Writing about work is something that’s interested me for awhile (AWP members can read my article, “Working Men and Women: Characters and Their Development,” over at the AWP site: you’ll need to log into eLink, click “Chronicle,” and then click “eLink Exclusive” to access it).
Now there’s an interesting opportunity for poets writing about work, too: the Being at Work Poetry Challenge.
From the announcement:
Work in the hustle and bustle of the now is central to the human experience, yet rarely do we sit back and think about how work has come to define our being. In an attempt to explore this notion we are challenging experienced and beginner poets to submit poetry that captures the essence, nuance and personal of worklife experiences. We’re looking for poems by people about the work they personally do or have done, paid or unpaid, blue- or white- or no-collar. And for poems about the work of looking for work, and about how our hours at work affect the rest of our lives. In an attempt to reach people from all walks of life we have organized two contests; one contest for experienced poets and another contest for everybody else. Challenge our unique panel of judges and tell us about your work.
“Experienced poets,” for this purpose, include “those with at least 6 works published in literary magazines and/or have one of their collections published by a reputable publisher.” Note that “we would like to focus on poems outside of the work involved in the writing process.”
This is a Canadian-organized contest, so I’m assuming that the prize money is to be awarded in Canadian currency: $300 for first prize; $150 for second prize; $75 for third prize, in each contest. A selection of winning poems will be published in Our Times, “Canada’s independent labour magazine.”
There is no entry fee. You can submit by postal mail or e-mail. Deadline: July 31, 2006.
For more information and submission instructions, visit the Web site.