Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest 2010
Congratulations to the winners of the 2010 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest!
First Prize $3,000
Carmine Dandrea, On the Silk Road
Second Prize $1,000
Berwyn Moore, An Argument with Semonides* on His ‘Types of Women’
Third Prize $400
Dorothy A Spruzen, Sphinx Dust
Fourth Prize $250
Laurence W. Thomas, Soon Shall the Winter’s Foil Be Here
Most Highly Commended $150
- Eileen Baland, Kamikaze Bird
- John Barrale, Cape May, NJ: Memoirs of an Old House, Shakespeare’s Moths
- Ellen Ficarra, Do Not Presume to Call It ‘Fun’!
- Netta Gillespie, Gebel Musa
- Carlos Andres Gomez, Gifted
- Debra Gundy, ‘Happily Ever After’ Left With Daddy
- Lynn Veach Sadler, Purple Irises
First Prize - $3,000 - Carmine Dandrea
"On the Silk Road"
Contest judges John H. Reid and Dee C. Konrad said, "To win First Prize of $3,000 in a popular Poetry Contest requires (1) Originality, (2) Personality, and (3) Relevance. As for Originality in 'On the Silk Road', it's true that while other travelers have traversed similar roads, none have infused their writing with quite the exotic appeal of Carmine Dandrea's Silk Road. The setting is perfect, the language apt, the philosophy sharp. Even the most unique and exotic vistas, however, hold out little appeal to the reader unless the writer thoroughly infuses them with his own outlook, his own personality. He must translate his journey into images that are not only spellbinding but with which readers can readily identify. This the poet achieves with admirable finesse, plus just the right balance of charisma and relevance. We readers travel every step of that Silk Road with Carmine because we not only see it so clearly through his eyes, but because he creates a journey so relevant to his own life—and our lives as well."
Second Prize - $1,000 - Berwyn Moore
"An Argument with Semonides on His 'Types of Women'"
The judges said, "The ancient poet, Semonides, viewed women as a plague created by the gods to disturb the mental tranquility of men. He caricatures women by dividing them into ten types—eight animals, plus mud and the sea. Only the industrious bee seems worthy of praise. Berwyn Moore not only strongly disagrees with this primitive analysis, but cleverly and ingeniously argues her contrary point of view. Even the ape merits applause. The poet illustrates the primate's concern, her quick-thinking and her nimble hands as she scoops up a marooned child from a flooded creek and sets him on safe ground. And while the poet agrees with Semonides on the industry of the bee, she sees the honey-gatherer as a 'four-winged miracle' who reflects all the virtues in which women excel (and which men take for granted)."
Third Prize - $400 - Dorothy Anne Spruzen
The judges said, "One of the most photographed and written-about icons in the world, Egypt's Sphinx has captured the imagination of travelers, poets, historians and anthropologists ever since Napoleon's cannonade allegedly blew off part of his nose. What mystery, what secrets, what arcane knowledge, he is reputed to possess! In Dorothy Anne Spruzen's most commendably imaginative approach, she expertly examines the Sphinx's legends and traditions from both thoroughly historical yet introspectively poetic viewpoints. In one of her many historical corrections, she ridicules the tradition that Nappy was in any way responsible for the loss of the Sphinx's nose, pointing out that this sacrilege actually occurred 300 years before the little corporal even set foot in Egypt."
Fourth Prize - $250 - Laurence W. Thomas
"Soon Shall the Winter's Foil Be Here"
The judges said, "The title, taken from a verse by Walt Whitman, leads the reader into a verdant world of autumnal preparation for the onslaught of winter with all its cruel reminders of seasonal hazards ahead. Although the writer's many forecasted concerns are familiarly matter-of-fact, he presents them all in an expressively poetic fashion, and even imaginatively resolves to regard winter not as autumn's rival but as a foil."
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.