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Loud and Claire, or, A Pretty Good Gig

The BBC Radio 4 Today Programme today revealed a rather lax attitude towards poetry.  The reporter describing what the Oxford Professor of Poetry post entails described it, chuckling, as "a pretty good gig" - with a stipend and "only" having to "do" a few lectures.  This belittles one of the more arduous, intellectually demanding, and serious lecture series in the world devoted to poetry - perhaps the most serious.  Muldoon's and Heaney's contributions, to name only two, are among their best critical writing and speaking.  Anyway.  They then interviewed Paula Claire, who I admit Eyewear belittled when she entered the race - a fact I regret now.  When Claire explained why she had dropped out - for being described by the Oxford online authorities running the election as a "performer" and not a poet, the BBC radio chap chuckled (a lot of chuckling) and said it didn't seem "a big deal".  Claire rightly observed that in the UK, to be called a performer not a poet is a way of sometimes undercutting the value of the work.  Finally, as the spot ended, they said they hoped Michael Horovitz would win, so he could play his "anglosaxophone".  Which is a fine sentiment, but rather biased.  Equal time for Hill?
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THE WINNER OF THE SIXTH FORTNIGHT PRIZE IS...



Wheeler Light for 'Life Jacket'.

The runner-up is: Daniel Duffy - 'President Returns To New York For Brief First Visit'

Wheeler Light currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.



Life Jacket

summer camp shirtsI couldn’t fit in then
are half my size nowI wanted to wear
smaller and smallerarticles of clothing
I shrunk to the sizethat disappeared

of an afterthoughtin a sinking ship body
too buoyant to sinktoo waterlogged for land
I becamea dot of sand