Best Resources for Poets and WritersWinning Writers
IN THIS ISSUE

War Poetry Contest Winners Announced

Recent Honors for Our Subscribers

Recent Publication Credits for Our Subscribers

The Best Free Poetry Contests, November-December

Notable Free Prose Contests, November-December

Calls for Submissions

New Literary Resources

New Recommended Book

Advertise in This Newsletter

Critique of Karen Winterburn's "Call Out of Exile"

Newsletter Archives


QUICK TIPS

Not getting our email messages reliably?
See this guide to recovering email caught in sp@m filters if you use AOL, Earthlink, MSN, Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail. We use and recommend Webmail.us for reliable email service. It's the best answer to sp@m we've seen yet.

Want to make the text on our web pages (or any other web page) larger or smaller?
We recommend using the Firefox browser, available at no charge. Learn more about Firefox.


One of the "101 Best Websites for Writers" (Writer's Digest, 2005-2007)

WINNING WRITERS NEWSLETTER
November 2007


Send this page to a friend
We'll donate 15 cents to literacy


Welcome to our November newsletter. This is the companion to our online database, The Best Free Poetry Contests. It alerts you to upcoming contests and important contest changes, highlights quality resources for writers, and announces achievements and great poems by our readers.

Lost one of our newsletters? Message garbled in transmission? Not to worry. All our recent newsletters are posted online at http://www.winningwriters.com/news

______________________

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest
Postmark Deadline: March 31, 2008
Now in its 16th year. Fourteen cash prizes totaling $5,250 will be awarded, including a top prize of $2,000. Submit any type of short story, essay or other work of prose, up to 5,000 words. You may submit work that has been published or won prizes elsewhere, as long as you own the online publication rights. $12 entry fee. Submit online or by mail. Early submission encouraged. Winning Writers is assisting with entry handling for this contest. Judges: John H. Reid and Dee C. Konrad. See the complete guidelines and past winners.

Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest - No Fee
Online Submission Deadline: April 1, 2008
Winning Writers invites you to enter the seventh annual Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest, called "infamous" by Writer's Digest. Fifteen cash prizes totaling $3,336.40 will be awarded, including a top prize of $1,359. There is no fee to enter. Judge: Jendi Reiter. See the complete guidelines and past winners.

Now Open
Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse - $5,250 in Cash Prizes
Postmark Deadline: June 30, 2008
Now in its fifth year, this contest seeks poetry in traditional verse forms such as sonnets and free verse. Both published and unpublished poems are welcome. Fourteen cash prizes totaling $5,250 will be awarded, including a top prize of $2,000. The entry fee is $6 for every 25 lines you submit. Submit online or by mail. Early submission encouraged. This contest is sponsored by Tom Howard Books and assisted by Winning Writers. Judges: John H. Reid and Dee C. Konrad. See the complete guidelines and past winners.

______________________


Kyle McDonald
WAR POETRY CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Winning Writers is pleased to announce the results from its sixth annual War Poetry Contest. 840 entries were received from around the world. Kyle McDonald of Toronto, Ontario won first prize and $2,000 for his poem "The Rose of Ilium". Modeled on Alexander Pope's adaptation of the Iliad, this poem portrays a fateful battle between the Greek hero Achilles and the Amazon queen Penthesilea, who is fighting for the Trojans.

Judge Jendi Reiter comments, "I was immensely pleased to find such skilled formal poets among this year's entrants. The winning authors did not simply imitate outworn romantic styles, but engaged with the classical tradition on a sophisticated level and made it their own. Not content with technical virtuosity for its own sake, they carefully chose (or invented) forms that fit the tone and subject matter of their poems. Musicality is not only the concern of formalists, however. Whether formal or free verse, the winning poems were chosen for their beautiful language and authoritative voice."

Second prize went to Julian Damanas of Atlanta, GA for "Gasoline", an apocalyptic allegory of the clash of nations over the world's dwindling oil resources. Aliene Pylant of Flower Mound, TX won third prize for her poem "Girl in the Fire", in which a backyard bonfire ignites a young girl's crisis of faith that humanity can ever overcome its potential for violence.

Twelve Honorable Mentions and 14 finalists were also chosen, bringing the total awards to $5,000. Read the winning poems and the judge's complete comments here. Read the press release.

New Contest Now Open
War Poetry Contest - $5,000 in Cash Prizes
Postmark Deadline: May 31, 2008
We seek 1-3 original, unpublished poems on the theme of war for our seventh annual contest, up to 500 lines in total. We will again award $5,000, including a top prize of $2,000. Submit online or by mail. The entry fee is $15. Judge: Jendi Reiter. See the complete guidelines and past winners.

______________________


WINNING WRITERS EDITOR WINS AWARD FROM JUKED
Jendi Reiter has won an Honorable Mention in the 2007 Juked Fiction and Poetry Prizes. Her poems "Confession" and "The Opposite of Pittsburgh" will be published in Issue #5. In other news, her poem "Zeal" was recently accepted for the 2008 issue of FULCRUM, and her poem "Delivered" will appear in the prose-poem issue of the online journal Poemeleon in December.

RECENT HONORS FOR OUR NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIBERS
Congratulations to Maureen Sherbondy. Her second poetry chapbook, Praying at Coffee Shops, is available for preorder from Main Street Rag. You can preorder directly from the publisher for a discounted price of $6.00 if you order prior to March 3, 2008 via their Coming Soon page. After March 3, the price will be $8.00. Read a sample from Praying at Coffee Shops here. Read poems from Ms. Sherbondy's other Main Street Rag chapbook, After the Fairy Tale, here.

Congratulations to Janet Leigh Dowd. Her poem "Dry Bones in Minnesota" won second prize in the 2007 Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest. Read it here. Offered each summer, this contest from one of our favorite writing-resource sites awards a percentage of entry fees to the top three winners (this year's prizes were $411, $246.60 and $164.40). In addition, all entrants receive free books or other poetry-related products from the contest's many sponsors.

Congratulations to Holly Guran. Her chapbook River Tracks has been published by Poets Corner Press. The next poetry chapbook contest deadline from this California-based small press will be March 1, 2008.

RECENT HONORS FOR POETRY CONTEST INSIDER SUBSCRIBERS
Congratulations to Atar Hadari. His poem "When" won the 2007 Daniel Varoujan Prize from the New England Poetry Club. This contest awards $1,000 for an unpublished poem worthy of Daniel Varoujan, a poet killed by the Turks in the genocide which destroyed three-fourths of the Armenian population. NEPC offers a variety of annual contests for members and nonmembers. The most recent deadline was June 30.

Congratulations to Lesley Wheeler. Her chapbook Scholarship Girl will be published this December by Finishing Line Press, a well-regarded independent press where quite a few Winning Writers subscribers have recently placed manuscripts. Ms. Wheeler says, "I discovered them through your service." She has also just received an Individual Artist Fellowship in Poetry from the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

Congratulations to Erica Lehrer. She writes, "The past few months have been fruitful ones: I was selected as one of the juried poets/featured readers at this October's Houston Poetry Fest. My poem 'February' was published in the 2008 Texas Poetry Calendar (Dos Gatos Press, 2007). I also had a poem, '1554.8', selected for inclusion in The Texas Poetry Anthology (Mutabilis Press, 2007) to be released later this year. In March, my poem 'When the Party Ends' won first prize in the Gulf Coast Poet's 'Cowboy Boots and High Heels' contest. I had a poem win a third prize in this fall's Dancing Poetry Contest from Artists Embassy International. And two of my poems—'Wheels' and 'Elegy for Anna, a Lapsed Vegetarian'—recently were published by The Poetry Revolt, a new online and print poetry journal with a progressive mission."

Congratulations to Marvin Lurie. His poem "The Birthright, According to Esau" won fourth prize in the Poet's Choice category of the Oregon State Poetry Association Fall 2007 Contest. This twice-yearly contest offers awards up to $100 in various categories; the next deadline is February 29.

RECENT PUBLICATION CREDITS FOR OUR SUBSCRIBERS
Kathy Abrahams' poem "Soul Dawning" has been selected for publication in the Christian Poetry Association's poetry anthology The Greatest Gift, due out in March 2008.

Harrison Solow's essay "Bendithion" was published in the October issue of AGNI, with accompanying musical CD, for the first time in the history of this acclaimed journal. The CD features Welsh tenor Timothy Evans' American recording debut.

Vera Spitz has had three poems published on the website Why Are We In Iraq? Their titles are "Before the Gravestone", "Religions and Politics", and "You Promised to Return".


______________________


TRY POETRY CONTEST INSIDER
If you enjoy using The Best Free Poetry Contests, consider upgrading to Poetry Contest Insider. The Best Free Poetry Contests profiles the 150 or so poetry contests that are free to enter. With your Poetry Contest Insider subscription, you'll get access to all of our 750+ poetry contest profiles, plus over 300 of the best fiction and essay contests. Search and sort contests by deadline, prize, fee, recommendation level and more. Access to Poetry Contest Insider is just $6.95 per quarter, with a free 10-day trial at the start. Cancel at any time.

Most contests charge entry fees. You can easily spend hundreds of dollars and many hours entering these contests each year. Don't waste your time or money. Out of hundreds of contests, there might only be two or three dozen that are especially appropriate for your work. We help you find them fast. Interviews and links to award-winning work help you refine your craft. Learn more about Poetry Contest Insider.
Our customers say...

"I love using winningwriters.com. I send poems and manuscripts out to probably 20 contests each month from your listings... I recommend it to all my writer friends and students, too. I donít see how a writer can live without it. It's like air or water."
Tom Lombardo, Georgia; Editor-in-Chief, MD Writers

"Your website is invaluable: definitely the best around. I have benefited greatly from the database of contests. Thank you and keep up the fantastic work!... Last year I received first prize in both the Dorothy Prizes and the Room of One's Own poetry competition—both of which I learned of through your database."
Vicki Duke, Alberta, Canada

See more testimonials here, plus coverage of Winning Writers in Writer's Digest and The Writer, or start your trial now.

_______________________________________________
______________________



THE BEST FREE POETRY CONTESTS
Deadlines: November 16-December 31

Here is a summary of upcoming free poetry contests. Click the contest names to be taken directly to their profiles (you may be asked to login on your first click of the day). You may also view the profiles by logging in to The Best Free Poetry Contests here and clicking the Find Free Contests link to search for contests by name.

Forgot your password? Need a password?
Please go to http://www.winningwriters.com/forgot_password.php
We will email your password to you within minutes.

Winning Writers gathers contest information from a wide variety of sources including publishers' press releases, online link directories, Poets & Writers Magazine, and e-newsletters such as TOTAL FundsforWriters, The Practicing Writer, and CRWROPPS. We encourage readers to explore these useful resources, and let us know about worthwhile contests we may have missed.

11/30: Arts Council England South West Poetry Competition +
Entries must be received by this date
Neutral free contest from the South West regional office of Arts Council England offers 500 pounds and online publication for poems about food, nature, or the South West region of England. Maximum one poem, 250 lines or less. Enter by email only.

11/30: Charlotte Newberger Prize for Poetry +
Formerly December 30
Neutral free contest offers $150 for unpublished poems touching on the experience of Jewish women. Send 1-3 poems, maximum 100 lines each. Sponsored by LILITH, a Jewish feminist magazine.

11/30: Daily News Prize +
Neutral free contest offers $300 for the best poem accepted by The Caribbean Writer during this year. All eligible submissions to the magazine are also considered for the David Hough Literary Prize for an author residing in the Caribbean ($500), the Marguerite Cobb McKay Prize for a Virgin Islands author ($200), and the Charlotte & Isidor Paiewonsky Prize for first-time publication ($200). Send 1-5 unpublished poems, double-spaced. The Caribbean should be central to the work, or the work should reflect a Caribbean heritage, experience or perspective. Email entries accepted.

11/30: Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers +++
Entries must be received by this date
Highly recommended free contest for high school sophomores and juniors throughout the world. Prize is tuition to The Kenyon Review's two-week summer seminar for writers aged 16-18; winner and runners-up also published in the highly prestigious journal. Submit one poem via their online form.

12/1: Anna Davidson Rosenberg Awards for Poems on the Jewish Experience ++
Recommended free contest offers $2,500 in prizes, divided among 1st, 2nd, and Honorable Mentions, for poems about the Jewish experience. You may enter 1-3 poems, maximum 10 pages total. Submit 4 copies of your entry. Sponsored by the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco.

12/1: Atlantic Monthly Student Writing Contest +++
Highly recommended free contest for full-time college or graduate students at a US institution of higher education offers prizes up to $1,000 each for poetry, fiction, and essays (personal or journalistic). Sponsored by The Atlantic Monthly, a venerable journal of politics and culture. Entries should be 1-3 poems or one prose piece up to 7,500 words. One entry per person per genre.

12/1: Northern California Book Reviewers Awards +
Entries must be received by this date
Neutral free contest offers a certificate, publicity, award ceremony and reading for the best books of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and children's literature published in the current year by Northern California authors. Send 3 copies of book. Contest sponsor was formerly known as the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association (BABRA), changed in 2005 to the Northern California Book Reviewers (NCBR).

12/1: Poetry Center at Smith College High School Prize ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended free contest offers $500 for the best poem by a high school sophomore or junior girl in Massachusetts. One poem per person, 25 lines maximum. Winner and three finalists will read their poems at Smith College in Northampton, MA with the contest judge, a well-known poet. 2007 judge is Sharon Olds. Enter by email only. See website for rules and required entry form.

12/14: Rider University's High School Writing Contest +
Neutral free contest offers prizes up to $100 in each genre for poetry, fiction and essays by high school students. Prose entries should be 5 double-spaced pages maximum, poems 50 lines maximum. One entry per person per genre. Sponsor is a liberal arts college in New Jersey.

12/15: Grant MacEwan Author's Award ++
Entries must be received by this date
Free recommended contest offers C$25,000 for the best book published during the current year by a living Alberta resident. Award honors the late Dr. Grant MacEwan, who wrote more than fifty books on subjects including nature, folklore, agriculture, politics, environment, literature, history and the people of Alberta. The prize will be given to the Alberta author whose book best reflects Alberta and/or Dr. MacEwan's interests. English and French entries accepted; for translations, both author and translator must live in Alberta. Writers should send 4 copies of book, entry form, CV and cover letter. Must be received by Noon local time on deadline date.

12/20: Somerset Maugham Awards +++
Entries must be received by this date
Highly recommended free contest for published books of poetry and prose offers stipend of up to 6,000 pounds for foreign travel. Entrants must be UK residents and British subjects by birth, and under age 35 as of December 31. The work submitted may be poetry, fiction, criticism, biography, history, philosophy, belles-lettres or a travel book. Dramatic works are not eligible. Entries in all genres compete for one prize.

12/21: California Book Awards ++
Recommended free contest for published books whose authors lived in California when the work was written. $2,000 and gold medal for poetry, fiction and nonfiction, plus several prizes of $300 and silver medal in various genres. Poetry winners have been established writers. Entries must have been published during the current calendar year. Author or publisher should send 5 copies of book plus a completed entry form.

12/21: Poetry Society of America Awards +++
Formerly December 23
These highly recommended contests on various themes, with prizes up to $1,000, are free to Poetry Society of America members. We highly recommend joining ($45 per year, $25 for students). For nonmembers, $15 fee covers all contests for which you are eligible. One entry per person per contest.

12/25: Karen Fredericks and Frances Willitts Poetry Prize +
Entries must be received by this date
Neutral free contest offers $350 and online publication for unpublished poems of any length. One entry per person. Submit by email only. Sponsor hotmetalpress is an online journal that has published such authors as Arthur Powers, Bobbi Dykema Katsanis, Juliet Eastland and Lynn Veach Sadler.

12/30: Puffin Foundation Artist Grants ++
Formerly December 15
Recommended contest offers grants of $1,000-$2,500 to emerging artists in the fields of art, music, theater, dance, photography, and literature whose works due to their genre and/or social philosophy might have difficulty being aired. US citizens and permanent residents only. Send SASE for application packet. Application will include an entry form, project description and goals, budget, biographical information, and either a small work sample or references.

12/31: Euphoria Annual Poetry Contest +
Entries must be received by this date
Neutral free contest offers $100 and online publication for the best set of 1-5 poems, 50 lines maximum per poem. Submit by email only. Previously published poems accepted. Best for emerging writers.

12/31: Familia Books Writing Contest +
Neutral free contest offers prizes up to $500 for prose, $100 for poetry, on the theme "Things Mother Taught Me". Winners published in anthology. Fifty percent of the profits from the book will be donated to shelters for mothers and their children escaping from abusive relationships. Entries should reflect life's lessons learned from one's mother, regarding values, ethics, relationships. They should be generally positive, but may explore areas of disagreement or conflict with one's mother. Maximum 3,000 words.

12/31: Franklin-Christoph Poetry Contest +
Neutral free contest offers top prize of $1,000 for unpublished poems, 100 lines maximum. Sponsor Franklin-Christoph is a manufacturer of fine pens and luxury items. Five runners-up receive fountain pens worth $290 or a same-price FC product of their choice. Maximum 3 poems per entrant. Enter by mail or email.

12/31: Griffin Prize For Excellence In Poetry +++
Highly recommended free contest offers two prizes of C$50,000 for poetry books published in the current calendar year. One prize will go to a living Canadian poet or translator, the other to a living poet or translator from any country (including Canada). See website for detailed eligibility rules. Publisher should send 4 copies of book plus a press packet. This is probably the most lucrative poetry prize around, as well as one of the most prestigious.

12/31: Harold Morton Landon Translation Award +++
Highly recommended free contest from the Academy of American Poets offers $1,000 for the best book of poetry in translation published in the US during the current calendar year. Translator must be a living US citizen. 3 copies of book should be submitted by publisher.

12/31: Merton Prize for Poetry of the Sacred ++
Recommended free contest offers top prize of $500 and publication for an unpublished poem of 100 lines maximum that "expresses, directly or indirectly, a sense of the holy or that, by its mode of expression, evokes the sacred. The tone may be religious, prophetic, or contemplative." Send by mail, email or fax.

12/31: Ohioana Poetry Award: Helen & Laura Krout Memorial ++
Recommended contest offers $1,000 to an Ohio poet for a body of published work that has made, and continues to make, a significant contribution to poetry, and through whose work as a writer, teacher, administrator, or in community service, interest in poetry has been developed. Award is by nomination only. Nominees must have been born in Ohio or lived there for at least 5 years.

12/31: Raiziss/de Palchi Translation Award +++
Highly recommended free contest from the Academy of American Poets alternates between a $20,000 fellowship for translators of 20th-century Italian poetry to complete a work-in-progress (even-numbered years), and a $5,000 prize for published books of English translations of 20th-century Italian poetry (odd-numbered years). US citizens only.

12/31: William Carlos Williams Poetry Competition +
Free neutral contest for students of medicine or osteopathy in the US and Canada offers prizes of $300, $200, $100 for a poem on any subject. Winners invited to read at Northeast Ohio Universities College of Medicine in April, possibly published in scholarly journal. Submit 1-3 poems, maximum 750 words each.


Login to The Best Free Poetry Contests now to view these and all our profiles of free contests. You can browse contests by deadline date, name, recommendation level and more.

Key to Ratings
Highly Recommended: +++
Recommended: ++
Neutral: +

All deadlines are postmark deadlines unless otherwise specified.


_______________________________________________
______________________


SPONSORS' MESSAGES


Debut PressCalling for Submissions to Debut Press
Debut Press is calling for submissions for themed chapbook contests. We are seeking verse that is strong in imagery, metaphor and simile. The entry may be of any experience level, but must follow a story line or stream of consciousness. Current themes include:
  • Christian Poetry Contest: The Testimony
  • Human Experience: Life Lessons
  • War Poetry Contest: A Soldier's Journey
  • Romantic Poetry: Soft Music and Candlelight
Submit online with a reading fee of $5 US per poem, payable via PayPal. The maximum line limit is 30 lines for your poetry. Please include your contact information within the poem file. File extensions are: *.txt, *.doc, *.rtf, *.mcw, *.wps

The first place winner in each contest receives ten chapbooks. Second place receives five chapbooks, and third place receives three chapbooks. Please visit our website at http://www.debutpress.com/contests.php to learn more.



BlueCat Screenplay Competition
BlueCat Screenplay Competition—Call for Entries
Postmark Deadline: December 1 (early bird)
We are pleased to announce the BlueCat Screenplay Competition is open for entries of feature-length scripts for our tenth year!
  • Grand Prize: $10,000
  • Four Finalists: $1,500 each
  • Every contestant receives a written script analysis
Early Bird Script Analysis
All screenplays submitted by December 1 will receive their analysis by January 5

Entry fee $50

SUBMIT NOW: http://www.bluecatscreenplay.com

Since 1998, BlueCat has become the screenwriter's screenplay contest, with unmatched and genuine support for all writers. More community than contest, BlueCat writers rally, stopping, listening and looking for their space to grow as screenwriters.

BlueCat Screenplay Competition
Hollywood, CA 90038
www.bluecatscreenplay.com
www.myspace.com/bluecatscreenplay



Dream Quest OneClosing Next Month
Dream Quest One Writing Competition
Postmark Deadline: December 31
This writing contest is open to everyone! Whether experienced or not, anyone who loves to arrange words into beautiful art or write a story that's worth telling. We're accepting poems, 30 lines or fewer on any subject, and short stories, 5 pages maximum on any theme (single or double line spacing). Multiple entries welcome.

Prizes
Short Story First Prize: $500, 2nd: $250, 3rd: $100
Poetry First Prize: $250, 2nd: $125, 3rd: $50

Entry fees
$10 per story
$5 per poem

How to Enter
Send your work with a cover page that lists the title(s) of your poem(s)/story(ies), name, address, phone number, and email address, along with a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) for entry confirmation. Make your entry fee payable to "Dreamquestone.com" and mail to Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest, P.O. Box 3141, Chicago, IL 60654. Visit www.dreamquestone.com for details and to enter. Read the winning entries from the Summer 2007 contest.



Closing Next Month The Litchfield Review
The Litchfield Review Writing Contest
Postmark Deadline: December 31
We seek poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction for our semi-annual magazine competition. Prose entries should be 3,000 words or less. Poetry entries may be of any length.

To be considered for both publication and a cash prize, please enclose $10 with each essay, short story, or set of 1-3 poems. Enclose $15 and you may submit an unlimited number of entries. Mail your manuscripts to:

     The Litchfield Review
     7 Bonna Street
     Beacon Falls, CT 06403

For more information and news about our ongoing writing contests, please check our website, www.thelitchfieldreview.com, or contact Theresa C. Vara at tvdannen@sbcglobal.net.



Grayson BooksNow Open
Grayson Books Poetry Chapbook Competition
Postmark Deadline: January 16, 2008
Prize: $500, publication of chapbook and 50 copies
Reading fee: $15
Submit: 16-24 pages of poetry, two cover sheets (one with contact information and one anonymous). Include a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) if you would like to receive the results.

Simultaneous submissions are permissible if we are notified immediately upon acceptance elsewhere.

This year's judge is Norah Pollard, former editor of Connecticut River Review and author of the poetry collections Leaning In and Report from the Banana Hospital. About her father, she writes, "Red Pollard was a complex man. He could be very melancholy, but he was also a witty, funny man. And he could be very rowdy. He may have had a wiry, slight build, but his person was larger than life. When he came home from long times away, our little lives were infused with his exuberance. The poem 'Red Rider, Red Rider' suggests my fatherís spirit, the spirit I loved—indomitable, feisty, melancholy, human."

Mail your entry and fee to:
Grayson Books
P.O. Box 270549
West Hartford, CT 06127
Grayson Books believes that readers want alternatives to the formulaic books often produced by the major publishing houses. We publish a small selection of quality literature and nonfiction, with an emphasis on contemporary American poetry, as well as books about family issues, relationships, and educational issues. Learn more on the web at www.graysonbooks.com.



Black ZinniasThe Robert Greer Cohn Prose Poetry Award
Postmark Deadline: February 15, 2008
California Institute of Arts and Letters is pleased to announce the Robert Greer Cohn Prose Poetry Award in honor of Professor Robert G. Cohn's lifetime of work dedicated to literature and poetry. Professor Cohn worked primarily in the field of French Literature, writing over 16 books, numerous articles, and essays focusing on the life and work of Mallarmť, a major book on Rimbaud, and several books of cultural criticism. While a student at Yale University, just after World War II, Professor Cohn founded the highly regarded literary journal Yale French Studies. See his blog.

The winning poet will receive $300, plus the editors at California Institute of Arts and Letters will then work with the poet to select up to ten additional unpublished poems (prose poems or verse poems) from the winning poet's body of work for publication in a limited edition chapbook. The winning poem will also be featured in a future edition of the journal Black Zinnias.

Submit two copies of the poem on separate pages. One copy must include your contact information (name, mailing address, phone number, email address) with your poem, the other copy should have only your poem. Appropriate length of poems: 500 words or less, or one page of approximately 50 lines single-spaced or less. All poets are welcome to submit whether previously published or not. The poem submitted must not have been previously published. Please enclose a SASE for contest results and a SAS postcard for notification of receipt of poem. The results will be announced by March 31, 2008.

Enclose a reading fee of $10 per poem, payable by check to California Institute of Arts and Letters, and mail with your submissions to:
California Institute of Arts and Letters
Robert G. Cohn Prose Poetry Award
3057 Sacramento Street, No. 18
San Francisco, CA 94115
For more information, please visit our website at www.calartsandletters.org.



Robert Frost Poetry Festival 14th Annual Key West Robert Frost Poetry Festival and Contests
Contest Postmark Deadline: March 24, 2008
The 2008 Key West Robert Frost Poetry Festival & Contests will be held during April 9-13, 2008. The festival, set in the Heritage House Garden, Robert Frost Cottage, and other select venues in Key West, again will feature poetry and haiku workshops, poetry and haiku readings, impromptu jazz and open mike, an art & film event, poetry on the water, a poetry slam, a visual poetry exhibit, and local and international poetry and haiku contests. The festival concludes on Sunday afternoon with readings and contest award ceremonies.

Featured are Dr. Michael Wyndham Thomas, England, Playwright, Author and Poet, Rosalind Brackenbury, Key West, Author and Poet, Dr. Lee Gurga, Editor of Modern Haiku Press, Dr. Charles Trumbull, Editor of Modern Haiku, Cricket Desmarais, Key West, Author, Dancer, and Poet, Catherine Doty, New York, Author and Poet, Barry George, Philadelphia, Haijin and Poet, Richard Grusin, Key West, Actor and Poet, Bob Muens, Key West, Bookbinder.

I. KWRFPF Poetry Contest: 1st Place $150, 2nd Place $75, 3rd Place $50, and Honorable Mentions. Entry fees are $10 for each poem. Unpublished, open to style and theme, 30 lines maximum, typed copy. Two copies of each poem, with your name, address, phone and/or email on one copy only.

II. KWRFPF Haiku Contest: 1st Place $100, 2nd Place $50, 3rd Place $25, and Honorable Mentions. Entry fees are $10 for each three haiku; 3-line format of up to 17 or fewer syllables. All haiku must contain a seasonal or nature image. Two copies of each entry typed or neatly written, with your name, address, phone and/or email on one copy only.

Make checks payable to KWRFPF. Mail entries to KWRFPF Poetry & Haiku Contests, Heritage House, 410 Caroline Street, Key West, FL 33040. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) if you would like to receive an announcement of the results. Chapbooks of winning poems and haiku from 1999-2005 and from 2006-2007 are available for $5.00 each, including S&H.

Poem and haiku copyright is retained by the authors. Heritage House retains one-time rights to publish winning contest entries in KWRFPF announcements or in a chapbook of winning poems. Since rights revert to the authors, a poem may be reprinted as long as appropriate acknowledgement is made to the KWRFPF. For further information, please visit robertfrostpoetryfestival.org or write to the Heritage House.



Skysaje Enterprises
Now Open
Announcing the Fourth Annual Skysaje Enterprises Poetry Contest
Entries must be received by April 30, 2008
This year we've increased the top prize to $250 and we're offering two $25 Honorable Mentions. Please format your submissions using 12-point type. We prefer the Times New Roman, Courier and Arial typefaces. Entry fee: $15. Submit up to 5 poems per entry. All styles accepted! Both published and unpublished work welcome, and your poems may be of any length. Enter as often as you like.

Make your entry fee payable to L. Berger and mail to:
Skysaje Enterprises
50 Amesbury Road
Rochester, NY 14623-5314

Congratulations to Regina M. Brault of Burlington, Vermont. She won our 2007 contest with her poem, "At Either End of the Web". Honorable mentions went to Ruth Duke ("First Love"), Linda Fuchs ("Rejected Wife") and Andrea Watson ("Skin"). Read Ms. Brault's poem in the June 2007 Winning Writers Newsletter (scroll down to the middle of the page).



_______________________________________________
______________________



SELECTED FREE PROSE CONTESTS

These free prose contests with deadlines between November 16 and December 31 are included as a bonus in The Best Free Poetry Contests.

Click the contest names below to go straight to their profiles, or login to The Best Free Poetry Contests here. After you login, please click the Find Free Contests link, then search by Prose Contest Type to find prose contests.

11/30: Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation Writing Competitions +
Neutral free contest offers prizes of $1,000 for unpublished works that present the gay and lesbian lifestyle in a positive manner and are based on, or directly inspired by, a historic person, culture, work of art, or event. Alternates annually between book-length fiction, short stories, and drama. The 2007 award is for short stories, one-act plays, or short film or video projects. One entry per person per year.

11/30: Canute A. Brodhurst Prize for Short Fiction +
Neutral free contest offers $400 for the best story accepted by The Caribbean Writer during this year. All eligible submissions to the magazine are also considered for the David Hough Literary Prize for an author residing in the Caribbean ($500), the Marguerite Cobb McKay Prize for a Virgin Islands author ($200), and the Charlotte & Isidor Paiewonsky Prize for first-time publication ($200). Send 1-2 stories, maximum 15 double-spaced pages each. The Caribbean should be central to the work, or the work should reflect a Caribbean heritage, experience or perspective. Email entries accepted.

12/1: APEE Essay Contest on the Benefits of a Free Market +
Entries must be received by this date
Neutral free contest for full-time students aged 25 or younger offers prizes up to $2,500 for short essays (1,000-2,000 words) on selected libertarian economic and political themes. Enter by email only.

12/1: Arleigh Burke Essay Contest ++
Recommended free contest from the U.S. Naval Institute offers top prize of $5,000 for essays on any subject relating to the goal of the Naval Institute: "to provide an open forum for those who dare to read, think, speak, and write in order to advance professional, literary, and scientific understanding of sea power and other issues critical to national defense." Maximum 2,500 words. One entry per person; no simultaneous submissions.

12/1: Independent Women's Forum College Essay Contest ++
Recommended free contest for female undergraduates offers prizes up to $5,000 for essays of 750 words maximum. Topic changes annually. 2007 theme is "What role should 'women's issues' play in the 2008 elections and how do you define women's issues?" The IWF is a conservative/libertarian feminist organization, and seeks essays that are sympathetic to their views.

12/1: Langum Project for Historical Literature Fiction Prize +
Neutral free contest offers $1,000 for the best historical novel published by a commercial trade publisher (new for 2007), small press or university press during the current calendar year. Publishers or authors should submit 3 copies of book. See website or email David Langum for details.

12/1: Schneider Family Book Award +++
Highly recommended free contest for published books of children's literature offers $5,000 in each of three categories: books for ages 0-10, 11-13, and 13-18. These awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. Book must have been published during the past three years. Sponsored by the American Library Association.

12/1: W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction +++
Highly recommended free contest offers $5,000 for the best published book of fiction set in a period when the United States was at war. Book must have been published in the calendar year prior to the award. For example, books published in 2007 are eligible for the 2008 award, which has a December 1, 2007 deadline. Sponsored by the American Library Association.

12/7: Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics +++
Formerly December 8
Highly recommended free contest for US college students offers top prize of $5,000, other large prizes, for essays about ethical issues and the place of ethics in human life. See website for specific themes. Entrants must be registered undergraduate full-time juniors or seniors at accredited four-year colleges in the US during the semester in which the deadline falls.

12/15: Grant MacEwan Young Writer's Scholarship ++
Entries must be received by this date
Free recommended contest offers four awards of C$2,500 for short fiction and essays by young Alberta residents. Award honors the late Dr. Grant MacEwan, who wrote more than fifty books on subjects including nature, folklore, agriculture, politics, environment, literature, history and the people of Alberta. The prize will be given to young writers whose entries best reflect Alberta and/or Dr. MacEwan's interests. Writers aged 16-25 should send 4 copies of story/essay, entry form, letter of reference and cover letter. Must be received by Noon local time on deadline date. Entrants must be able to prove enrollment in an acceptable program of study or mentorship. If a winning applicant is not enrolled at the time of application, funds will be held on their behalf by Alberta Community Development for no more than three years.

12/21: Willesden Herald International Short Story Prize ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended free contest offers 5,000 pounds for unpublished short fiction, any length, by authors aged 18+. Runners-up published in annual New Short Stories anthology. Sponsored by the Willesden Herald and Pretend Genius Press, a quirky British publisher.

12/31: Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary Awards ++
Recommended free contest offers two prizes of $500 for books of fiction and nonfiction (creative or scholarly) written by an African-American and published in the US during the current year. The awards honor books that depict the "cultural, historical, or sociopolitical aspects of the African Diaspora." Must be nominated by publisher.

12/31: Desert Writers Award +
Neutral free contest offers annual fellowship of $2,000 for writers of literary or creative nonfiction to spend time writing in and about the desert landscape. Send 10-page writing sample, project description and biographical statement. Enter by email only. Finalists may be interviewed.

12/31: L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest +++
Highly recommended free contest for emerging writers of short science fiction, fantasy and horror offers quarterly prizes of $1,000 plus an annual $4,000 grand prize for one of the four winners. Send only one story per quarter, maximum 17,000 words. See website for eligibility rules. Entrants may not have professionally published a novel or short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories, in any medium.

12/31: Lantern Books Essay Contest +
Entries must be received by this date
Neutral free contest offers $1,000 top prize for essays on selected themes, maximum 1,500 words. Lantern Books is an independent publisher focusing on environmentalism, animal rights, spirituality and nonviolence. Entrants should familiarize themselves with Lantern's core subject areas and viewpoint by exploring their website. Online entry required. No simultaneous submissions.

12/31: Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction ++
Recommended free contest offers $2,500 for the best novel about the Civil War published during the current calendar year. Publishers, critics or authors should send 10 copies of the book to the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College.

12/31: Premio Aztlan Literary Prize +
Neutral free contest offers $1,000 for published books of fiction by Chicano/Chicana authors who have published no more than two books. Books must have been published in the calendar year in which the deadline falls. Winner must agree to attend the award ceremony and deliver a lecture at the University of New Mexico in April (the prize includes travel and lodging expenses). Send 5 copies of book plus supporting materials.

12/31: Thoroughbred Times Fiction Contest ++
Recommended free contest offers prizes of $800, $400, $250, plus publication, for fiction up to 5,000 words about some facet of the Thoroughbred horse industry. Mail or email entries accepted. Offered biennially (odd-numbered years only).


Login to The Best Free Poetry Contests now to view these and all our profiles of free contests.

Key to Ratings
Highly Recommended: +++
Recommended: ++
Neutral: +

All deadlines are postmark deadlines unless otherwise specified.


_______________________________________________
______________________



CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS

Ignavia
Rolling Deadline
Ignavia is an online journal that promotes fiction that is transgressive in content and form, with a bias for material that is dark, edgy and queer. They are seeking short fiction submissions, 4,000 words maximum, for future biannual issues. Email submissions to ignaviapress@gmail.com and include your name, address, phone, story title and word count, and short bio (50 words maximum) in your message. Authors published in the first issue include Larissa Shmailo and Jen Besemer. Editors' favorites include Angela Carter, Italo Calvino, Samuel R. Delany, and Alain Robbe-Grillet.

Crab Orchard Review "Adolescence" Issue
Postmark Deadline: November 30 (extended from October 31)
Crab Orchard Review, a prestigious journal from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, seeks submissions of poetry, stories and literary essays (original or translations) on the theme of "The In-Between Age: Writers on Adolescence". Writers whose work is selected will receive $20 per magazine page ($50 minimum for poetry; $100 minimum for prose), two copies of the issue, and a year's subscription. Editors say, "We are open to work that covers any of the multitude of ways that the transition from childhood to adulthood in the teenage years defines us and, in turn, defines the world we live in."

Coal Hill Review
Postmark Deadline: February 15
Coal Hill Review, the new online journal from acclaimed poetry publisher Autumn House Press, seeks submissions for its Spring 2008 issue. Send 3-5 poems by email, with cover letter containing contact information, poem titles and brief bio. No simultaneous submissions or postal mail entries. "We are dedicated to publishing fine poetry by both emerging and established writers and are interested in diverse voices in a wide range of styles." Contributors to their first issue include Thomas Lux, Hilda Ratzabi and David Swerdlow.

Cinnamon Press Poetry Anthology
Entries must be received by March 31
British literary publisher Cinnamon Press is soliciting unpublished poems for In the Telling, an anthology of new writing edited by Gail Ashton and Susan Richardson. The editors seek poems that tell any kind of story—old and new, real and imagined, fairytales, myths, urban legends, about people, places, artifacts—in fresh ways. Please email up to four previously unpublished poems, maximum 50 lines each, in a single attachment to BOTH editors: gailashton@btinternet.com and suerichardson@sacredwrites.freeserve.co.uk. Please write "submission: In the Telling" in the subject line.


_______________________________________________
______________________



NEW LITERARY RESOURCES

Karla K. Morton
This Texas-based poet's book/CD combo, Wee Cowrin' Timorous Beastie, is a 17th-century Scottish epic story, written in rhyme, and set to an original musical score by the Juno award-winning Canadian composer, Howard Baer. Morton's creative multimedia project brings the old world of European epic poetry together with a modern cinematic score.

Korean War Stories
Vivid personal anecdotes and poems based on the experiences of US veterans in the 143rd Field Artillery during the Korean War.


See our complete directory of resources at http://www.winningwriters.com/resources/ur_web.php. This is also the gateway to our recommended books, magazines, service providers, advice for writers (with manuscript tips) and poetry critiques.


_______________________________________________
______________________



NEW RECOMMENDED BOOK

Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions
By Neil Gaiman. Author of the acclaimed Sandman graphic novels mashes up literary classics, myths famous and obscure, and the conventions of the fantasy genre, with effects that are sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, and always a witty tour de force. Some of the best selections derive their humor from the collision between the mythic and the mundane, as when an elderly British widow finds the Holy Grail in a thrift shop, or the inhabitants of H.P. Lovecraft's Innsmouth behave like characters in a Monty Python skit.


_______________________________________________
______________________



MORE SPONSORS' MESSAGES

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest
Postmark Deadline: March 31, 2008
Now in its 16th year. Fourteen cash prizes totaling $5,250 will be awarded, including a top prize of $2,000. Submit any type of short story, essay or other work of prose, up to 5,000 words. You may submit work that has been published or won prizes elsewhere, as long as you own the online publication rights. $12 entry fee. Submit online or by mail. Early submission encouraged. Winning Writers is assisting with entry handling for this contest. Judges: John H. Reid and Dee C. Konrad. See the complete guidelines and past winners.


Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest - No Fee
Online Submission Deadline: April 1, 2008
Winning Writers invites you to enter the seventh annual Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest, called "infamous" by Writer's Digest. Fifteen cash prizes totaling $3,336.40 will be awarded, including a top prize of $1,359. There is no fee to enter. Judge: Jendi Reiter. See the complete guidelines and past winners.


Now Open
War Poetry Contest - $5,000 in Cash Prizes
Postmark Deadline: May 31, 2008
We seek 1-3 original, unpublished poems for our seventh annual contest on the theme of war, up to 500 lines in total. We will again award $5,000, including a top prize of $2,000. Entry fee: $15. Submit online or by mail. Judge: Jendi Reiter. See the complete guidelines and past winners.


Now Open
Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse - $5,250 in Cash Prizes
Postmark Deadline: June 30, 2008
Now in its fifth year, this contest seeks poetry in traditional verse forms such as sonnets and free verse. Both published and unpublished poems are welcome. Fourteen cash prizes totaling $5,250 will be awarded, including a top prize of $2,000. The entry fee is $6 for every 25 lines you submit. Submit online or by mail. Early submission encouraged. This contest is sponsored by Tom Howard Books and assisted by Winning Writers. Judges: John H. Reid and Dee C. Konrad. See the complete guidelines and past winners.


LEARN TO WRITE FOR MAGAZINES!
Want to freelance for magazines but don't know how? Need a little motivation to get started? Learn how to develop ideas, research markets, write your query letter, and make your pitch to editors! In only eight lessons, veteran freelancer Linda Formichelli will show you the ropes. She's written for more than 120 publications, including USA Weekend, Family Circle, Men's Fitness, and Woman's Day. Let Linda show you how you can, too!
http://www.absoluteclasses.com/Formichelli/magazines.htm


2008 Poet's Market
The 2008 edition of Poet's Market is on sale for $17.81 at Amazon. Published each August by Writer's Digest, this is the best annual guide to 1,800 journals, magazines, book publishers, chapbook publishers, websites, grants, conferences, workshops and contests. Helps you find publishers who are looking for your kind of work. Also updated are Novel & Short Story Writer's Market and Writer's Market for works of prose. Writer's Market is "the most valuable of tools for the writer new to the marketplace," says Stephen King in On Writing.

Office Depot, Inc
Office Depot - Yearly Coupon
Save on paper, toner, binders and all your writing supplies at Office Depot. Free delivery in select areas when you order $50 or more.
Office Depot's Yearly Coupon - Save $30 off $150


Alibris Coupon - Save on Books, Music and Movies
Get great deals on hard-to-find titles at Alibris. Free shipping when you order $49 or more of eligible items.
Enter GARCIAMARQUEZ on checkout at Alibris to get $3 off $30 or more of books, music, and movies! Offer expires November 25th, 2007.

_______________________________________________
______________________



Advertise to 20,000 Poets and Writers
Promote your contests, websites, events and publications in this newsletter. Reach over 20,000 poets and writers for $65. Ads may contain up to 150 words, a headline and a graphic image. Find out more and make your reservation here:
http://www.winningwriters.com/advertisers.php

Carolina Sineni of hotmetalpress on the impact of advertising in the Winning Writers Newsletter:
"We advertised elsewhere but I know it was a startling jump from a few acceptable submissions in weeks to a few everyday. We went from perhaps less than a hundred hits in a month to over 3500 each month."

See more testimonials.

_______________________________________________
______________________


PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Literacy Success Stories

Reading transforms lives. Here are two success stories of many at ProLiteracy Worldwide:
    Rosetta Harper
  • Rosetta Harper, Literacy Action of Atlanta
    Nobody ever asked much of Rosetta Harper—no one ever asked her to read out loud or to read the difficult words—so Harper didn't let on that she couldn't do it. "I felt like if you speak out loud, people know what you don't know. If I didn't say anything, no one knew."

    ...she just settled. A good worker, Ms. Harper did her job and passed on several management opportunities because she knew she'd be "exposed." She accepted her life for what it was.

    But the one thing Harper did not accept was the same lot in life for her children. She took them to the library, got each one a library card, and had her oldest daughter tutor the younger siblings. When her son was diagnosed with a learning disability, she did not hesitate to get him help; it was that son who encouraged his mother to try again. "One day my son saw a program on TV and he said, 'Mom, why don't you go back and let somebody help you.' I decided, well maybe I can let somebody help figure out what it is I don't know."

    The tutor at the literacy program Harper entered asked her to read out loud. For Harper, that was an emotional experience and she cried over words she didn't know. She took it one day at a time, improving with each day, until reading became not a chore, but a hobby. On this trip to the library, Harper got the library card and the books checked out were for her. She found inspiration in the stories of African-American women, whose struggles helped Harper understand "you're not alone in what you do, but you have to understand from where you came from."

    Harper already has achieved two of her goals—reading a novel and writing her will. She has a third goal—to write for children.

    Harper sees big changes in her life since learning to read. She has more joy and confidence, and speaking to a group is not a problem!

  • Del Kennedy
  • Del Kennedy, Oklahoma Literacy Council
    ...little was known about dyslexia then, so Kennedy continued on, leaving good jobs when promotions required him to read more or do paperwork. Finally, tired of lying about his poor reading skill, Kennedy took a pay cut to become an elementary school janitor.

    "Most of the kids in the school could read better than I could," he noted.

    The night the school held a literacy fair, Kennedy met two women who told him he could find help at the local adult literacy program. Tests showed that he suffered from "scotopic sensitivity syndrome," caused by a nerve that affects how the brain processes what the eye sees in print.

    A series of colored plastic sheets placed over the paper helped, but Kennedy didn't make real improvement until he received a special pair of glasses.

    "They put the lenses on a pillow and you keep picking up lenses and holding them in front of your eyes," Kennedy explained. "When I had five lenses, (the tester) asked me to read a line, then a paragraph. It was the first time I've done that. It blew me away." Kennedy was in his early 50's.

    Now 59, Kennedy has made steady progress, jumping an entire reading level in less than five months. He was named Student of the Year by the Oklahoma Literacy Council, and has raised money so another student with the same condition he has can get the special glasses he needs to be able to read.

    "If I can help one other person, then I'll feel I've really accomplished something," Kennedy said.
ProLiteracy WorldwideProLiteracy Worldwide provides professional development, advocacy, accreditation, and grants to the people and programs that teach adults to read, write, do math, and in the US, speak English as a second language. In the US, ProLiteracy supports a network of 1,200 adult basic education and literacy programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia; internationally, it works with 125 partner programs in 65 developing countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. Its publishing division, New Readers Press, develops and distributes materials used to teach older teens and adults from basic literacy to GED levels. ProLiteracy supports one million students each year.

Support ProLiteracy's vital mission. Click here to learn more. Click here to contribute.

Send this page to a friend and we'll donate 15 cents to ProLiteracy for each friend you refer.


_______________________________________________
______________________



Jendi Reiter JENDI'S CRITIQUE CORNER

This month, Critique Corner is pleased to present "Call Out of Exile" by Karen Winterburn.

If you would like a chance to be critiqued, please email your poem to me at critique@winningwriters.com. Send the poem in the body of your email message (no attachments) and put "poetry critique" in the subject line. One submission per poet per month. Thanks!


Call Out of Exile
by Karen Winterburn

Come home!

I have not cast you off, my vagabond.
It is I who have borne you from your birth,
and to gray hairs I will carry you.

Why then must I seek you among foreign flocks,
and through caravans of imposters cry out your name?
Have you forgotten your dear Shepherd, my lamb,
or my Name, that you do not call upon Me?
Look up! Look up, my poor one! Where have you fallen?
I come wounded to bind you up, thirsty to refresh you.

Come in!

Don't be a stranger to your Father's feast. It I who host you,
I who crush the wheat and press the oil. It is I who mix my wines.
How long will you linger by half, little sister?
Here, I send out your brother with meat for your mind.
Open and taste! See the passage I make for you,
the ground I've leveled by the weight of my waiting?
Arise and come! Put on again your everyday jewels that blaze
with the light from my Hearth, and come with Me to the kitchen.
I have an apron there with your name on it.

Come here!

Have I held my peace too long, restrained Myself past the measure
of your freedom? You cup your will like a brazier for Me.
No more will your memories shame you, my little one,
nor fear alarm, nor doubt cry out, "Where is your God?".
One look at you, and the fury of my love is stirred up against them.
I make them tinder to kindle your sparkle,
and a sweet-smelling smoke to console you.
I am a Man of War for you, an Army of Love;
and I am the wakeful Governor of your peace.

Come closer!

How have I not noticed that gleam in your eye?
What numb thirst is sealed up in you against all taking-by-surprise,
that I may come and slake it? What delights concealed there
that I might relish, should you return the favor and I be taken too?
Stay with Me a moment in the parlor. Don't dart away
to peek at Me over your books and prayers.
Promises I whispered long ago into your secret ear
are kept here in this ivory box under the hidden stair
for just such a time as this. Open it!
the whole fruit from tender buds
poetry in foreign tongues
dancing lessons
banquet graces
the end from the beginning

Promises I made to you in a fit of love when you were young
now come to term and seek the light.
Will you join your poor Partner in the garden now
that He may keep his word to you? Let's dance!
Every move a metaphor—restrained, oblique—a gloved touch I keep in custody
till you awake and I can take you to the waters at the edge of light.
There forget the limits of desire when my glove has touched your craving
and you awake past day and into night.
Hold still, my love, hold still when you awake past day and into night.


Copyright 2007 by Karen Winterburn


Critique by Jendi Reiter

This month's critique poem, Karen Winterburn's "Call Out of Exile", combines the form of a modern personal free-verse lyric with the tone and subject matter of a more ancient genre. Suitable for use in a contemporary church liturgy, the poem resembles Biblical writings such as the Psalms and the Song of Solomon, where God directly and intimately addresses human beings in poetry that is part prophetic summons, part tender seduction.

Like its scriptural antecedents, "Call Out of Exile" imagines God speaking in ways that are sometimes uncomfortably sensual ("forget the limits of desire when my glove has touched your craving") or colloquial ("I have an apron there with your name on it"). This mixing of high and low, I believe, is meant to challenge the reader's impulse to keep God on a pedestal, at a distance. As envisioned by this poem, God seeks relationship with us to such a radical extent that God is willing to come down to our level, risking impurity and foolishness. In so doing, the God of this poem prompts us to revalue those mundane experiences that we considered "unspiritual"...

critique continues here

This poem, our critique and contest suggestions for poems in this style appear in full at:
http://www.winningwriters.com/resources/critiques/2007/urc_0711winterburn.php

See all of our poetry critiques.


_______________________________________________
______________________



VISIT JENDI REITER'S BLOG
Visit Reiter's Block for poetry, cutting-edge Christianity, book notes and cultural insights. Subscribe free to get Jendi's latest posts as they happen. Go to the home page, see the Subscription box on the left.


_______________________________________________
______________________



COMING IN OUR DECEMBER 15 NEWSLETTER
2008 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest Opens
The Best Free Poetry Contests for December 16-January 31