Thursday, 26 March 2009

The Basil Bunting Award

The Basil Bunting Award has been set up 'to acknowledge and celebrate the life and work of Basil Bunting'.
Bunting's masterpiece, Briggflatts, was described by Cyril Connolly as 'the finest long poem to have been published in English since T S Eliot’s Four Quartets'. An early draft of the poem stretched to 2000 lines.
Poems submitted to the Basil Bunting Award must be no longer than 42 lines.
According to the information on the Basil Bunting Award's homepage, Bunting was 'a leading British modernist poet whose poems have established their place amongst the twentieth century’s best poetry'.
One of the judges for the Basil Bunting Award is Sean O'Brien.

1 comment:

Jane Holland said...

Love the Drains link there. You incorrigible teases. But this is all quite fascinating; do the competition poems have to be about Briggflatts or Bunting or in the style of, or just random?

But I suppose I must pursue the links to answer those questions for myself.

Hold on a minute. 42 lines seems wonderfully ironic as a length, given the original. This isn't April 1st come early, is it?

I rather wish it had been an essay prize. That would have given me something interesting to do over the summer. Though I could still write something on Bunting for my own purposes, I guess. Been reading Donaghy's Collected Essays this week - lovely hardback edition recently out from Picador - and thinking, 'Ah, I could write this kind of thing myself, no problem.' As you do. ;)

In associated news, I finally met Paul McGrane (sp?) at the Po Soc yesterday; had an excellent long talk with him, and it looks like Horizon will be doing some kind of article for the next issue in connection with the Poetry Society Centenary Year.

They do fabulous black olives in the Poetry Café, don't they?