Friday, 2 November 2012

Special Guest Editorial Post: The Eve Pearce Schools Us in them Arts of Prize Unsquandering, Poets!

Hi Kevin,

I hope you're keeping well. I'm just getting in touch to ask if you're in need of any written content on G'morning Poetry - if so, it'd be an honor to help out and contribute if you have any need for me.

I'm a journalism graduate and have been working as a full-time content and feature writer for nearly four years now, and in that time there isn't a lot I haven't covered (there are a few samples below for you to check out). Of course, anything I send over would be written with the site's readership in mind; as long as you're happy with the resulting material, you'd be welcome to publish it as you see fit.

The great news is that I'd be able to offer my services at no cost; I work on behalf of a third party business, and as long as I am able to link to them within the content (in a related way, of course) anything I send over would be yours to publish it as you see fit and would not be used on other blogs or sites. If you don’t have something specific in mind I'm happy to spend some time on your site understanding your readership and send something over tailored to them.

If you're interested, do let me know and I'll send something over which would be useful. The offer is also open to any other sites you might own as well as, but I do understand that it isn't for everyone. As such, if I don't hear from you I won't trouble you again.

Highest regards,
A few varied samples:
kevin mcpherson eckhoff
31 Oct (2 days ago)
to epearce, bcc: Jake
Dear Eve Pearce,

My apologies for the tardiness of this reply. This has been a busy few weeks at the offices of G'morning, Poetry! 

Thank you for your interest in our blog and for your generous writerly offer. We are intrigued by your proposition and are curious to learn more. It looks like the style and length of your samples vary, but are each are very professional and easy to read. We would be open to having you write in the style and length of your choosing, so long as the content smells of poetry and poetry culture. Do you enjoy poetries? Do any of the following topics pique your poet-area? 

* How to NOT get published in this poetically technological day and age. 

* What is the meaning of poetry

* How do prize-winning poets spend all their prize-winning moneys?

* If music = cheese and painting = apple pie, then poetry = ______?

Please feel free to write on any of these... or knot. Thank you again for considering our blog as a potential home for your words! We are excited to read them!


Co-supervising Editorial Consultant Vice-Manager

Eve Pearce via 
10:03 (12 hours ago)
to kevin
Hi Kevin,

Many thanks for getting back to me earlier, and for the invitation to send something over for your review.

Finally got something written up today which may be of use on your site - I think it shaped up pretty well, but do let me know what you think as I'm fully open to revisions and suggestions (I've pasted it below but I can send it over as a .doc if that's preferable).

Thanks again, and I look forward to hearing back.


Prize Winning Poets – How Did They Spend Their Cash?
For many people, the lure of poetry contests comes not from the exposure or possible fame, but from the cold, hard cash that will keep them in coffee and cigarettes for months to come. After all, poetry isn't exactly going to make you rich, but even a small prize can be a nice bonus. Here are some famous, and not so famous poets and how they enjoyed their winnings.

Elizabeth Jennings - Travelling
A prolific poet who often covered uncomfortable subjects, Jennings won the Somerset Maugham prize for A Way of Looking in 1956. The award, given to the best writer under the age of 35, was a real boost to her career, and she became one of the most popular poets in England during the 1960s. Instead of sensibly saving the money, or investing in shares, Jennings used the cash to visit Rome for three months, which strengthened her Catholic beliefs and inspired her to use religious themes in her future works. Her work was traditional, not exactly breaking boundaries, but beautiful in its simplicity. Friday is a good example of her use of religious imagery, describing the crucifixion of Jesus from the point of view of an observer: “For excitement's sake, we stood at the dusty edge / Of the pebbled path and watched the extreme of pain.” Perhaps the artwork in Rome inspired these lines.

Sylvia Plath - Education
Perhaps one of the 20th Century's most famous female poets, Plath may not have become so famous without money from prizes and scholarships. Not only did she receive financial help from writer Olive Higgins Prouty, but probably wouldn't have made it through Smith college without winning a prize of $1,200 in 1954, enough to keep her in education for another year. Upon graduation, she won the Fulbright scholarship, allowing her to travel to Cambridge to study literature. As we all know, this is where she met Ted Hughes and sealed her fate. However, it also inspired some of her most passionate works such as Love Letter which describes the paranoid nature of love.

W. S. Merwin – Donations
With over 30 published books, Merwin is one of the most prolific living poets around, and continues to write from his home in Hawaii. He's well known for his support of the anti-Vietnam war movement, so when he won the Pultizer for poetry in 1971 for The Carrier of Ladders, he donated the money to antiwar causes such as the draft resistance movement. The peaceful nature of his personality comes out in his later works, as he enthusiastically embraced Buddhism and environmentalism. A lot of his work revolves around animals, nature and how man is ruining the environment.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti – Turned it down
Not every poet is happy to accept their prize. Turning down cash from government prizes is a strong political act, and Ferlinghetti declined a cool $64,000 prize which had been partially funded by the Hungarian government because of concerns over civil liberties in the country. He tried to donate the money to an organisation that deals with free speech, but wasn't satisfied his request would be done, so was happier to decline the cash outright. This act certainly gained attention to his cause, with news outlets all over the world talking about it.

Edgar Allen Poe – Drinking
Although Poe's legacy revolves around his poetry, he was also a writer of short stories and won an award for “MS. Found in a Bottle” a story about an unnamed narrator writing about his adventures as sea as he faces death. Although this award offered new connections in the publishing world, as well as a cash prize, Poe managed to burn his bridges after just a few weeks by being drunk on the job. His drinking continued as he returned to poetry, writing his masterpiece The Raven, and he later used alcohol to get over the illness and eventual death of his wife. A few years later he was found drunk on the streets of Baltimore, delirious and wearing someone else's clothes. He died just days after.

Perhaps the best use of prize money is to spend it doing something that will help your future work. Investing in something that will broaden your mind like travel, new experiences or simply a poetry course is probably more productive than drinking yourself to death, but each to their own. Who will your inspiration be?
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