Monday, July 22, 2019

Poetry News and Contests from State Poetry Societies

Poets Joe DeCenzo, Marlene Hitt, Maja Trochimczyk and Josephine 
at the Independence Day Parade in Sunland Tujunga, 2019. 

Poets enjoy sharing their poetry and listening to others. Probably that's why every week there are more open mike readings in town.  With one of my poetry groups, Village Poets of Sunland Tujunga, I organize monthly readings - held for the past 10 years on the fourth Sunday, mostly at Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga, sometimes in the former residence of California Poet Laureate John Steven McGroarty - McGroarty Arts Center. We also love participating in the Independence Day Parade, each year we have a banner and a decorated convertible. I enjoy giving out poems to the audience, lining the Foothill Blvd in Sunland on the 4th of July 2019. 

Here's our crew dressed up for the theme "Out of This World" with the Village Poets banner that was carried this year by poet Joe DeCenzo. Joe dressed up as a spaceman, while Marlene Hitt's slogan was "From Outer Space to Inner Space" as she presented the multitude of her poetry books. Susan Rogers rode in the convertible and I gave away postcards with America the Beautiful and my Independence-themed poems, such as the one below. I gave out over 500 poems, run out of postcards two-thirds of the way, so next year we'll print 800! We had 250 last year so we thought 500 would be enough... We  had so much fun in the most overdecorated convertible we ever rode in. Poets definitely know how to have fun! Maybe we should have CSPS participate in Independence Day Parades around the state next year? 

It is the summer, time to travel, enjoy nature. Poets travel far and wide, so we will be pleased to post here some of your wonderful travel photos with the California Quarterly!  Let's see the places that the CQ visited with you! 

The California State Poetry Society is a member of National Federation of State Poetry Societies that recently had its annual convention in New Mexico.  The NFSPS now publishes its newsletter online, so you can find more information about the Federation's activities on its website:


Annual Poetry Festival will take place on October 18-19. The 63nd Annual Poetry Festival will take place on October 18-19, 2019 at the Southwest Tennessee Community College, Macon Cove Campus
Room 141, Macon Academic Building B, 5983 Macon Cove, Memphis, Tennessee, 38134. Budd Mahan will be the  workshop leader on October 19, 2019.

There are many Contests for you to submit to.  The deadline is August 20 and there are 26 contests some of which are open to anyone, as listed below. 

• Postmarked by Tuesday, August 20, 2019. Please do not call or email to verify receipt. NO E-MAIL ENTRIES. • Members $10, Non-members $15. Contests #1 and #2 have additional fees per entry. Send check made payable to PST to: Lori Goetz, Contest Coordinator, 2153 Wood Creek Drive, Germantown, TN 38138. • Questions: JoAn Howerton, Festival Director, (901) 361-0077; E-mail: or Lori Goetz, Festival Coordinator, (901)-753-4385,

1. All categories are open to all poets except as otherwise indicated.
2. Your contest entries must be original and unpublished poems (except those entered in contest #2); the poem may not have won a cash prize in any poetry contest prior to the PST’s October 2019 Festival.
3. The same poem may not be entered in more than one category.
4. A poet cannot enter more than one poem in a single category (except for contests #1 and #2).
5. Contests #1 and #2 are open only to members of the Poetry Society of Tennessee; any number of poems can be submitted for $2/poem.
6. Contest #2 is the only contest which will accept previously published poems.
7. Entries which do not conform to these rules will be disqualified from this and future contests.
8. A poet may not send more than one envelope with entries; submittal of multiple envelopes will result in disqualification from this and future contests.

9. Type poems on standard, 8 ½” x 11” white paper; no handwritten poems will be accepted. Submit in 8 ½ x 11 or 9x12 envelopes; folded submissions will not be accepted.
10. Entries must be single spaced, in a readable font style and point size (11 or 12 point). Excessively large or small font will be disqualified. Staple two-page poems on upper left.
11. Submit two copies of every poem.
a. Show title and number of contest on the first copy, in the upper left.
b. On the second copy, show title and number of contest in the upper left. In the upper right, show the poet’s name, mailing address, e-mail address (if available), and PST Member or Non-Member.
12. If submitting a multi-page poem, staple both pages together. Do not use paperclips. Please put poet’s ID on both pages of the ID-ed copy.
13. Separate originals from duplicates and stack in numerical order (1-21) with originals on top; no paperclips. 
14. Honorable mentions are given as merited by the number of entries in each individual contest and the quality of the material submitted.
15. First place winners (except #2, which allows published poems) will be published in the PST yearbook, Tennessee Voices. All rights revert back to the poet following publication of Tennessee Voices. Purchase a copy:

All winners will be announced at PST’s 63rd Annual Poetry Festival, October 19, 2019. Winners will be posted on our webpage,, after the Festival. If you want to receive a copy of the winner’s list, enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope with your entry.

1 and 2 for Tennessee members only
3) Dr. Wanda Rider Memorial Award Sponsor: Marilyn Denington Form: Free Verse, 20-30 lines Subject: International Travel Prizes: $50/$35/$15 Instructions: None. 
4) Unrequited Contest Sponsor: Bill Howerton Form: Free Verse, 8-32 lines Subject: Love Unrequited Prizes: $50/$30/$20
5) PST-NE Chapter Prize Sponsor: PST-NE Form: Any, 50 lines max Subject: Any Prizes: $50/$35/$15 
6) On a Deceased Favorite Poet Sponsor: W. L. Huettel Form: Any, 20-40 lines Subject: A Deceased Poet Prizes: $50/$25/$25 Instructions: No current, live poets.
7) Rose Klix Award Sponsor: Howard S. Carman, Jr. Form: Any, 40 lines max Subject: Faith. Prizes: $65/$40/$25 
8) Connections Award Sponsor: Bill Howerton Form: Any, 5-25 lines Subject: Connections. Prizes: $50/$30/$20 
9) Citizens’ Climate Lobby Challenge Sponsor: Citizens’ Climate Lobby of Northeast Tennessee. Form: Any, 12-40 lines Subject: Climate change Prizes: $40/$20/$10 + 2 HM 
10) John R. Benish Memorial Award Sponsor: Dr. Diane M. Clark Form: Any, 20-40 lines. Subject: gloves (singular or plural) Prizes: $30/$20/$10 
11) Winklebleck Challenge Award Sponsor: Barbara Blanks Form: Sonnet (14-15 lines). Subject: Any Prizes: $30/$15/$10 + 1-3 HM if merited Instructions: Any sonnet form, but it must be in correct iambic pentameter. A two to 3 line epigraph is allowed and will not be included in line count.
12) In Honor of My 11 Grandchildren, Whose Love is Unconditional Sponsor: JoAn Howerton. Form: Any, 40 lines max Subject: Generation to Generation Prizes: $25/$15$/10. 
13) Letting Go Award Sponsor: Von Bourland Form: Any, 16-32 lines Subject: Letting Go
Prizes: $25/$15/$10 
14) The Undercover Contest Sponsor: Anonymous Form: Any, 40 lines max Subject: Any. Prizes: $25/$15/$10 
15) Try Something New Award Sponsor: Lori Goetz Form: Haibun or Tanka Prose, 30 line max Subject: Any Prizes: $25/$15/$10 
16) The Pat Smith Memorial Award Sponsor: Florence Bruce Form: Blank Verse, 20-40 lines Subject: Any Prizes: $20 + 1 HM Instructions: Unrhymed iambic pentameter.
17) Bobbie Drobeck Award Sponsor: Russell Strauss Form: Narrative Poem, 10-40 lines Subject: Your story must contain a reference to one of these popular drinks: beer, wine, coffee, tea, or
carbonated beverages. Prizes: $15/$10/$5
18) Family Ties Award Sponsor: Anna’s Pet Sitting Form: Any, 4-20 lines Subject: Family Prizes: $20/$15/$10 Instructions: None.
19) In Memory of Jo Elliott Sponsor: Pete Harris Form: Limerick, 5 lines Subject: Any Prizes: $25/$15/$10 Instructions: See Florence Bruce’s Blogspot for examples,
20) PST-Knoxville Award Sponsor: PST-Knoxville Form: Any, 25-40 lines Subject: Bridges (any interpretation) Prizes: $25/$15/$10 + HM as merited Instructions: Please specify form.
21) Dorsimbra Contest Sponsor: JoAn Howerton Form: Dorsimbra, 12 lines Subject: Family traditions Prizes: $25/$15/$10 Instructions: A dorsimbra is a 12-line poem consisting of (1) a quatrain of iambic pentameter rhyming abab; (2) a quatrain of “short and snappy” free verse, and (3) a
quatrain of blank verse (unrhymed iambic pentameter). The final (12th) verse is the same as the first line. See Florence Bruce’s Blogspot for examples: 
22) Joan T. and Sheron B. Strauss Award Sponsor: Russell Strauss Form/Subject: A classic Burma Shave Poem, rhymed, metered, and suitable for a series of road signs. Last line should read “Burma Shave”. Prizes: $15/$10/$5 Instructions: See Florence Bruce’s Blogspot for examples, 
23) Fibonacci Poem Award Sponsor: Gail Denham Form: Fibonacci Poem, 6 lines Subject: Any (humorous) Prizes: $20/$10/$5 Instructions: This form is divided into 6 lines, 20 syllables 
in total. 1-1-2-3-5-8, like the mathematical sequence from which it takes its name. Punctuation is optional. 
24) Time to Reflect Award Sponsor: Lori Goetz Form: Free Verse, 10-20 lines Subject: Divisions
Prizes: $25/$15/$10 
25) Personification Contest Sponsor: Florence Bruce Form: Any, 40 lines max Subject: Any — see requirement below Prizes: $20 + 1 HM Instructions: Must use personification wholly or in part.
More information is provided on Florence’s Blogspot,
26) In Memory of Dotty Katz Sponsor: Lynnie Mirvis Form: Any, 20 lines max Subject: The Color Purple Prizes: $15/$10/$5 



1. ASPS AWARD Any subject, Any form - 60 line limit.  Sponsor: Arizona State Poetry Society. Prize:  1st - $50, 2nd - $30, 3rd - $20

2.  LEGACY AWARD In honor of Priscilla White, former ASPS president. Form: Cinquain, Any subject conforming to 2-4-6-8-2. Sponsor:  Christy White. Prizes: 1st - $50, 2nd - $30, 3rd - $20

3.  LONG FREE VERSE Any Subject, Maximum 2 typewritten pages. Sponsor:  Molly Saty. 
Prizes: 1st - $50, 2nd - $30, 3rd - $20.

4.  SHORT FREE VERSE Theme: Desert Tracks. Any form – 32 line limit. Sponsor: Tucson Poetry Society. Prizes: 1st - $50, 2nd - $30, 3rd - $20

5.  NATURE ON THE EDGE. Any form – 32 line limit. Sponsor:  Scottsdale Mustang Poets. 
Prizes: 1st - $50, 2nd - $30, 3rd - $20

6.  TRADITIONAL RHYMING POETRY. Any subject – 32 line limit. Sponsor: Sun Cities Poetry Society. Prizes: 1st - $50, 2nd - $30, 3rd - $20

7.  SHAKESPEARE MATTERS.  Use two lines from any two of Shakespeare's work Any form – 14 lines or less. Sponsor:  Jeanne & Christopher Osgood. Prizes: 1st - $50, 2nd - $30, 3rd - $20

8. HUMOR Any form – 32 line limit Sponsor:  East Valley Poetry Society Prizes: 1st - $50, 2nd - $30, 3rd - $20 

9.  HAIKU ROUNDUP Any subject as long as it conforms to 5-7-5! Sponsor:  Stuart Watkins
Prizes: 1st - $50, 2nd - $30, 3rd - $20

 0. YOUNG POETS AWARD For 13 - 18 years old, original unpublished work Any form, Any subject. Sponsors: Walter & Regina Ralston. Prizes: 1st - $50, 2nd - $30, 3rd - $20

  • ELIGIBILITY:  Open to all
  • QUALIFICATIONS: Original, unpublished poems not currently submitted to other contest(s). Any number of poems may be entered in each category, but each individual poem may be submitted only once per entire contest. All entries need not be sent in at one time. Submissions without fees will be disqualified.
  • MAILED ENTRIES:  Each poem must have the following information in the Upper Right Corner: Category  #  and Title of Category. DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME OR ANY IDENTIFYING INFORMATION ON YOUR POEM! INCLUDE A PAGE LISTING POEM NAMES WITH THE FIRST LINE (We insist on the first line! Please!) AND YOUR NAME, ADDRESS, EMAIL, & PHONE NUMBER
  • FORMAT: Submit one clearly typed copy of each poem (in English only), on 8-1/2"x11" white paper, without lines/ no illustrations. Submit each poem on a separate page; no staples, unless an individual poem exceeds one page. Spaces or breaks between stanzas will not count as a line. Spaces or breaks for effect only will be counted as lines. Introductory or editorial remarks, quotations, dedications, etc. will be included in the total line count. For consistency poems should be submitted in Times New Roman 12.
  • ENTRY FEES: Category 1 thru 9 -- $3.00 US  per poem; Category 10 -- $1.00 US per poem, 13 - 18 years old
  •  DEADLINE: September 30, 2019, received by 11:59 pm. If mailing, send First Class or Priority Mail only (Not Registered or any form of delivery requiring signature). Mail entries and #10 (business) self-addressed stamped envelope to: Christy White, ASPS President 1145 E. Kaler Dr. Phoenix, AZ 85020
  • JUDGES: Qualified non-ASPS members. Decisions are final. List of judges to accompany results sent via SASE provided by contestant, at completion of competition, or posted online.
  • PRIZE WINNERS: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd winning poems will be published in the ASPS journal, Sandcutters. Winners receive ONE copy and award certificate. Sandcutters claims first publication rights. Honorable Mentions will be listed in Sandcutters. ASPS members receive Sandcutters as a benefit of membership.
  • ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS - SEND YOUR ENTRIES VIA EMAIL TO Send entries as Word Doc attachments. PUT ONLY THE CATEGORY ON THE POEM. EMAIL SUBJECT LINE: 2019 CONTEST ENTRY. BODY OF EMAIL:  Include your mailing address (if you win--we send a check! J ) Your phone number (so you can be reached, if needed, when we print your poem)  LIST POEM TITLES, FIRST LINE OF POEM, CATEGORIES, AND FEES SENT.  PAY YOUR FEES using PayPal on our website, Use 2019 CONTEST FEES. We will send a confirmation of poems received and fees paid.