Fremantle Press poet Kevin Gillam has won the Lorikeet Centre’s Open Your Mind poetry competition for his poem ‘clockwise is off’. This is the second 2015 win for the acclaimed poet, orchestra conductor, music teacher and freelance cellist who was awarded the Sawtooth Writing Prize for Poetry in February.
Kevin said the poem is very much a personal account of recovery. He described a simple message within the poem – to slow down and enjoy life.
‘To stop the hurry, the rush, to enjoy and embrace moment and surrounds, and to think about greater forces and influences in our day-to-day lives,’ said Kevin.
The winning poem is part of a suite entitled ‘Chamber Musing’. When undergoing total shoulder replacement surgery and spending weeks in recovery, Kevin had plenty of time to think about the rules of society.
‘All three poems are to do with mental and physical recovery, while also asking us to think about our surrounds and circumstances,’ said Kevin.
This is the first time the Fremantle Poets 2: Two Poets contributor has entered the Open Your Mind poetry competition, which is run through the Mental Illness Fellowship of Western Australia (MIFWA)’s rehabilitation centre in Leederville.
Kevin Gillam has been the recipient of several poetry prizes and has had his work published in collections and journals across Australia.
His poem is published in the Lorikeet Centre’s Open Your Mind poetry book of 70 poems selected by the judges. The book was launched at the centre’s open day as part of Schizophrenia Awareness Week on 22 May.