Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest 2008
Congratulations to the winners of the 2008 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest!
First Prize $2,000
Dawn Raymond, Ghosts
Second Prize $1,000
Harry E. Gilleland Jr, The Old Salty Poems
Third Prize $500
Joseph Gorman, Anxiety Disorder
Fourth Prize $250
Wolstan Brown, Do Not Be Kind to Robots That Love Humans
Most Highly Commended $200
- Harry E. Gilleland Jr, The Assembled Waiters
- Victoria Gouldthorp, The Attic
- Joanne Lau, Hickory Dickory Dock
- Meryl Raw, Return to Mount Ayliff’s Childhood Home
- Tamar Diana Wilson, From L.A. to New York, Cadiz, Marseilles, Frankfurt, London…
Highly Commended $100
- Helen Bar-Lev, True Roots
- Tom Berman, Nightfall
- Louis Giron, Ars anti-Poetica/Halloween candy
- Phyllis Jean Green, Mirrors not for Them
- Dixon Hearne, Touchstones
- Martin Steele, Omaha. Day one. The Day-6 June
First Prize - $2,000 - Dawn Raymond
Contest judge John H. Reid said, "Dawn Raymond has succeeded in the almost impossible. A frank, totally candid, personalized mood poem in which the writer dissects her own soul, is not only extremely difficult to write, but almost impossible to formulate in such a unique and arresting way that the reader's undivided attention is literally grabbed by the poet. In fact, Raymond's grip on the reader is so intense, it's impossible to be objective and move away. She doesn't let go. Most poems in this category fail, not only due to their overly familiar subject matter, but simply because the writer has been unable to come up with a different slant that throws a more disturbing, more gripping, more heartfelt light into the dark places of a human soul. Raymond succeeds where so many others have failed because she so skilfully draws upon a whole battery of poetic devices to hit the reader between the eyes."
Second Prize - $1,000 - Harry E. Gilleland, Jr.
"The Old Salty Poems"
Reid said, "Harry Gilleland's 'The Old Salty Poems' belongs to a tradition that has almost died out—the character/narrative poem. Although easily the most popular genre of poetry in the 19th century, it was supplanted by Eliot, Spender, Pound and a whole host of their 20th century disciples. It has often been suggested that poetry would still be as popular and best-selling with the masses today, if mainstream verse had continued in the character/narrative vein. Certainly such a delightful, vastly entertaining throwback as 'The Old Salty Poems' lends a great deal of credence to this idea. I picture copies for sale at my local Borders and see crowds of customers picking up the book and marveling at the free-flowing skill and expertise with which Gilleland has brought such a charming tale to vibrant, poetic life."
Third Prize - $500 - Joseph Gorman
Reid said, "A cleverly innovative poem in which Joseph Gorman cleverly interweaves 'anxiety' and 'disorder' onto the printed page, this is an unusual yet spell-binding mood piece at the opposite end of the spectrum to 'Ghosts'. Whereas Raymond's vision seems wholly subjective, Gorman has opted for a more objective, clinical approach—a sound choice in this particular instance because this view allows him more freedom, more 'color', more power!"
Fourth Prize - $250 - Wolstan Brown
"Do Not Be Kind to Robots That Love Humans"
Reid said, "Isaac Asimov is generally credited as popularizing the idea of robots as potential household 'servants'; and it didn't take long before the idea of robots running amuck took hold. Oddly, while there are tens of thousands of short stories on this subject, there is very little poetry. Wolstan Brown has wittily and intriguingly remedied this deficiency in his adroitly crafted piece, 'Do Not Be Kind to Robots That Love Humans'. Sound advice!"
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.