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Terribly Bad Verse & Awful Poetry Competition

The Artscape Terribly Bad Verse & Awful Poetry Competition

Gallery Books & Crafts P.O. Box 99 Carterton

Media Release - for Immediate Release 29.6.2001

Seeking the Best of the Worst (or the Worst of the Best) The artscape Terribly Bad Verse & Awful Poetry Competition New Zealand has a tradition of good poetry and, by definition or implication, an equally long tradition of awful poetry.

Regional arts magazine, artscape, in association with Montana Poetry Day (20 July, 2001) is launching a quest for the truly dreadful stuff being written by contemporary poets and versifiers.

"When you consider how many poets there are out there, and how much effort is put into the craft, and how fine the sieve is, obviously as much effort goes into penning terribly bad verse and awful poetry as the truly sublime stuff," says artscape editor Steve Oxenham.

"This competition, generously supported by Montana with a $100 first prize, could well uncover New Zealand's best bad poet."

A slightly smaller second prize will be awarded to the runner-up although there is some debate about the propriety of this because logically, the runner-up should be worse than the one selected as the worst, and therefore attract the first prize.

"I anticipate fierce debate among the critics when a selection of entries is published because it may be that producing truly bad verse will be proved to have been elevated to a high art which has not been acknowledged before," Steve Oxenham says. "Maybe defining what 'bad' is will upset perceptions of the 'good'...."

The competition is open to anyone resident in New Zealand and closes on 12 August. Entries received by 20 July may be incorporated in Montana Poetry Day events in Wairarapa.

Entry details follow. For Further Information:
Steve Oxenham - artscape –
(025)604 6580

In support of Montana Poetry Day (20 July 2001) The artscape Terribly Bad Verse & Awful Poetry Competition This poetry competition is open to anyone. Entries are limited to two original and previously unpublished (or rejected) terribly bad pieces of verse (or awful poems) per entrant, should be typed or printed one entry to one A4 page and be signed with a nom de plume. Entrants' names and addresses, and an email contact if possible, should be clearly written on a separate sheet and placed inside a sealed envelope bearing the nom de plume. Include this envelope with entry. Entries should not exceed 14 lines and must include at least 2 rhyming lines. A prize of $100 (sponsored by Montana ) is offered for the entry judged to be the very worst (or should that be the very best?) example of bad verse or poetry, with a consolation prize of $50 for the runner-up.

The winning entry will be published in the August/September 2001 issue of artscape in which the competition results will be announced. The winning entrants will be advised by post. If sufficient entries warrant, a selection may be published as a supplement in the same or subsequent issue of artscape. Copyright of entries will remain with the writers although the competition organiser will retain the right to publish any entry in artscape and/or in a supplement to artscape. The competition closes on, and entries should be postmarked no later than, 12 August, 2001. Entries received by 20 July may be used in other activities associated with the observance and promotion of Montana Poetry Day. An entry fee of $5 for each poem entered, preferably by cheque made out to Gallery Books & Crafts, is to accompany entries. Entrants should retain copies of their entries as no entries can be returned. The appointed judge's decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Mail entries to:
artscape Terribly Bad Verse &c. Contest,
P.O.Box 99,

Steve Oxenham editor,
P.O. Box 99
Carterton (025)604 6580

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