Global Correspondent Report on Israel




Helen Bar-Lev, IL

This article was compiled mostly by Wendy Blumfield

Seymour Mayne

On 21st June, the summer solstice, Seymour Mayne, Professor of Canadian Literature at Ottawa University and judge of the 2010 Reuben Rose Annual Poetry Competition, presented a workshop at the Tel-Aviv University .

He told Voices Israel members who met at Tel Aviv University that he first heard about Voices in 1988 when he met Reuben Rose at what was then Haifa`s tiny poetry group.

Seymour Mayne

He then talked generally about trends in contemporary poetry, from the "language poets" playing with words and sound and experimentation finally returning to meaning and narrative.

The poets who most influenced his work were A.M. Klein, Irving Layton and Leonard Cohen.

There is a lot of humour in Seymour Mayne`s poetry. He read "The Blue Couch" which was written as a series of curses against the thieves who stole his old battered but dearly loved sofa from his porch. He posted this poem on trees and telephone poles around the neighbourhood until one day two students sheepishly returned it.

One of Seymour`s poetry styles is the word sonnet, and the group spent the second half of the workshop writing in connection to "cheese" and "pomegranate."

Poem written at the workshop by Thilde Fox:





Voices Israel (Reuben Rose Competition)

Judge: Esther Cameron, editor of The Deronda Review.


1st: US$ 500

2nd: US$200

3rd: US$100

7 honorable mentions


Entries must be received by Sunday 9th October, 2011. Submissions received after the deadline will be automatically entered into next year’s contest.

Winners will be notified personally by the end of February 2012 and all prize-winning poems will be posted on the Voices website and published in the Voices Anthology.

A prizewinning ceremony will take place in Tel Aviv at the end of March, 2012.


All styles of poetry are welcome. The competition is general and not necessarily on Jewish or Israeli subjects. The competition is judged anonymously.

Poems should be 40 lines or less excluding title and stanza breaks, typed on plain white A4 paper, Times New Roman 12pt font only. Each poem must start on a new page. Send two copies of each poem, one with your name and the second, for the judge, with no identifying information whatsoever. Include a cover letter listing the titles of the poem(s) together with your full name, address, telephone numbers and e-mail details.

Submissions by mail only to:

Voices Israel (Reuben Rose Competition)
John Dicks
POB 236,
Kiryat Ata 28101


Voices Israel members: NIS15; US$5; Euros 4; 3 per poem. Non-members: NS20; US$8; Euros 6; 5 per poem (these currencies only, in cash or by check payable to Voices Israel .

Submit as many poems as you wish with the appropriate fee. For receipt of submission , please enclose stamped addressed envelope (plus three international reply coupons for overseas entries).


Read Helen Bar-Lev, Contributing Editor: Interview with Lilian Cohen, IL


Helen Bar-Lev , artist, poet

Senior Editor,
Cyclamens and Swords Publishing

Voices Israel Group of Poets in English

Contributing editor,
SKETCHBOOK, A Journal for Eastern and Western Short Forms

International Senior Poet Laureate, 2009
Amy Kitchener Foundation










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