Charles Bukowski Prize for Poetry


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CONSUMMATION OF GRIEF
by Charles Bukowski
I even hear the mountains
the way they laugh
up and down their blue sides
and down in the water
the fish cry
and the water
is their tears.
I listen to the water
on nights I drink away
and the sadness becomes so great
I hear it in my clock
it becomes knobs upon my dresser
t becomes paper on the floor
it becomes a shoehorn
a laundry ticket
it becomes
cigarette smoke
climbing a chapel of dark vines. . .
it matters little
very little love is not so bad
or very little life
what counts
is waiting on walls
I was born for this
I was born to hustle roses down the avenues of the dead.
 
The Raw Art Review is looking for poems like this Charles Bukowski poem that blow us away, deflate us with exquisite melancholy, thrill us with the beautiful rhythm and flow of their language, enthrall us with their perfectly articulated and placed imagery, take us so far into something that we will never emerge.
GUIDELINES (NOT RULES
  1. The winning poem will receive a $200 award.
  2. 5 additional poems will receive $25 honorable mention awards.
  3. One poem that reminds us most of Bukowski in its style, method, approach and insight will receive an original pencil and charcoal portrait of Bukowski by noted portrait artist Ricky Young. NOTE: the contest Winner and Runners-up may win the Bukowski portrait in addition to a monetary award. Or, the portrait may go to a contributor who is not selected as the contest Winner or as a Runner-up
  4. The Contest Winner will be presented on the RAR home page as a Featured Writer.
  5. There are no rules of form and content. The sole criteria for selecting a winner is the power of the emotional/psychological/spiritual impact on editors reading the poem.
  6. There are no particular trade-craft requirements. Single or double space, left-center-right justification, long lines/short lines, standard use of punctuation or not, etc.
  7. TYPOS – we understand it is difficult to catch all typos. NOTE: we will presume a typo is volitional, so for the purpose of maintaining your intent for the poem it is in your best interest to review carefully, get help from other readers, etc.
  8. Review of poems is blind. Please do not put your name or any other identifying information on your pages.
  9. No BIO needed at this time. You can use the cover letter space provided on the submission form to discuss your poem or skip the cover letter entirely. What you write as a cover letter will have no bearing on selection for the prize. The cover letter will only be read after selections are made. We love reading your cover letters though – please feel free to expound.
  10. Editors are prohibited from rejecting a poem on first read. All poems get at least 2 reads before a decision is made.
  11. Editors assume you are smarter than we are. We will strive to understand your intention ; stay open-minded and try to avoid imposing our presumptions on your work.
  12. We will never use irresponsible and self-aggrandizing language to describe your work like “purple writing” or “cliche”, or “your center justification is a gimmick”.
  13. We will accept poems on a revolving basis during the submission period as blog posts on The Raw Art Review’s front page and for inclusion in The Raw Art Review’s next journal volume. This first “acceptance” will include the writer’s work on the short-list for the contest winner.
  14. We value the slush pile. (Not a derogatory term among our editors). With your permission, a poem that is declined may be returned to the slush pile for future consideration.
  15. 3 poems per entry. Multiple submission entries are fine but the fee applies to each additional submission of up to 3 poems.
  16. We accept Word and PDF formats. We prefer Word Format.
  17. Simultaneous submission is fine.
  18. Previously published poems are eligible provided the submitter owns the rights to republish. We are happy to recognize the original publisher upon your request.
  19. Submission Deadline is September 30, 2019.
  20. You must use Submittable for submissions


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