Regime de Vivre Poetry Prize 2013

Regime Books, an independent publisher based in Perth’s William Street arts district, has announced a new poetry prize for work that tackles the dark underside of life.

Whether it is life on the streets, alcohol, drugs, sex or crime, there has for hundreds of years been a profound attraction for writers to the seedier elements of existence.

The Regime de Vivre Poetry Prize 2013 will be for poetry that is bold enough to fearlessly tackle these themes. The most fascinating poetry sometimes comes from the darkest places; from Baudelaire to Bukowski, the list of writers inspired by this side of life is almost endless.

The prize will be awarded to the poem that best embodies the spirit of the prize itself.

We wanted to set the poets of the world an interesting challenge. Regime Books has distributed the following clues, which if properly pursued will reveal everything poets will need to know about the prize.

  1. The title of the prize is named after a seventeenth century poem of sleaze and debauchery; and
  2. A maxim attributed by Samuel Beckett to Sébastien Chamfort, but which may be a fragment from Blaise Pascal: ‘Que le coeur de l’homme est creux et plein d’ordure’*.

In addition to a warm inner glow (or a sense of existential emptiness, as the case may be), the winner shall be awarded US$200 and be published in the third edition of Regime Magazine, to be released by Regime Books in 2013. Two runners-up will be awarded US$50, and also published.

Regime Books is promoting the prize in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Deadline for entries is strictly Midnight EST, 31 March 2013. The winners will be announced by 30 April 2013.

Entries will only be accepted online at: regime.submittable.com.

* UPDATE (2/1/2013): Thanks to good friend of Regime Books, poet Harry Calhoun, who did the research we couldn’t. The phrase ‘Que le coeur de l’homme est creux et plein d’ordure’ appears in Pascal’s Pensées #143. A handy translation is, ‘How hollow and full of ribaldry is the heart of man!’ You can read more about Harry Calhoun on his website.

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