May 18, 2016

Stephen A. DiBiase Poetry Contest Reading, May 15

The Stephen A. DiBiase Poetry Contest was inaugurated this year by Albany poet Bob Sharkey & his family. It was started as a modest project to offer cash prizes to poets & to support & encourage those who are active in the open mic community. According to Bob, he received 302 entries from 37 states & 10 countries. There were 27 finalists, with prizes ranging from $700 for the First Place (Dawn Marar’s poem “Beyond the Naupaka Hedge”), with 2nd, 3rd & 4th place winners, a “Special Founder’s Award” (to Karen Fabiane for “Now, morning…”), then 9 Honorable Mentions ($65 each), & 13 “Other Finalists” with bragging rights.

The reading was for those Finalists who were able to make it to the Albany Public Library Washington Ave. Branch, with other poems read by local community poets, a total of 22 represented in the reading. Mary Panza read a number of poems by women Finalists, including “I Loved You Long Before I Even Met You” by Kirsten Textor from Denmark. Mary also read the 4th place poem “On the Rising Price of Corn at Festivals” by Michelle Chen, & the 2nd place “The Resolution of Neglect Syndrome” by Jen Karentnick. I was pleased to read the 3rd place poem “Plantation’s Corn” by Paul Weidknecht, as well as my own poem “Richard Nixon Must Die,” which has had quite a track record of publications over the years since it was written.

First place winner Dawn Marar read her winning poem “Beyond the Naupaka Hedge” (which is set in Hawaii), a 2 others “Lateral Inhibitions” & “Family Monuments. Bob Sharkey read early on his poem “Why Stephen” to explain the name of the contest. Stephen A. DiBiase was a friend of Bob’s in Maine, who was a US Army vet who died of drowning in 1973, one might say another victim of the war.

The following is a complete list of the Finalists & their poems:

First Place, bonus for community poet, bonus for local poet, $700: Beyond the Naupaka Hedge---Dawn Marar of Delmar NY
Second Place, $250: The Resolution of Neglect Syndrome---Jen Karetnick of Miami Shores FL
Third Place, $125: Plantation’s Corn---Paul Weidknecht of Phillipsburg NJ
Fourth Place, $100: On the Rising Prices of Corn at Festivals---Michelle Chen of Whitestone NY
Special Founder’s Award, $90: Now, morning…---Karen Fabiane of Troy NY

Honorable Mentions (9), $65:
  • Stopping By The Columbarium---Jackie Craven of Schenectady NY
  • Siobhan In Washington Park (age 46)---Sylvia Barnard of Albany NY
  • Argiope Aurantia---Pat Tompkins of San Mateo CA
  • American Woman---Lucia Cherciu of Poughkeepsie NY
  • Don’t Read This One Out Loud---Merisa Dion of Derry NH
  • A Brief History of Fun---Howard Kogan of Stephentown NY
  • Shipwreck---Joe Krausman of Menands NY
  • Earthquakes in Oklahoma---Lauren Elizabeth Delucchi of Washington DC
  • Nondescript---Ashley Hyun of Tenafly NJ

Other Finalists:

  • I loved you long before I even met you---Kirsten Textor of Lyngby, Denmark
  • To a Child at Enlightenment---J.C. Elkin of Annapolis MD
  • Winter Walk---Francis DiClemente of Syracuse NY
  • Let Me View Life-The Way the Heart Feels…---Jennifer Circosta of Campbell Hall NY
  • “all told”---Joel Best of Niskayuna NY
  • Inside the Picture Frame-For Aiyana Stanley-Jones---Keli Osborn of Eugene OR
  • Missing you---Carol Kloskowski of Christmas MI
  • Sad Nymph---Betsy Butcher of Iowa City IA
  • Richard Nixon Must Die (for all the victims of the War)---Dan Wilcox of Albany NY
  • Salt Is The Spice Of Life---Philip Good of East Nassau NY
  • modie badanov---Canon Pau of Los Angeles CA
  • On a Night With a Poet---Sally Rhoades of Albany NY
  • Meaning of Man---Erin Gillett of Los Angeles CA

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