A True History of the Kurilpa Cup
Amongst the Reverend’s many pastoral duties is included his stewardship of the renowned Kurilpa Poetry Cup. Delving deep into the historical archives he has produced this learned dissertation for students of Poetry. With the 2016 KPC rapidly approaching (Feb 28th) we at Sunday Sermons feel the time has arrived to present..
A True History
of the Kurilpa Poetry Cup
Being an account of the customs, practises
and strange beliefs surrounding
this ancient Ritual.
by a Gentleman of the Cloth
The Origins of the Kurilpa Cup are shrouded in mystery.
Historical records from that period are sketchy at best, but from speaking to tribal elders of the Kurilpa Poets the following facts are known:
*The first Kurilpa Poetry Competition was held in December 2011, and at that stage there was no Cup as yet involved. It was billed merely as; “The Kurilpa End of Year Slam”.
*However, the prize-winner’s gift bundle already included the traditional,”loaf of bread, jug of wine, and book of verses” component. This of course being a somewhat tongue-in-cheek
tribute to the immortal lines from Edward Fitzgerald‘s
translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
*The 2011 Slam winner, Cam Logan, was also presented with the loose change in Judge Hellfire‘s pockets, amounting to the sum of $20.
* Alas, come December 2012, political intrigues had left the Water-Rats in some disarray, and so the end-of-year Slam was postponed to February 2013, and re-christened The Kurilpa Poetry Cup.
The cash component of the prize was increased to $50 also in that year and we brought in our first Celebrity judge, David Hallet..
*And so in 2013 Competition winner Tony “Fats Parameter” Kneipp was presented with the first actual Cup; a handsome, hand-painted glass goblet generously provided by local poet and artisan, Dushan Bojic.
*Ironically Dushan himself went on to win the 2014 Kurilpa Poetry Cup.
*The 2014 Cup was a small, silver plated goblet (neat but not gaudy) that was delivered unto the Reverend Hellfire by the Demi-Goddess Calliope Herself, the Muse of Epic Poetry,
She apparently being keen to bless this humble event!
Some cynics scoff that it was merely acquired from a second-hand shop and hastily engraved at the key-cutting stall next door, but the Reverend avers that it was in fact Calliope on the counter that day at Lifeline, and the whole episode was a bona fide Vision and not just one of the run-of-the-mill hallucinations that Kurilpa’s beloved President is subject to.
*Subsequently the tradition has continued, whereby each year’s Cup is obtained by re-purposing a second-hand cup from one of the many Op-shops of the Kurilpa peninsula.
The 2015 Cup, for example, was, I believe, originally awarded to the 1974 Dubbo women’s freestyle swimming champion, but has now become a testament to the ongoing poetic prowess of Cam Logan.
Surely this thrifty re-purposing of discarded trophies stands as a testament to the Kurilpa Poets’ commitment to recycling and indeed, environmental issues in general. (And perhaps also as stands a poetic statement on Human Vanity and the ephemeral nature of “success”).
*Not surprisingly, there have been persistent reports that the Cup has Mystical Powers and may in fact be the Holy Grail of Poetry!
Two times Cup winner, Cam Logan has confirmed
reports of the Cup’s mysterious powers;
“Yes, I was a skeptic at first”, Cam related to the Water Rat Gazette, “but since winning the Cup in 2015 I’ve had a very good year luck-wise and have been generally suffused with joy and happiness throughout”.
“Unfortunately this has all been terrible for my poetic output, as I generally only write poetry when I’m angry or upset. That’s why I plan to be hiding in Wollongong for the 2016 Cup”.
Staying in Wollongong may seem like a desperate remedy for writer’s block but it should certainly be effective and Cam thinks about 2 days should do the trick.
* The Cup for 2016 has as yet to be disclosed, but insider gossip has it that the vessel in question was originally some kid’s Christening Cup.
Ah the Innocence! The Purity! Surely a most suitable vessel for Poets to quaff the sweet Wine of Victory!
* Finally, what’s in a name? Eagle-eyed observers may have observed that the Cup-formerly-known-as-the Kurilpa Performance Poetry Cup, is now billed merely as the Kurilpa Poetry Cup. Is there a reason, you may wonder listlessly?
A Carping of Critics (collective noun) kept moaning that
by calling it a performance-poetry competition we were excluding those who saw themselves as being poets rather than performance poets. Of course one could (and some did) argue that standing on stage reading a poem is a performance of sorts and anyway, what sort of semantic labyrinth are we leading ourselves into here?
But some battles are better not fought, and so, spinelessly acquiescing to the fickle demands of the mob, President Hellfire decreed that it be so, and thus the 2015 Kurilpa Performance Poetry Cup morphed seamlessly into the 2016 Kurilpa Poetry Cup.
But don’t worry.
It’s still the same Cup, we just changed the handle…
The Rules of Engagement for the Kurilpa Poetry Cup
can be found
somewhere in the official organ of the Kurilpa Poets,
TheWater Rat Gazette
located at kurilpapoetry.wordpress.com
Or last years rules..it’s basically the same.. https://kurilpapoetry.wordpress.com/2015/02/20/the-kurilpa-cup-rules-of-engagement/
The Reverend Hellfire is a practised Performance Poet,
President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity
and an ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanism
AND the Church of the Universe.
Dances with Donkeys.