Calling all poets: AWC announces annual poetry contest
Local poets who want to get their muse on will have a chance to do so during the Third Annual Arizona Western College Poetry Contest in honor of National Poetry Month. Poems are currently being accepted for the competition.
"My goal is to feature different voices every year and show different genres every year so people can understand that poetry is what people are thinking about," saidPorchia Moore, M.A., professor of English at AWC.
All types of poetry will be accepted including haikus, sonnets and limericks. Each contestant can submit three original works that have not been previously published. Entrants can also resubmit material from last year.
First place will receive $100, second place will get a $50 gift card to Barnes and Noble and third Place will get a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble.
For more information, or find out the deadline for poetry submission, send an e-mail to porchia. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Moore began the contest in 2007.
"I started it because I am a poet myself," she said. "I wanted to find where the poets were because I couldn't see any visible activity, so I thought this would be a good way to start some dialogue and build a community."
Moore said the poetry contest continues to gain strength each year.
"The first year we did it people were really reluctant to read, but last year was huge. We had a lot of community attendance. There were 25 to 35 people who signed up because they have a need for their voices to be heard. We had an open mic and anybody could come. We didn't know if anyone was going to participate but it became the highlight."
Moore said the open mic will return again this year.
"It was interesting last year because it was a multi-generational event. You had this young generation of poets who read their poems which talked about raw emotion and volatile subjects. It is fantastic to know the kids are writing poetry, which is important because they have something to say. There is a need for the kids to express themselves in the community."
There will be three poetry events this year at the college.
The first is a poetry workshop to be held on the main campus featuring poet Christopher Lane from NORAZ Poets, a nonprofit poetry organization based in Northern Arizona. Lane will hold a poetry workshop from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. on April 28. He will teach the importance of learning how to express yourself through poetic verse, and will give tips and keys on performance poetry.
During the second event on April 29, Lane and other slam poets will give a free poetry slam reading at AWC.
Moore said slam poetry is very energetic. A poetry slam is similar to a lively recital.
"It is kind of like your diary explodes in a hip-hop kind of way which can be political. There is a lot of shouting, and sing-song elements. It is dynamic and there is a lot of movement. It is very engaging. It is rooted in elements of hip-hop and drama theater. Hip-hop meets poetry, meets blues singing narrative."
The third event is the culminating celebration of the end of National Poetry Month and the announcement of the 3rd annual AWC Poetry Contest winners on May 3.
This year's award ceremony will feature international poetry prize-winning poet Lenard. D. Moore of North Carolina. Lenard will be reading from several of his prize-winning collections of verse. He has won many major haiku poetry awards in the world. This event is also free and open to the public.
"It is an extreme honor to have someone of Moore's caliber and fame agree to speak in Yuma," Moore said. "I'm hoping all of Yuma will come out for (the) events."
Chris McDaniel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6849.
POETRY CONTEST RULES
• Original works only
• Previous submissions acceptable
• Open to residents of Yuma and surrounding counties including Winterhaven
• All submissions must be submitted electronically to: email@example.com
• All works should be saved as a Word Document, Rich-Text Format (RTF)
• All ages welcome
• No previously published work
• All poems should be typed, single-spaced
• Includ full name and contact information in upper left corner
• No more than 3 poems per entrant
• One poem per page
• No single poem longer than 3 pages
• All rights revert back to author upon publishing
• If any of their poems are chosen as one of the top 10, the author should be prepared to read at least one of their pieces at the reading and announcement ceremonies.