Saturday, 3 November 2012

What is to become of Slush Poetry?

I have announced that Slush Poetry as we know it will come to an end at the end of this year. However, that is not altogether accurate. What will be brought to an end is the series of news-related poems that have been appearing on the Slush Poet blog, and its curtailment is not a recent decision but the fulfillment of a scheme conceived late last year.

What has been known until now as 'Slush Poetry' was always planned to be a one year (or, more strictly, a year and two days) project to chronicle what I hoped would be a remarkable year, 2012, a year in which there would be a Royal Jubilee and the London Olympics at a time of great economic, political and environmental turmoil. That is, something to write about. Its aim was to capture the zeitgeist of the year, rather than attempt any historical record, and it was always going to reflect my own views and interests. In fact, it is probably more a portrait of me at that point in my life than it is an objective record of anything else going on.

I have been amazed and delighted by the following the blog and my related Twitter feeds have attracted, and I am very grateful to everyone who has visited the site, commented on poems, corresponded, retweeted or engaged in any way with the project. I even feel I have made some friends, albeit ones I will probably never meet. It really is quite humbling.

I have been pondering two things: what to do with the current collection, and what to do next. Now I have decided.

The current collection will end when I post the last poem on New Year's Day. No promises, but it will probably have an Hawaiian theme because I will want to capture humanity's last moment in 2012. (For the same reason, the collection began in Samoa, which was first across the date line in January.) After that, is it too much to hope that I might find a publisher for all or part of it? I will be trying to. It even has a new title: The Year of Wringing Hands.

As for what to do next, the Slush Poet will go on but on a different blog site. The new site will (if all goes to plan) present a series of images combining photography with poetry, surface beauty with lingering thoughts. Imagine seeing a poem hung in a gallery surrounded by white space, that's where I'm heading to. And this new space now has a name: Ma Pottery [sic].

So wish me well and come along for the experience. I can't do this without my friends.