Saturday April 19, 2014
Got poems? Got pockets? Are you ready for Poem in Your Pocket Day? It’s this week, and we think it’s one of the best ideas that has taken root in April as part of National Poetry Month.
Poem in Your Pocket Day began more than a decade ago in New York City, the Academy of American Poets made it a truly national celebration in 2008, and since then folks all across the country have joined in the celebration. This year, the day is Thursday, April 24.
“The idea is simple: select a poem you love... then carry it with you to share with co-workers, family, and friends.” You could choose a familiar classic nursery rhyme or a poem by Emily Dickinson or William Blake, since so many of theirs are truly pocket-sized... or browse through the library here at About.com Poetry—we have the poems indexed by title and by poet’s name... or click around in AAP’s collection of PDF poems... or copy out a favorite from one of the books on your shelf at home... just don’t leave home without your poem on Thursday, and don’t forget to take it out of your pocket and read it to someone during the day!
Wednesday April 16, 2014
Spring is officially here, “Sumer Is Icumen In,” and with the passing seasons comes a new round of poetry competitions. Poets who’ve been working on a manuscript may be interested in the book and chapbook publication competitions, and those who have their eye on publication in a journal or periodical will want to enter the single poem competitions. Whichever route you choose, it’s time to gather your stamps and envelopes, or go for the contests that accept online entries—you’ll notice that many of the contests on this list will take submissions either way.
- Omnidawn Poetry Chapbook Contest (postmark or online submission deadline April 22)
- Richard Peterson Poetry Prize from Crab Orchard Review at Southern Illinois University (single poem publication, online submissions only, deadline April 28)
- Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press for a first book to be published in the Pitt Poetry Series (postmark deadline April 30)
- Berkshire Prize from Tupelo Press for a first or second book (postmark or online submission deadline April 30)
- Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize, two awards named for Robert Creeley and Rochelle Ratner for publication of books up to 84 pages (postmark or electronic submission deadline April 30)
- Noemi Press Book Award for Poetry (online submission only, deadline April 30)
- Canada Writes Poetry Prize for Canadian poets (airline magazine/Web site publication, mail or online submission deadline May 1)
- The Malahat Review Far Horizons Award for Poetry (for up to 3 poems by poets who have not yet published a first book, mail/email entry deadline May 1)
- The Robert Dana/Anhinga Prize for Poetry (book publication and a reading tour, postmark/electronic submission deadline May 15)
- Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Award (postmark or online submission deadline May 15)
- Loraine Williams Poetry Prize from The Georgia Review (single poem publication, postmark or online submission deadline May 15)
- sub-Terrain Lush Triumphant Literary Awards (for a suite of 5 related poems, postmark or online submission deadline May 15)
- New Letters Prize for Poetry (for a group of 3 - 6 poems, postmark or online submission deadline May 18)
- Best New Poets Open Competition from the University of Virginia (single poem publication in annual anthology, online entries accepted April 5 - May 20)
- The Field Poetry Prize from Oberlin College Press (book publication, online submission only, manuscripts read during the month of May)
- Lois Cranston Memorial Poetry Prize from Calyx (for up to 3 poems, postmark or online submission deadline May 31)
- The Bordighera Poetry Prize for Italian American poets (book publication in a bilingual edition, postmark deadline May 31)
- Boston Review Poetry Contest (for up to 5 poems, postmark or online submission deadline June 2)
- Barrow Street Press Book Contest (postmark or online submission deadline June 30)
- Omnidawn First/Second Book Contest (postmark or online submission deadline June 30)
Required reading before you submit to any contests:
“What’s Really Wrong with Poetry Book Contests?,” by David Alpaugh
How to Put Together a Poetry Manuscript for Publication
“A Word To the Wise: On Entering Your Poems in Competition,” by Kurt Heintz
“You Do It Because You Love It,” by S.A. Griffin
More contest links
Friday April 11, 2014
Sometimes the point of a poem is just to have fun with words—that’s why they call it word-play! Among the kinds of poem defined in our Glossary of Poetic Forms is that most beloved of nonsense poems, the limerick. We have a self-illustrated selection of Edward Lear’s limericks and links to the best places to find more limericks around the Net—have fun!
Thursday April 10, 2014
Poems are coming to life in performance all over the US this National Poetry Month, and if you’re looking for the definitions of the New Performance Poetry, this is the place ask your Poetry Guide Bob Holman. See his manifesto “Open Mic: Definitions, Rules, Etiquette, Irony.” The poetry open mic is “a meta-metaphor for freedom, a place where your art can be presented to the public at large,” a place where “all humans are created equal—so long as you don’t go over the time limit!” Our archive of articles on poetry slam, spoken word, and the late 20th century performance poetry renaissance is a historical treasure trove.
Then if you want further definitions from the younger generation, Eman’s the one to ask: she was just 16 and already hosting two weekly open mics when we interviewed her in the millennium year, “HipHop, Performance Poetry, Spoken Word, Slam: Definitions from a Teenager.”
And then it will be time to get out there and join in the fun—an endeavor for which you might want to consult our performance poetry how-tos: