12 July 2020


Hooked by Otters by Wendy klein
Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell: 1947-1977

She feels angled for when he offers
to record her poems – that microphone,
but she’ll call him Cal — Caliban, Caligula
oh falling fire and piercing cry…
though he’ll never call her Liz.

From Cape Breton she writes of auks, of puffins,
ravens — enormous, with rough black beards
under their beaks. Together they grope for
a language in wildlife,

though being an armadillo, he’s slow to see – replies
puffins are in his book of New England birds;
he’s never seen one, but he’s catching

her drift—hints at further recordings, that if
she comes to Boston in fall, they can go
to galleries or see otters.

Hooked by otters, she re-jigs her diary;
sends a postcard from Key West —
a picture of a sea turtle, describes

a saltwater pool, a marine life, watching
her friends swim about in a sort of green fire
like luminous grass.

He dives in with trout fishing — his grandfather,
Nova Scotia — praises her fish poems, laments
that all his fish become symbols — lobsterman, nets…

gifts her a copy of The Compleat Angler
for Christmas. Someone must be first
to sign off with affection,
with love
though he’ll never find the right moment
to propose, because, like a loon, he needs
so much space — sixty feet to take off from water —

Otter woman, fisher woman
she prefers a burrow
near the water’s edge

Oh Caliban, Caligula
fun it always seemed to leave you a loss.

‘Hooked by Otters’ by Wendy Klein was commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (March/April 2020) judged by Mandy Pannett.


Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (July 2020)

Closing date: 31st July, 2020

Details: This competition is for original, previously unpublished poems in English language, on any subject, in any style up to 50 lines long. Poems posted on members-only non-public groups for review/critique as part of the creative process are not deemed to have been previously published. Poets of all ages, gender or nationality living in any part of the world are eligible to enter. We discourage simultaneous submissions; please only enter poems that are not currently under consideration for publication elsewhere.

Prizes: £250 (1st), £100 (2nd), £50 (3rd), £30 x 3 (High Commendation), £15 x (Commendation),
3 x SLQ Paperback (Special Mentions)
Fees £5/1, £8/2, £10/3, £12/4, £14/5, £16/7, £22/10)
Results: 31 August, 2020

Enter competition now>>




JENNA BASS is a South African filmmaker best known for her short feature The Tunnel, for which she was the writer, director, unwilling producer and general responsible person. It featured at the Cannes Film Festival. She is twenty-something, a director, writer, photographer, aspiring explorer and retired magician living in Cape Town, South Africa. She says ‘wow’ a lot, dislikes money and excel, likes tofu ice-cream and thinks Werner Herzog should have won the Oscar. She is the brains behind Jungle Jim, Africa’s finest pulp magazine.

The Tunnel is a visually stunning film set in 1980, just after Zimbabwe’s independence. It highlights, in a fictional story, the largely underreported massacres that took place in the Matabeleland region of Zimbabwe- which occurred at the hands of Robert Mugabe’s North Korean trained 5th Brigade. Don Omope says ‘Jenna Bass, stands out as a filmmaker for her conception and approach to this dark story. And while this is not an art film in the traditional sense; it’s very much the work of a person with the mind of an artist.’

Tinashe Mushakavanhu talks to her about her work and inspirations.
Read the interview here >>>