June 16, 2019

Stephen A. DiBiase Poetry Contest Reading, June 8, 2019

Bob Sharkey
This was the 4th Annual Contest & reading from this best-poetry-contest-in-the-world.  I was pleased to be one of the Honorable Mentions again this year, & more pleased to be in the company of such great poets & poems. The contest is run by Bob Sharkey, who was the host of the reading this day at the Colonie Town Library. Bob said there were 405 entries, 145 from outside the USA, 18 from Nigeria among whom 5 were finalists.

As a way to invoke the Muse, Bob asked me to read my poem “Reading Dead Poets Listening to Live Jazz” that pays tribute to the gone poets Paul Pines & Harry Staley.

Richard Foerster
Four of the top winners were here to read their poems, Ken Holland, 1st Prize for “Habana;” Caroline Bardwell, 2nd Prize for “The Snowy Lean-To;” Mary Kathryn Jablonski, 3rd Prize for “On a Mission:” & Richard Foerster, from Eliot, Maine for “Double Going.” Other top prizes included the “International Award” which went to a high school student from Nigeria, Ikeonyia Mercy for “Self narration would kill the black women street code,” & the “Editor’s Choice” which went to Elena Croitoru from Kent, UK for “The Road to School No. 10.” Bob read both of their poems.

Besides myself, there were a number of Honorable Mentions & the poets to read them. Dan Curley, “The Night Tristan Jumped into Our Pool;” Annie Christain, “Heaven is a Soundstage Built to Make Drugged Soldiers More Fearless;” Elizabeth Zerbst, “Flower Hill;” & Mary Cuffe Perez, “Five Minutes of Poetry.” Three of the Honorable Mentions were represented by audio recordings of the poets reading their poems, “Flight Plan” by Jen Karetnick; “We Have Our Songs” by Maroula Blades; & “With An Army At Our Gates” by W. Luther Jett.

Susan Kress
There was also a category of Commended Poems. The poets present to read were Karen Fabiane, “Collars & Cuffs;” Thomas Bonville, “The Smoke;” & Danielle Colin, “Broke just like that.” Other Finalists who read were Roberta Gould, “Longevity: A Scientific Perspective;” Mimi Moriarty, “In the Dark;” Susan Kress, “Call Back;” & I had the distinct honor of being asked to read Howard Kogan’s “Imagination” with it’s fitting final line, “You say, Please, enough is enough! And the poem ends."

Keep your eye out for the announcement later this year about the 2020 contest & enter -- one poem, any style, any length, published or unpublished, & it's free to enter.

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