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Paterson: A New Poetry Film, And A Competition

The Poetry School and Soda Pictures are delighted to announce a new poetry competition to mark the release of Paterson – a new film with poetry at its heart (in cinemas 25 November).

Set in Paterson, New Jersey, Adam Driver (Girls / Star Wars) plays a small-town bus driver and poet. Every day, Paterson adheres to a simple routine: he drives his daily route, observing the city as it drifts across his windshield and overhearing fragments of conversation swirling around him; he writes poetry into a notebook; he walks his dog; he stops in a bar and drinks exactly one beer. He goes home to his wife, Laura (Golshifteh Farahani). By contrast, Laura’s world is ever changing. New dreams come to her almost daily, each a different and inspired project. Paterson loves Laura and she loves him. He supports her newfound ambitions; she champions his secret gift for poetry. The quiet triumphs and defeats of daily life are observed, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details.



Here’s Sight & Sound’s review. I went to see it as part of the London Film Festival and enjoyed it hugely. It has the properly peaceful observational quality which I associate with writing poetry, and the poems that Paterson writes (in real life, written by Ron Padgett) are charming with just a hint of ground glass.

To celebrate this marriage of the slim volume and the big screen, we’ve set up an open poetry competition.

Paterson is a fan of Frank O’Hara and William Carlos Williams. His poems are diaristic, direct and conversational. Our competition therefore is for Diary Poems – we want to see something that reflects your day to day to-ing and fro-ing, in 40 lines or less.

We’re inviting entries – just one poem per poet – and you have the chance to win free cinema tickets, Paterson goodies, and a £170 voucher towards Poetry School courses.

The deadline for entries is midnight on 11 November 2016, and you can enter online via our Submittable page

Please read the competition rules carefully before submitting, good luck, and do go and see the film!

Competition Rules

Rules: General

1. This competition is free to enter. Poems must be entered online via Submittable.
2. Entrants may submit ONE poem only. If Entrants submit more than one poem their full submission will be disqualified from the competition.
3. The competition is open to anyone based in the UK and aged 18 or over at the time of entering.
4. The closing date of the competition is midnight (UK time), 11 November 2016.
5. All entries will be considered anonymously by the judges.
6. Judges will be drawn from Poetry School and Soda Pictures staff.
7. Under no circumstances can alterations be made to poems once entered.
8. Online entries made via Submittable will receive automatic confirmation at the time of submission.
9. Telephone or email confirmation of receipt is not available. Poetry School staff are unable to confirm the content of documents submitted online, so please ensure you send the correct file.
10. The competition organisers reserve the right to change the judging panel without notice and not to award prizes if, in the judges’ opinion, such an action is justified. The judges’ decision is final.
11. No current employee or Trustee of the Poetry School or Soda Pictures is eligible to enter competition.
12. By entering you give permission for the Poetry School and Soda Pictures to contact you via email.

Rules: Poems

13. All entries are judged anonymously and the poet’s name must NOT appear on the poem itself.
14. All poems must have a title and must not exceed 40 lines in length (excluding title). Entries must reasonably respond to the competition theme: Diary Poems.
15. The Poetry School can NOT enter into correspondence with Entrants about whether a poem fits the theme.
16. It will be at the discretion of the judges to decide if a poem suitably responds to the theme. Neither the judges or organisers will enter into correspondence with entrants regarding this decision.
17. Poems must be the original work of the entrant: translations and versions are not eligible
18. Entries must not have been published, self-published, published on a website, broadcast or featured among the winners in another competition.
19. Entries should be presented at a minimum type size of 12 pt and can be double or single spaced.
20. Entries must be written in English.
21. The copyright of each poem remains with the author. However, authors of the winning poems, by entering the competition, grant the Poetry School & Soda Pictures the right to publish and/or broadcast their poem online and in print. Use of the poems elsewhere for one year from November 2016 is subject to permission from the Poetry School.

Rules: Winners

22. The first Prize is a £170 Voucher towards the cost of a Poetry School course, and a pair of tickets to see Paterson. Three second Prizes of pairs of Paterson tickets will also be awarded. At the Poetry School’s and Soda Pictures’ discretion, Poetry School and Paterson merchandise and publicity will be awarded to runners up.
23. Prizewinners will be notified by 18 November 2017. All winners will be required to provide a biography and photograph.
24. Prizewinners will have to provide their postal address upon notification of winning to receive their prizes.
25. Soda Pictures will endeavor to arrange free film tickets for the Prizewinners to be redeemed at selected UK cinema screenings of Paterson, as close to the Prizewinner’s address as possible. Tickets cannot be exchanged for money. The Organisers cannot offer travel expenses or other costs incurred getting to the film screening. The Organisers cannot accept responsibility for the Prizewinner being unable to attend for any reason.
26. The Poetry School offers a voucher to the first placed Prizewinner valued at £170 to be put towards course fees only. The voucher cannot be exchanged for money. Places on Poetry School courses will be subject to availability. The voucher can be redeemed on online or face-to-face courses. The voucher will be valid for 12 months from notification of winning.

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