Word of the Month Challenge after 9 months

REMINDER: You still have time to vote for the June Hall of Fame Poet. We don’t shut off the polls until tonight at 10:00. Each month since October we have enjoyed a number of strong efforts and I think the poems in June rank very high on the list.

If you want to read the poems again before choosing your favorite, there is a line in red letters just above the ballot box (posted the 26th) that says to click on it to read all the poems for June.

Tomorrow we’ll announce the June Hall of Fame Poet and give you the word for July. I think you’ll like it.

We are wrapping up our first nine months of Word of the Month and I’m proud of what has happened. Thanks to you we’ve read 173 poems posted by 68 poets. Slightly more than half (37) of you have posted one poem so far.

Three of you (Liz Korba, Mary Nida Smith, and Steven Withrow) have posted at least one poem in all nine months! Three others (Beth Carter, Janet Gallagher, and Barbara Turner) have missed only once and two (Tracie Stohr-Hunt and Jackie Huppenthal) have posted seven times.

I think these are remarkable numbers which, collectively, represent a treasury of poetry that continues to grow with each passing month. My hat is off to everyone and the invitation is always out for others to join in the monthly exercise of creating a poem inspired by a single word.

Thanks everyone,
David

Places to visit during April Poetry Month

I know that many of you enjoyed my guest yesterday, Nile Stanley. There is always something new to learn and Dr. Stanley is a good teacher. Nile, thank you.

Last year during the month of April, Tricia Stohr-Hunt wrote a series entitled Poetry Makers. Each day she posted an interview with a children’s poet. By the way, not everyone might know that our friend and frequent contributor to the Word of the Month challenge is also Dr. Patricia M. Stohr-Hunt, Chair, Education Department, University of Richmond, VA.This year Tricia is continuing with her interviews and began posting the results yesterday on her blog site, which you can find at http://missrumphiuseffect.blogspot.com/search/label/poetry%20makers . Go there if you want to enjoy an entire month of poets, poems, and interviews. Thank you, Tricia, for bringing this all together for us to enjoy.

Another busy person is Greg Pincus, as in http://gottabook.blogspot.com , http://www.thehappyaccident.net , and http://twitter.com/gregpincus
Last year Greg celebrated Poetry Month by introducing a series of 30 poets, beginning with Jack Prelutsky on April 1, ending with Pat Mora, and throwing in a few “beginners” like Jane Yolen, Nikki Grimes, Janet Wong, Pat Lewis, Mary Ann Hoberman, and 23 other fine poets along the way. You can read about last year’s poets and enjoy their work at: http://gottabook.blogspot.com/2009/03/announcing-30-poets30-days.html

This year Greg is back featuring another lineup of 30 poets. He says that his goal is to create an event that gets attention outside of just committed poetry fans and offers something of value (and fun!) too. The fun began April 1 with Alice Schertle and continued on April 2 with Joseph Bruchac. As Greg says, “I hope you’ll join in the celebration.”

This just in from Ralph and Lisa in England:
Hi David,
A quick note to tell you that the response to the launch of smories.com has been nothing short of overwhelming, and we have had fantastic submissions from across the globe. We want to thank you for helping us spread the word – which of course we appreciate.

We will be announcing the 50 shortlisted stories for the March competition on the 5th of April. On the 1st of May, films of these stories will go live on the website.The April competition is now open until the end of the month. The format is slightly different this time:We will have 5 prizes:

First Prize: US$500
Second Prize: US$400
Third Prize: US$300
Fourth Prize: US$200
Fifth Prize: US$100

Stories will be restricted to 750 words.

Please take a look at the site for further info.

As ever, we welcome your feedback.

Best wishes,

– Ralph & Lisa
http://www.smories.com/
More Stories at Smories

Mark your calendars for one week from today, April 10, when Beth Carter will be signing books from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. at Borders in Springfield, Missouri. I asked Beth about the book and this is what she told me.

The book is a compilation of 1,000 six-word memoirs and is entitled IT ALL CHANGED IN AN INSTANT, memoirs from authors famous and obscure. It’s sold on Amazon.com and will be at Borders and Barnes & Noble soon.The book was edited by Smith and is published by Harper. It includes memoirs from famous authors like the late Frank McCourt, Amy Tan and James Frey, as well as memoirs from Pulitzer Prize winners and several celebrities like Marlee Matlin, The Fonz, Ann Coulter, and many others). I attended the last leg of the tour in NYC a few weeks ago and got to read onstage. Quite exciting.Smith received over 200,000 submissions worldwide so I’m quite honored to have been selected. In fact, I’m the only one with two memoirs in the book, according to the editors, and one of mine is on page one!P.S. Another person in this book is celebrity Bob Barker. Contains memoirs from Dave Barry, and many celebs like Marlo Thomas, Neil Patrick Harris, Marlee Matlin, Molly Ringwald, Dr. Oz, Kenny G, Melissa Ethridge and many more.Congratulations, Beth. I hope your fingers get cramped signing on April 10!

David

The week at a glance

BULLETIN: Somehow a humorous poem by Percy Bisque Silley managed to get sidetracked in my system and just surfaced even though the poem was submitted ten days before the cutoff for March. My sincere apologies to the poet! I’ve just added Percy’s poem to the ballot box: “If Life Had a Wife.” Please give this poem a read under the WOM page. I’ll add it to the “Click to Read” box this afternoon.

On a sadder note, 4th grader Taylor McGowan’s poem, “Life,” didn’t arrive until three days after cutoff so we can’t vote on it with the other young poet offerings, but that won’t keep us from reading and enjoying Taylor’s poem. Please check it out under the Young Poet’s page.

First, I want to thank Pat Lewis for his excellent and thought-provoking article yesterday. Judging from comments, I’d say that many of you agree that Pat not only writes beautifully but he has much to tell us about the craft. If you haven’t had a chance to leave a comment for Pat, I hope you’ll do it. Pat and all others who have graced my Friday blogs over the past months have given up time from their own work to contribute here and I know they appreciate hearing from you.

Next, please don’t forget that Rebecca Dotlich will join us on April 16 and she has asked for questions in advance. You can contact Rebecca directly by going to her website at http://www.rebeccakaidotlich.com/ or scroll to the bottom of my announcement of her scheduled appearance (March 22) and leave questions in the comment section.

As you know, I think that part of the fun in seeing so many poems and comments on this page is to determine where they come from. In fits and spurts, I send out notes of inquiry. Some of you prefer your anonymity; others feel comfortable telling me your location. I haven’t checked for the last two months, during which we’ve been joined by a good many new voices. Here’s what I knew in January. If your state or country isn’t included and you would like to add to the information, please let me know. Thanks.

States and Countries Represented
In Word of the Month Poetry Challenge
January, 2010

Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Florida
Indiana
Maryland
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
Ohio
Oregon
Rhode Island
Virginia

England
Malaysia
Philippines.
South Africa
Sri Lanka

A reminder that voting is now going on for March’s Hall of Fame Poets (see the ballot boxes posted March 25) and that you can vote once for your choice in each of the two groups: adult poets and young poets. If you are joining us for the first time, the rule is that no one can win the title twice during the same twelve month period ending this September. Previous winners are welcome to contribute poems each month, and their fans and supporters can certainly vote for them, but they can only be recognized once until the next cycle begins.

In the adult poets division, our previous Monthly Hall of Fame Poets are Mimi Cross, Liz Korba, Linda Kulp, Steven Withrow, and Beth Carter. Monthly Hall of Fame Young Poets are Alyssa Kirch, Claire Scott, Priya Shah, John Sullivan, and Megan Barnett.

David