August 30, 2011

Rip Van Winkle Poetry Competition, August 27

All Arts Matter, a non-profit arts organization that creates many arts & humanities events throughout the year, held a reading for the winners of its 12th Annual Poetry Awards at the Greenville Library on Sunday, August 27. The competition provides emerging poets the opportunity to submit their work for objective review and encourages their continued growth as poets. Divided into two categories: adult, and young poet’s 14 years and younger, the number of participants has steadily increased over the years. This year, in addition to submissions from the area’s emerging poets, entries were received from as far west as San Antonio, Texas. Area schools incorporated the Competition as part of their study of poetry in the classroom, submitting works that showed formal poetry conventions as well as contemporary poetic structure. Entries came from the school districts of Windham-Jewett, Cairo-Durham, Coxsackie-Athens, and Berne-Knox.

The reading was held was on the eve of the anticipated arrival of Hurricane Irene so only 2 of the winning poets were on hand to read their work themselves. The winning poets in the Young Poet category showed the student’s grasp of poetic form and the diversity of their interests.

Sasha Shablovsky of Catskill showed up with her family & her grandparents to read her imaginative poem “How To Build A Ziggurat. Executive Director Tony DeVito read the poem by Thomas McGahan from Cairo, “Basketball”.

Equally diverse were the subject matters in the Adult category, ranging from snowflakes to poetry itself. Anita Sanchez of Amsterdam, author of “A Short Story” shared third prize with Lauren Maisenbacher (Hudson) for her haiku-like “Characteristics of a Snowflake.” Edward Clopman from Coxsackie, took second prize with “Neo-Slavery” & Tony DeVito shared an intriguing story of a pseudonomynous past winner (also from Coxsackie) whose prize check went undelivered for years.

First prize went to me for my “Poems on Poems”, a two-part glimpse of the moment of writing ("Poeming" & "The Lesson", subsequently published in my chapbook Poeming the Prompt). I have won a couple of Honorable Mentions in the past but have never won a poetry contest before this, & I was naturally proud & thrilled to be there. But how equally wonderful to be in the room with (I hope) a future great poet, Sasha Shablovsky, who is off to a great start. She recited her poem from memory, but had with her a well-worn notebook that I expect contains other musings that will someday become other engaging & thrilling poems.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From Therese L. Broderick -- Congratulations, Dan, on your first place award! I like the photo of you being honored -- for once, you are in the camera's eye instead of behind it!