Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse 2011
Congratulations to the winners of the 2011 Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse!
First Prize $3,000
Jacie Ragan, In the Shadow of the Condor
Second Prize $1,000
Sherri Felt Dratfield, Time Pieces Restored
Third Prize $400
Shirley Valencia, An Overcast Morning on Mulberry Street
Fourth Prize $250
Helen Bar-Lev, The Path to a Village
Most Highly Commended $150
- Beebe Barksdale-Bruner, Nineteen-Sixty
- Anne-Marie Cadwallader, Brother and I
- Duane Dodson, The Cravin
- Phill Doran, A Crown of Sonnets
- Nicole Grace, The Golden Fox
- Caroline Zarlengo Sposto, Sleeping Beauty — Au Courant
First Prize - $3,000 - Jacie Ragan
"In the Shadow of the Condor"
The judges said, "'In the Shadow of the Condor' is one of the finest poems submitted to this contest. It has all seven of the qualities I look for in a winning entry: (1) An intriguing title that immediately captures the reader's interest and attention; (2) A provocative heading or sub-title; (3) An arresting first line; (4) A perfect blending of theme, style and genre. In this case, rhyming poetry suits the theme so assuredly that the poem would lose at least some of its impact if every line was not a perfect rhyme in which there was no trace of strain or even of so-called 'poetic license'; (5) A theme of substance and weight; (6) A sustained length, in which the poet's thoughts are fully expressed, yet not overdone to the point of tiring the reader, or causing his or her attention to wander; (7) The poem comes to a fittingly definitive conclusion in which the powerful theme is neatly summed up yet leaves the reader with at least one or two intriguing afterthoughts."
Second Prize - $1,000 - Sherri Felt Dratfield
"Time Pieces Restored"
The judges said, "A narrative poem that brilliantly combines an attractively eccentric spirit of whimsy with the intriguing personality of the narrator, 'Time Pieces Repaired' is certainly—but most engagingly—offbeat. Descriptive details are most adroitly selected, not only to provide the reader with a knowledge of the strikingly unusual mise en scene, but to enhance our participation in the poet's delightfully bizarre point-of-view. We are told, for instance, that 'A mirrored face reflects me. It watches With my eyes, sliced by steel hands, still swords there. Uncut, I step aside, jarred by my mask, Unscarred, but still I'm caught in her domain.' Wonderfully inventive, deliciously absurd, piquantly spellbinding poesy!"
Third Prize - $400 - Shirley Valencia
"An Overcast Morning on Mulberry Street"
The judges said, "Another personal poem, but in this case the poet's personality is engagingly 'normal' and her attitudes attuned to the sort of suburban life most of us experience. Because the setting is so familiar, we expect the poem to strike some chord of disorder or abnormality. At the very least, the poet has to do something to raise our attention level beyond telling us of the wonders of an oversized cup of coffee. This, the poet cleverly contrives. In fact the adroitly prosaic narration and the very normality of the scene, despite its rising termperature, hardly prepare us for the shock she has in store."
Fourth Prize - $250 - Helen Bar-Lev
"The Path to a Village"
The judges said, "In this beautiful study of a deserted village, the poet is not content to write a simple nature poem. Instead she draws us into the action as we step with her along the rough path, lined with flowering lupines, anemones and almond trees, that leads us to the village with roofless houses, stairs leading nowhere, and trees growing inside long-deserted rooms. The poet's lanuage is most astutely tuned to the mood she wishes to convey. Clipped sentences such as 'a path passed' and 'remain to remind' inventively yet effortlessly lead us from the bright sunshine of the first stanza to the unwelcome shadows of the last. A powerful poem, 'The Path to a Village' is faultless in technique, inventive in description and mesmerizing in its puissant simplicity."
John Howard Reid has won first prizes and other awards in prestigious literary events. A former journalist and magazine editor, he has published several historical novels, a collection of poetry, a guide to winning literary contests, and over fifty books of film criticism and movie history. See his work at Lulu. He lives in Wyong, Australia.
Dee C. Konrad
A leading educator and published author, Mrs. Dee Konrad was Associate Professor in the English faculty of Barat College of DePaul University, and served as Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences for the year 2000-2001.