Another year; another Experiment.
I am convinced that, just now, University is no more, perhaps, than a trade school one attends in the quest of a trade certificate.
Of the thousands of students on the rolls, only a handful had any 'literary' contributions to submit; a few dozen more attempted the short-cut to self-expression which is so often mis-named 'Poetry'.
Albert Wendt, the first prize winner, is developing, I think, into an accomplished writer and I am glad to see that he is acquiring a definite capacity to shape and control his material, a capacity which, I am afraid, is still lacking in Mr. Rowlands. More than Mr. Rowlands' technique, it was his subject matter, the 'thing' he was writing about and his way of looking at it, that earned him my perhaps questionable decision to award him second prize. From almost every angle, in fact, John Parkyn's The Last Lecture is a far better work. . . . I mean, better written. But, then, I found it slow, tedious, unconvincing and an odd mixture of righteous, flabby moral indignation and shallow characterisation. It is possible that there is a deep vision of life behind it, but my experience must have been too limited: I am unable to let it stimulate me.
If Mr. Bilbrough's submission had been more than the isolated brilliant flash it is, I would have thought of another placing for his Dog. The acknowledgement went to the violence of his style and the powerful quality of his description.
As somebody has said recently, "The quality of a magazine does not often depend on the qualities of the editor, but on those of its contributors".