National Poetry Day

Happy National Poetry Day! What are you doing to celebrate?

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Announcement

A sad announcement today for all who knew the lovely smile of Helen Harvey, who died yesterday. A talented poet, past Chair of OUP, she was also events officer as many will recall. Our thoughts go to Andrew, her beloved partner, and her family. God rest.

Good news!

Good news!

How wonderful to see that our OUP member Vicki Morley has won a competition. There were a few tweets about it but it wasn’t confirmed that it was ‘our’ Vicki Morley until Vicki emailed to say so!

Vicki has won the 2016/2017 Plough International competition prize of £1K with a poem called Double Zero Flour.

Huge, nay, HUGE, congratulations to you, Vicki. What a superb achievement. We will swell with reflected glory 😉

Here is Vicki’s winning poem:

The Plough Prize Open Poetry Competition 2016 – winning poems

1st PRIZE: VICKI MORLEY

Double Zero Flour

You can travel fifty thousand miles in America without once tasting a piece of good bread  Henry Miller

San Francisco clocks chime the summer hour.
Rehearsed the route, left powdery footprints right across sidewalk,

the best double zero flour, weevils will dine well.
My head crusts, breaks through new white shirt.

It crackles, curdles, creaks along my arms,
sparks and conjures the new dawn with static.

Tie, the colour of an electric bruise,
shoes, best soft leather from Siena.

Look, a dangerous eggplant tie reflected
in coffee shop window. Is, a vivid purple, too vibrant?

No, not for a baker — before sunrise
I mix, pound, pummel, stretch, knead, knock the dough,

fill the maws of ever hungry ovens,
feel the heat, jaws of hell, fires of heaven.

Crisp the dough to beautiful bread babies,
ciabatta, focaccia, sour-dough, grissini, pizza, fruit pannetone.

I strut across the piazza, past nail bar
where slinky ladies flutter out to street.

An open window yawns,
a sharp-suited man hollers down to me.

Why it’s Antonio. Is he here for the chief baker job too?
Steady, breathe deep and slow, concentrate now.

I’m ready for probing questions,
about flour, yeast, pasta, bread-making, recipes.

Pour espresso, grappa, let’s celebrate!
My fruit panettone decided it.

Let’s stroll down to Venice Beach,
rinsed by the Pacific Ocean, and swim,

sip cold beers frosting our sticky palms,
sizzle fresh wolf-fish pan-roasted over hot coals,

watch bambini splashing in sea shallows,
while I dream new breads, like a salt-crust San Marino.

With acknowledgement to https://www.theploughprize.co.uk/index.php/2016 where you can see other prizewinners.

OU Poets

OU Poets is a poetry group for students and staff, past or present of the Open University, Milton Keynes UK with around 80 members.

Like other poetry groups, we submit poems to be read and constructively commented on by other members. We do this by post, via email, on our public Facebook page and closed Facebook group for members only, we use Twitter and we meet to discuss our poems and love of poetry at least once a year. We are scattered all across the country, with some in Ireland and other parts of Europe. Our magazine (for members only) contains poems, criticisms and comments and is issued five times a year.

At the end of the year members’ vote for the poems they have most enjoyed from that year’s magazines, and the most popular appear in Openings, our anthology, which has been an annual event for over twenty five years.

Membership is for any student or member of the staff, past or present, of the Open University, who has an interest in poetry. If you fulfil these criteria, you are welcome to apply for membership on our Membership Page