Pen a poem to enter Ipswich Poetry Feast competition

“There’s a quote I like that says: ‘The art of poetry is not dead, it’s just on a page you haven’t read yet’. That resonates with me because I think a lot of people don’t fully appreciate what poetry can do,” Leonie Parker said.

The Ipswich poet and winner of last year’s local category for the Ipswich Poetry Feast is encouraging more locals to enter the prestigious competition and have a go at crafting their thoughts into a poem.

“I’m surprised more people don’t know about it, so I tell anyone who indicates they have an interest in poetry,” Ms Parker said.

“It’s a great poetry competition, it’s very easy to enter online and there’s some good prize money, so it’s worth having a go.”

Leonie Parker won the Local Poets category of the 2019 Ipswich Poetry Feast Competition.

After discovering her love of poetry as a child, Ms Parker reignited her passion for writing when her son was at school and learning how to write a poem.

“My son is now in his forties and he still writes poetry, so it’s been lovely to share that interest over the years,” Ms Parker said.

“He also got me on to some poetry sites online and some poetry forums, so that’s been a lot of fun.

Ms Parker said she hopes that online communities and teaching poetry at schools will help more people appreciate the art form.

“Those of us who love it continue to love it all our lives, but some people’s eyes tend to glaze over when you tell them you write poetry,” Ms Parker said.

“It was really popular back in my day when I was at school, but for some reason it’s not held in as much esteem as the other arts.”

Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann (left) presented local poets David Gagen (right) and Leonie Parker (centre) with awards at the 2018 Ipswich Poetry Feast.

Ms Parker’s style of rhyming bush poetry is often inspired by memories or her surroundings, but she says that writing any type of poetry will have benefits for your mind.

“I’ve been writing on and off most of my life, but I’ve found it really helps to keep your brain active and make you think differently,” Ms Parker said.

“When I first retired, I wasn’t talking as much, so I found myself struggling for the right words until I got back into writing poetry.”

While some people have been creatively inspired while spending more time at home during COVID-19, Ms Parker admits she hasn’t been doing much writing.

“It’s been a strange period,” Ms Parker said.

“It’s felt like we’ve been living in slow motion, and I’ve struck a bit of a block. I’ve slowed down and haven’t been too productive.

“But I did start a poem a few months ago which I will have another look at.”

Ipswich Poetry Feast is an annual poetry writing competition giving poets of all ages the opportunity to compete for over $6,500 in prizes. Categories include bush poetry, local poetry and poetry inspired by a historical photo in the Picture Ipswich archive.

Visit the Ipswich Poetry Feast website for more information on how to enter and to read the winning poems from previous competitions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button