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Welcome to The Literary Pig's blog - a safe haven for all those afflicted with
the unbearable urge to write.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Poetry feast

As you can see I'm enjoying the Indoor Writer's tin of Cadburys' Heroes. This was part of her prize for winning Choc-Lit Summer Short Story competition. If you missed the earlier blog plug here is a link to the winning story.

But the flavour of today's blog is poetry. Slipstream poets met on Monday for their December workshop and the theme was FEASTS. The Indoor Writer salivated over the following poems and delighted in discussing the merits of foodie poetry:

  • A winter feast - Paul Schmidt
  • The bistro styx - Rita Dove
  • Washing rice - Lam Thi My Da
  • The great tablecloth - Pablo Neruda
  • Indian cooking - Moniza Alvi
Her favourite was The Great Tablecloth, a poem with heavy political undertones (Pablo Neruda spent most of his life in exile from his homeland of Chile) yet the words slip off the tongue like melted chocolate. A poem to be read aloud! Has inspired us to read more of Neruda's work.

Part of the workshop was to pen two poems. The first on the theme of winter feasts. Amongst 12 people there was incredible variety here from Australian Xmas turkey to Scandinavian rotting fish. She wrote about Valhalla and the warriors feasting (and fighting) for eternity. The second exercise was to write of a meal in a restaurant involving a mythical character (either from Greek/Roman myths or any historical figure). Again this prompted immense diversity with Father Christmas, Oliver Cromwell and Poseidon popping up. We rather enjoyed the tale of Odysseus dining out with Penelope - wouldn't blame her if she tipped pudding in his lap considering all his philandering with goddesses. You can read the Indoor Writer's effort at the bottom of the post - her Father Christmas is a bit of a pagan...

If this has spiked your poetry appetite then why not have a go at the following trio of poetry competitions:

Closing 31 December 2012: Writer's Bureau Poetry Competition 2013
To be judged by the lovely Alison Chisolm (met her at Swanwick Summer School)
  • 40 lines max, no theme, £5 per poem (reduced if you subscribe to Freelance Market News)
  • Prizes: £500/£300/£200/£100
  • Entry postal or online
  • Poems must not have been published
Closing 31 January 2013: Slipstream Poets Open Competition 2013
  • 40 lines max, £3 per poem or 4 for £10 or 6 for £12 (very good value)
  • Prizes: £250/£100/£75
  • Entry postal
  • Poems must not have been published
Closing 8 April 2013: Buxton Festival Poetry Competition
  • 40 lines max, £5 per poem, Theme: History and heritage
  • Prizes for Open category (>19 years): £300/£200/£100
  • Postal entries only with accompanying entry form (download from website)
  • Poems must not have been published
And finally...(hmm perhaps she should stick to prose?)

Yuletide Pizza by Tracy Fells
I chastise him across the garlic ciabatta, hissing,
- You can't do that sort of thing in here.
- Such a pretty thing, he chortles. And I only asked her to sit upon my knee.
His plump cheeks flush to the colour of his suit, a startling stunning red.
Tossed onto the table our pizzas almost skid off their plates.
Margherita, plain and simple, for me.
Four seasons in one pizza for him with all the extra toppings
and extra on top of those too.
He thinks I'm not looking when he scoops grated carrot from his salad bowl,
sweeps handfuls into fur-lined pockets.
- For the boys, he says with a wink. They like a dose of carotene.
Tickling his gleaming bush of beard he signals for the waiter
and another half pint of sherry.
With the back of my hand I swipe away the Cappucino moustache.
Thank god I only have to do this once a year!


  1. Thanks Wendy. I rarely share my poetry outside of my own head - you can see why!

  2. Liked the poem, Tracy - especially the bit about the grated carrot!

    1. Thanks Sally! You should've heard some of the other efforts - I'm always amazed at what the others come up with after only 10 mins writing time!!

  3. Oh, Lit Pig you look so at home in those chocolates - a bit like a writer in cake, as the saying might go.

    Love the Santa pizza story.

    1. Don't encourage him Patsy & yes he likes cake too. Amazingly the tin has not yet been touched - trying to keep if for Xmas...

  4. When I say story I mean poem, of course.

  5. Excellent poem, Tracy - and mega congrats on winning the choclit comp! I loved your very accomplished story.

    1. How lovely of you to say this Rosemary - glad you liked the story :)