Winning Writers Newsletter

September 2005

Welcome to our September newsletter.

Last Call
Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest
Postmark Deadline: September 30
Open to poems in any style, theme or genre. $2,000 in prizes will be awarded, including a top prize of $1,000. The winning entries will be published. The entry fee is $5 for every 25 lines. Submit online or by mail. You may submit poems that have been published or won prizes elsewhere, as long as you own the anthology and online publication rights. Unpublished work is also welcome. Winning Writers is assisting with entry handling for this contest. Guidelines:

Congratulations to Michelle Gille, winner of the 6th Poetry Competition sponsored by the Mattia Family. She writes, "I entered this competition because I love to write poetry and read others' poetry. This competition is not like other (competitions) you can find on the Internet. I found out about this one from which my creative writing teacher suggested I visit. My fiance was the one who told me to post that poem, he really liked it as well." Read Ms. Gille's winning poem, "My Mother Smells Like Lemon Pepper", at:

The Mattia Family's 7th Poetry Competition, free to enter, is open now at:

All best,

Adam Cohen & Jendi Reiter
One of the 101 Best Web Sites for Writers

(Writer's Digest, 2005)

The Best Free Poetry Contests

Deadlines: September 16 - October 31

9/19: Gwendolyn Brooks Center Literary Awards ++
Seeks poetry, fiction, drama and literary criticism about the Black experience. Some awards for students only, others for unpublished writers. Prizes range from $250 to $1,000. Sponsored by Chicago State University.

9/30: International Tanka Splendor Award +
Entries must be received by midnight, Pacific Time, on this date
31 tanka and three tanka sequences will each receive publication in an annual anthology and a $20 gift certificate from AHA Books. This unusual contest is judged anonymously by the entrants who submitted their work online. Past winners are good.

9/30: Killie Writing Competition ++
Entries must be received by this date
Offers prizes up to 1,000 pounds for entrants in four age categories (7-9, 10-11, 12-16, and older). Sponsored by Kilmarnock College, Scotland. Both poetry and prose entries accepted.

10/7: Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award [.pdf] ++
Prize of C$1,000 for poetry or fiction by Canadian authors under 35 with no published books. Genre alternates by year. 2005 contest is for short fiction. 2,500 words maximum.

10/15: Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship +++
Entries must be received by this date
Fellowship offers approximately $40,000 for poets to spend a year abroad. Open to all authors, but past winners have had books published and/or won major prizes.

10/15: Fernando Rielo World Prize for Mystical Poetry +
Seeks mystical poetry, defined as poetry that expresses the soul's loving union with God or the Absolute. English and Spanish entries accepted. Winner receives 7,000 euros. Be sure to read guidelines closely.

10/15 and 3/15: Iron Horse Discovered Voices Award +
Entries must be received by these dates
For graduate students currently enrolled in an AWP-affiliated creative writing program. Awards $150 each for poetry and prose (may be fiction or nonfiction). Email for rules.

10/27: Kiriyama Prize +++
Entries must be received by this date
Honors published books of poetry, fiction or nonfiction that contribute to greater understanding of and among the peoples and nations of the Pacific Rim and South Asia. Two prizes of $15,000. Must be submitted by publisher. See website for detailed eligibility rules.

10/31: Eric Gregory Awards [.pdf] +++
Entries must be received by this date
Offers prizes totaling up to 24,000 pounds for poetry, drama-poems or belles lettres by authors under 30 as of March 31, 2006. The author must be a British subject by birth but not a national of Eire or any of the British Dominions or Colonies. The author must ordinarily be resident in the United Kingdom or Northern Ireland.

10/31: Lucidity Poetry Journal Awards +
Deadline extended from 10/15
Prizes of $50, $30 and $20. Send 1-5 poems "dealing with people and interpersonal relationships", maximum 36 lines each, including stanza breaks. Editor Ted O. Badger describes Lucidity as "a national journal of verse that features understandable poetry. We look for poems that have clarity and focus, so the audience can both comprehend and applaud the lines." Poems should be typed, single-spaced, in a standard font, one poem per page. Include author's name, address, phone number and email address on each page. Mail to Lucidity Poetry Journal Awards, 14781 Memorial Drive, No. 10, Houston, TX 77079-5210.

10/31: Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award [.pdf] +++
Entries must be received by this date
5,000 pounds will be awarded for the best book of poetry, fiction or nonfiction first published in Britain in the current calendar year, by a British citizen ordinarily resident in that country who will be under 35 as of December 31. Entries in all genres compete for one prize. Send 4 copies of book plus entry form from website.

10/31: Wick Student Poetry Competition +++
Open to poets currently enrolled in Ohio institutions of higher education. Submit 15-25 pages of poetry. No cash prize but the winner is published by the prestigious Wick Poetry Program.

See the year's list of free poetry contests by deadline date. Some of the contests above are too recently discovered to have made it into our online database yet. As a newsletter subscriber, you're enjoying an advance look.

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

All deadlines are postmark deadlines unless otherwise specified.

There are six active free contests with rolling deadlines. These typically accept entries at any time of year. We just updated these profiles with address and rule changes. See them now at:

Sponsors' Messages

What Ifs, Why Nots, Get Outta Heres
Maniacal shopping cart attacks in a Santa Fe windstorm; nitty-gritty with a pricey dentist; mesmerized, possibly even consumed, by exposure to trance music; squirrels in the attic, snakes in the basement; a page of concrete poems: "By All Means" (variations on have a nice day), "Losing It", "SOS" from a far-off galaxy, "Full-Court Press", "Ethnic Cleanser" and more; further adventures of Grandma and Grandpa; guests of honor: Stravinsky and Shostakovich at a commemorative ball in the afterlife.

The Litchfield Review Contest
Postmark Deadline: October 31
The Litchfield Review ( ) seeks original, unpublished poems, essays and short stories for its current contest. The overall winner will receive $250. Other prizes of $100 may also be awarded. The reading fee is $10 per essay, short story, or set of 1-3 poems, or pay $15 to submit an unlimited number of prose and poetry entries. All prizewinners will be published in The Litchfield Review. Runners-up may also be published. All writers we publish will receive a free copy of the issue in which they appear. We are a new journal offering a forum to emerging and established writers; our only criterion for acceptance is excellence. We look for good stories beautifully told, quality poetry of substance, and creative nonfiction that lingers long in the minds of readers. See the complete contest guidelines:

Doris Bakwin Award for Gutsy & Talented Women Writers
Postmark Deadline: December 1
Carolina Wren Press seeks submissions of long fiction (novel or short story collection) or memoir. Prize: $2,000 plus publication. Final Judge: Quinn Dalton. Submit a manuscript of 150-400 pages with a $15 entry fee, payable to Carolina Wren Press. Seeking diverse voices. For full guidelines send SASE or visit Mail your entry to Carolina Wren Press, Attn: Doris Bakwin Award, 120 Morris Street, Durham, NC 27701.

Brady Magazine's 2005 Open Theme Poetry Contest
Online Submission Deadline: December 15
First prize: $100 plus publication in firstwriter.magazine (prize includes access to all databases for one year); Second prize: $60 plus admission to Updraft, an online poetry course to ignite your imagination; Third prize: $20, a CoolStuff4Writers gift pack and copies of 2006 Poet's Market (Writer's Digest) and NewPages Guide to Literary & Alternative Magazines. Entry fee is $5 and includes a critique of each poem entered. Critiques will be sent to each entrant between December 16 - December 31. Winners will be announced January 2. Please see our website for contest details and the entry form:

2005 Perigee Poetry Contest - Open Now
Postmark Deadline: December 31
This year our most popular contest features increased cash prizes and more chances to win. Pushcart winning poet Steve Kowit joins us as Finalist Judge. All four winning entries (and any honorable mentions) will be published in our 2006 anniversary issue. We are looking for careful form and craft, commitment to voice and skilled creative execution. All styles and subject matters are welcome. Any number of poems may be submitted. The reading fee is $7 for every three poems. Results will be announced on February 15. Please read the contest guidelines and submit online at

Poetry Contest Insider
Make the Most of Your Contest Efforts
  • Expert online guide
  • Profiles over 650 poetry contests
  • Helps you decide which contests to enter
  • Updated nearly every day
  • $5.95 with 10-day free trial
Our customers say,

"I wasn't on top of the contest circuit until I subscribed to Winning Writers. Since I joined the site a year ago, I have won the top prize or placed in poetry contests 24 times and have had 11 publications. In the five years I wrote poetry prior to joining this site, I had only one publication. Clearly, Winning Writers has had a huge impact on my career. Thank you!"
Dr. Linda Dove, Arizona

"For a really complete list of poetry competitions, including rankings and summaries, I'd suggest subscribing to Winning Writers, a very good service and quite inexpensive."
Jeffery Bahr, " Awards and Competitions for First-Time Authors"

"Poetry Contest Insider is a fabulous resource. It's easily accessible, well organized and fun.... This has already become one of my two Must-Have's, along with Poet's Market. Be sure I'll be renewing. Thanks for the wonderful resource!"
Bridget Cougar, California

Read more testimonials from our subscribers

Free trial. Try Poetry Contest Insider free for 10 days. Access all our 650+ contest profiles. If you like it, you'll pay just $5.95 for three months of access. If not, cancel and owe nothing.

Public Service Announcement

An Appeal from The Southern Review

Bret Lott, editor of The Southern Review, is raising funds for Louisiana students displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The Southern Review is published by Louisiana State University. LSU has taken on almost 2,800 new students who were displaced by losing their homes and their schools; in addition, many students who were already enrolled at LSU have also suffered great losses. For each $8.00 you contribute, you will receive a free copy of the latest issue of The Southern Review, a well-regarded literary journal that has published such authors as Rick Bass, Bob Hicok and Sydney Lea.

Mr. Lott writes, "Strangely and beautifully and sadly enough, the latest issue of The Southern Review - mailed to subscribers just week before last, right as the hurricane was making way for the Gulf Coast - has turned out to be a very special issue for the artwork on the cover and that featured inside. The artist, Billy Solitario, lives near Gulfport (and I trust you have seen the pictures of the devastation there); as of this writing, we have not been able to contact him. The paintings themselves are of the Gulf Coast - one of them is even titled "Spiral Cloud over Levee," another one titled "Storm Over the Mississippi"; still others in the portfolio are of barrier islands on the Gulf Coast - places that don't even exist anymore. The artwork was selected about a year ago, and the synchronicity of this is a little too much to think about - the issue, which went out just two weeks ago, celebrates a coastland that is, suddenly, gone."

Checks should be made out to "LSU Foundation" with "Hurricane Student Relief Fund" in the memo line. Mail your contributions to The Southern Review, Old President's House, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803. Please include your name and mailing address when sending the check. To donate by Visa card, call The Southern Review at 225-578-5108 or 225-578-5041.

Order as many copies of The Southern Review as you want - use them as gifts with the good knowledge that because of your generosity, help is going to students in need; use them in your classes as a means to help your students rally to the aid of their comrades here at LSU; give them to anyone and everyone you know. And please share this appeal with as many people as you know so that they might also be able to contribute to a worthy fund, and to enjoy the issue itself.

Public Service Announcement

An Appeal from The Southeast Review

The Southeast Review is working to raise funds for those victims of Hurricane Katrina displaced to the Florida Panhandle. Anyone who sends a donation for Share Our Strength to The Southeast Review will receive a free issue of the journal. Share Our Strength is a national nonprofit that inspires and organizes individuals and businesses to share their strengths in innovative ways to help end hunger.

Checks should be made out to "Share Our Strength" and addressed to:

c/o The Southeast Review
Department of English
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306

Donors should include a return address in order to receive a copy of The Southeast Review.

For more information on this benefit, please visit:

For information on Share Our Strength, go to:

Email Sara Pennington with any questions you may have at

New Resources & Recommended Books

Amanda Auchter
Richly textured, passionate poems on birth, loss and discovery from the editor of the Pebble Lake Review. Visit her blog at for news of publications and readings.

The Backroom at
Resources for getting the most out of self-publishing or print-on-demand. Includes contest announcements and book promotion advice.

Book Marketing Update
Book marketing and selling advice from John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. Informative website includes contact information for book buyers, publicity outlets and more.

Book Zone Pro
News and resources for publishing professionals. Offerings include a large database of book reviewers, organized by genre and topic.

God Is an Englishman
By R.F. Delderfield. Richly detailed, lively historical novel set in Victorian England, starring a visionary entrepreneur who founds a haulage firm. The careers of Adam Swann's nine children are a microcosm of British society at the turn of the century, while his wife Henrietta combines femininity and independence in a way that many modern women might envy. One of the best fictional portraits I've seen of a strong marriage and how it evolves over time. This is the first book in a trilogy; the other books are Theirs Was the Kingdom and Give Us This Day.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Poet
Destined to become a classic among T.S. Eliot parodies.

How to Make a Living as a Poet
By Gary Mex Glazner. Successful slam poet offers creative ways to support a career as a full-time writer. Also includes advice about how to give good readings, write effective press releases, and other practical skills.

Kissing in Manhattan
By David Schickler. Brilliantly written novel-in-stories seduces the reader with witty sketches of Manhattanites in love and lust, but what began as social comedy ends as a surprisingly moving tale of darkness and redemption. Aspiring short story writers should study Schickler's way with the details that reveal character and milieu.

Witty online publication features literary humor, spoof poems, cartoons and reviews.

By George Saunders. Enter the deranged theme park of this unique writer's imagination, in surreal tales that exaggerate the insincere cheer of mass-media corporate culture to show the ruthlessness beneath. Beneath Saunders' manic wit lies a fierce compassion for misfits waging a losing battle for authenticity in a world of manufactured messages.

Places in the Dark
By Thomas H. Cook. Brooding, poetic tale of two brothers whose love is shattered by their passion for the same woman. Cook exploits the conventions of the Gothic thriller to build up expectations that he constantly reverses with his surprising plot twists, ultimately producing a wise commentary on storytelling itself and how it both inspires and entraps us.

Poetry Winner (I & II)
By Jessica Westhead. Satirical chapbooks by one of's innumerable "semifinalists" memorialize Westhead's mostly fruitless efforts to contact the contest operators. No website; email Jessica to order a copy.

This Gardener's Impossible Dream
By Emery L. Campbell. Light verse from the Georgia Poetry Society's former vice president, featuring both original works and translations of French poems by La Fontaine, Baudelaire, Verlaine and Rimbaud.

University of Toronto's Glossary of Poetic Terms
Brief definitions of poetic forms and literary devices from Acatalectic to Zeugma.

William Trevor: The Collected Stories
Small masterpieces of melancholy from acclaimed Irish writer. Like a scalpel, Trevor's prose is delicate yet piercing, exposing unnamed but all-too-familiar psychological truths about his characters and ourselves.

You Are Not a Stranger Here
By Adam Haslett. Flawless prose captures emotions that are almost too subtle for words. Though his dark themes may seem familiar to readers of literary fiction (several tales feature bereavement and mental illness), these stories shine with moments of wisdom discovered and hard-won love, lifting them far above most examples of the genre.

Selected Prose Contests and Calls for Submissions

Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest for College Students +++
Postmark Deadline: September 16
Free contest awards $5,000 top prize, plus thousands of dollars in runner-up prizes, for the best essay on Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged. Choose one of three essay questions on website.

Chapter One Fiction Competition +
Entries must be received by September 26
For residents of New York City's five boroughs. Offers up to four prizes of $1,000 and a public reading. Send the first chapter of an unpublished novel or work-in-progress, up to 20 double-spaced pages. No entry fee.

Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction [.pdf] ++
Postmark Deadline: September 30 or November 15 (depending on when the book was published)
C$25,000 for the best book of literary nonfiction by a Canadian author published in 2005. Must be submitted by publisher. No entry fee, but publishers of shortlisted titles must agree to contribute $1,500 toward the promotion of the book.

Iowa Short Fiction Prize ++
Postmark Deadline: September 30
This free contest offers publication with royalties for a collection of short fiction, at least 150 pages, by an author who has not published any books of prose fiction. (Books in other genres don't count.) Sponsored by the prestigious Iowa Writers' Workshop. 2005 judge is George Saunders, author of Pastoralia.

Jerry Jazz Musician Fiction Contest +
Postmark Deadline: September 30
Thrice-yearly free contest offers $200 and online publication for a story, 1,000-1,500 words. Entries should reflect the webzine's interest in music, social history, literature, politics, art, film and theater, particularly that of the counter-culture of mid-20th century America.

LILITH Magazine Fiction Competition +
Postmark Deadline: September 30
Free contest offers $250 and publication for the best unpublished original story "with heart, soul and chutzpah illuminating issues in the lives of Jewish women." Stories should have Jewish and feminist content. Maximum 3,000 words, but shorter stories have a better chance because of space constraints.

Vanity Fair Essay Contest +++
Entries must be received by September 30
Free essay contest offers top prize of $15,000 plus a week at a writers' retreat in Italy, as well as other large prizes. 2005 theme is "What is on the minds of America's youth today?" US residents only. Submit by email:, but read website rules and past winners first.

Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize +++
Entries must be received by October 1
Free contest for authors with no more than two published books of literary nonfiction. Award is $12,000 and publication by Graywolf Press, a prestigious literary publisher. Submit an unpublished full-length work of literary nonfiction (memoir, biography, history OK, but no miscellaneous essay collections).

Jasper G. & Minnie Stevens Literary Prize ++
Entries must be received by October 1
This free contest offers $3,000 and publication by the Oregon Historical Society Press for the best book-length manuscript of fiction or nonfiction about Oregon history. Books may be aimed at a grown-up audience or youth aged 8-14.

RTE Radio 1 Short Story Competition ++
Entries must be received by October 7
Free contest for fiction suitable for radio performance. Top prize 3,000 euros. Entrants must be born or normally resident in Ireland.

Brenda L. Smart Prizes +
Postmark Deadline: October 17
Free contest for short fiction by North Carolina residents with no published books. Prizes are $500 for regular-length story (5,000 words maximum) and $300 for flash fiction (1,200 words). Sponsored by North Carolina State University, which also offers a poetry prize in the spring.

PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction +++
Entries must be received by October 31
This free contest offers $15,000 for the best book of fiction published this year by a US citizen. Four $5,000 runner-up prizes. Author, agent or publisher should submit 4 copies of book (or bound galleys, if book is scheduled for publication in November or December). No e-books or self-published/vanity books.

More Sponsors' Messages

Last Call
Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest
Postmark Deadline: September 30
Open to poems in any style, theme or genre. $2,000 in prizes will be awarded, including a top prize of $1,000. The winning entries will be published. The entry fee is $5 for every 25 lines. Submit online or by mail. You may submit poems that have been published or won prizes elsewhere, as long as you own the anthology and online publication rights. Unpublished work is also welcome. Winning Writers is assisting with entry handling for this contest. Guidelines:

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest
Postmark Deadline: March 31, 2006
Now in its 14th year. Prizes of $1,000, $600 and $400 will be awarded, plus four High Distinction awards of $250 each. The top entry will be published in a triennial anthology. Other entries may also be published. 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 anthology and online publication rights. $12 entry fee. Submit online or by mail. Early submission encouraged. Winning Writers is assisting with entry handling for this contest. Guidelines:

Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest - No Fee
Online Submission Deadline: April 1, 2006
Now in its 5th year. Sponsored by Winning Writers. Prizes of $1,190, $169, $60 and 5 honorable mentions of $38 each. A humor contest with a special twist. Judge: Jendi Reiter. Guidelines:

Publish Your Book From Your Computer for as Little as $1.00 Each will take your manuscript over the Internet from any Microsoft Windows-based program. Publish a book in trade quality from 25 to 5,000 copies in about 7-10 working days. Ideal when you want to publish books to give as gifts, sell at events and readings, or sell from your website. Specify the kind of book you want to print and get an instant price quote. Customers say, "the published book is exactly what I had envisioned. And the cost was so reasonable, I'd recommend to anyone." "I experimented with several different short-run and POD printers during my 90-day adventure from self-published to major book deal, and I have to say that the quality of your books was BY FAR the best. When sending press kits to the media, and anyone we wanted to impress, we'd always send your books, which we affectionately referred to as 'The GOOD books.' "

Do you have a personal story that belongs in today's bestselling anthologies, like Chicken Soup for the Soul, A Cup of Comfort, and Chocolate for Women? You could get published and receive money for your work! Julia Rosien, a publishing veteran and editor at ePregnancy Magazine, will mentor you and show you how to turn your memories into essays that warm the heart...and sell.

2006 Poet's Market - Available Now
Writer's Digest has released the 2006 edition of Poet's Market ($16.49 at Amazon). Published each August, 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.

WriteSuccess Newsletter
Sign up now for WriteSuccess's free biweekly newsletter for freelance writers. Editor Mary Anne Hahn has a knack for finding the most interesting literary sites and markets. It's easy to feel lonely as a freelancer. Mary Anne's inspiring attitude and success notes from readers create a sense of community.

Put Your Poems and Pictures on Apparel, Cards, Gifts and More makes it easy to put your words and images on shirts, greeting cards, postcards, mugs, magnets and posters. Order them for yourself or for gifts, or sell them online at a profit. CafePress makes each item to order, so you don't have to commit to a large batch all at once. It's quick and easy to set up your store, and there's no set-up charge. Get started here:

Office Depot - September Coupon
Save on paper, toner, binders and all your school supplies at Office Depot. Free delivery in select areas when you order $50 or more.
Save $30 off any $150 Purchase from Office Depot in September!

Choose from over 50 million new, used and out-of-print books at Alibris. Slash your textbook costs in literature, poetry, philosophy, art and all academic subjects. Free shipping when you order $49 or more of items that are in stock at Alibris. Go to Alibris nowicon

Public Service Announcement

ProLiteracy America Executive Director Peter Waite Issues Statement on Hurricane Relief Efforts
On behalf of everyone at ProLiteracy America and ProLiteracy Worldwide, we want to extend our deep concern for the impact on the programs, people, and communities affected by Hurricane Katrina. While we recognize the immediate needs of life, food, and shelter are of greatest concern at the moment, we want to underscore our commitment to help in the rebuilding process as circumstances improve.

We appreciate the growing expressions of concern and offers of assistance from programs around the country. We have established an organizational task force to help coordinate efforts to assist our programs, and we will be announcing a number of actions and opportunities for assistance shortly. We will begin immediately assessing how we can be of most assistance and will do our best to keep our affiliates informed of developments during this period.

Please feel free to contact ProLiteracy at if you have any questions or suggestions on how to assist in the recovery effort for our friends and affiliates.

Advertise to 16,000 Poets and Writers
Promote your contests, websites, events and publications in this newsletter. Reach over 16,000 poets and writers for $35. Ads may contain up to 100 words and a headline. Place your reservation at:

"The ads we have run in the Winning Writers newsletter have garnered more response and inquiry than any other ads we have run in 20 years of publication."
Ted O. Badger, Editor, Lucidity Poetry Journal

"Thanks for the great advertising value your service continues to offer. Your subscriber base continues to serve as the foundation for our submissions."
Robert Woerheide, Editor in Chief, Perigee

Jendi's Critique Corner

This month, Critique Corner is pleased to present "Under the Arbor" by J.T. Milford.

If you would like a chance to be critiqued, please email your poem to me at 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!

Under the Arbor
by J.T. Milford

We came for love
When the light was fleeing
Under the arbor, by a tree.

We sat in silence
On my coat of leather
Under the sky, near the earth

The night was tender
Warm and bright
With you and I, the garden wall.

We came for love
When life was fleeting
Under the arbor, by a tree.

Our ageless day
Yet the inevitable night
Has entwined us forever
With a longing for life.

Copyright 2005 by J.T. Milford

Critique by Jendi Reiter

This month's critique poem, "Under the Arbor" by J.T. Milford, has the timeless quality of an old English ballad. Though not strictly formal verse, the poem develops a song-like cadence through the use of repeated speech patterns and grammatical constructions in each stanza.

The style and theme of "Under the Arbor" reminded me of Lord Byron's " We'll go no more a-roving". What gives these deceptively simple lines so much power? Perhaps it is the immediacy and sincerity of the feelings that the poet shares with us. There is no self-conscious drama, no aesthetic affectation. No matter how many poets and lovers have made the same observations, the ecstasy and the loss are felt afresh by everyone who falls in love.

Similarly, in "Under the Arbor," the scene becomes more poignant for its lack of detail. The lovers are every lover, the arbor is every pastoral scene where the changing light and turning seasons reminded us of life's fragility....

critique continues

This poem, our critique and contest suggestions for poems in this style appear in full at:

Coming in the October 15 Winning Writers Newsletter
Best Free Poetry Contests for October 16-November 30

Send this email to a friend and Winning Writers will donate 10 cents to ProLiteracy Worldwide! Use the link at the bottom of the email. •