his lively speech and inspired poetry book Please Stand Back From The Platform Door. Vishal is a fellow ‘bipolar bear’ (as he signed his book to me), but I’m certain that’s the least interesting thing about him. He is donating ticket sales from his upcoming book launch on Dec 8 to mental health charity Mind. Don’t miss it!!!
I have to admit I’m a little nervous about this. Not because I’m a nervous public speaker. Just because War of Voices is the first thing I’ve written where I don’t hear my own author’s voice AT ALL! Whose voice do I hear? Unfortunately, it’s Aled Jones’ voice, circa 1980s, when he sang the Christmas hit, Walking In The Air.
Why is this bad? Why do you think!!! Because I sound nothing like an 8 year old choir boy with an angelic voice. I sound, at best, like a cat that’s being strangled slowly to death by a python. So I guess my greatest fear is of breaking into song midway through the reading.
Your prayers that this will NOT happen on Thursday are very much appreciated at this difficult time.
All the featured poets are incredible and I can only put my own inclusion down to a fortuitous accident or a moment of drug or alcohol relapse on the part of the editors. 🤣Mingled Voices 5is available inpaperbackand as anebook. It’s free to subscribers ofKindle Unlimited!
The2021 Proverse Poetry Prizeis now open for entries! This year’s theme is ‘Shielding’ open to interpretation any way the poet chooses. Submissions close June 30, 2021!
Also open for submissions by Hong Kong based poets is RTHK‘s annual poetry competition. This year’s theme is ‘White’ and open to misinterpretation any way the reader chooses! Entries close July 12!
One little hit of dopamine I experienced last year was winning a place in the 2020 Proverse Poetry Prize Anthology for my first bash at writing a poem! War of Voicesis my little rant on social media, populism and propaganda.The anthology, called Mingled Voices 5, will be published by ProverseandChinese University Pressas an ebook and in paperback THIS WEEK (April 22), but is already available for preorder onAmazon!
I’m also writing a humorous short story for theHong Kong Writer’s Circle‘s2021 anthology. This year’s theme isAfter The Storm. I seem to have been mentioned in the same sentence as ‘storm‘ quite a bit recently, which is either profoundly disturbing or deliciously serendipitous. If I don’t blow myself out, the anthology will be launched at theHK Lit Festand published in Nov!
In a daze to learn my first (and only) poem,War of Voices, has won a place in the 2020 Proverse Poetry Prizeand will be published inProverse Publishing‘s 2021 anthology next April! Which place (last place?) will be announced at a reception in Hong Kong Nov 19.
My late grandfather, a poet, who also dabbled in banking, would be proud! I’d love to say he was an inspiration but since his legacy is all in Welsh (and it’s a sin to translate Welsh poetry into English) it’s impossible for me to tell if he’s been much of an influence or not.
Thank you, Proverse! You have made a wannabe poet with more issues than Vogue very happy.