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Visionary 2021 Contest - L MILTON HANKINS's Blog

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I was born and raised in the south-central West Virginia. I graduated from Nuttall High School, Lookout, WV in 1959 and went off to Berea College, Berea, Kentucky. After my freshman year, I enlisted in the United States Air Force, where I served for four years in the beautiful state of Hawaii. While there, I attended Jackson College and the University of Hawaii.

Upon my return home to West Virginia, I married and had two exceptional children, Emily and Adam Hankins. Unfortunately, that marriage ended in divorce after about seven years. During those same years, I graduated from the University of Charleston, Charleston, WV, receiving my baccalaureate degree in history.

(More recently) I obtained my master's and doctoral degee in Theology at Trinity Theological Seminary. I served churches in West Virginia, Ohio, and Virginia before retiring in 1997.  A compulsive writer, my poetry, articles, short stories, and theological writings have appeared in numerous national journals and periodicals, including Christian Century, Biblical Illustrator, and the renowned Pulpit Digest. In 1992-1993 I was elected to Who's Who in Religion. I was also elected to the international poetry society, Escambi Y Internationale. One of my poems was read into the Congressional Journal of the United States. I am also a member of Pi Gamma Mu, an honorary sociological fraternity. 

(Even More Recently) I published a book of Appalachian short stories, Ashes on the Snow, and, A Sensible Theology for Thinking People (A retired Southern Baptist minister talks candidly about the Bible, Theology and Contemporary Concerns). For about eight years I wrote a weekly column for the Huntington, WV Herald-Dispatch.

I have been interviewed on both radio and television.

My wife Deborah and I moved to Catlettsburg, Kentucky to operate The Presidents' House Bed and Breakfast, where we remained until we retired a second time and moved to Ashland, Kentucky. My wife Deborah of 35 years died November 22, 2018. 

I continue my work as a public speaker and freelance writer.

Visionary 2021 Contest

Blog Posted:11/21/2020 11:42:00 AM

As I write, I have been judging the VISIONARY 2021 Contest. I need to say that many of the poems submitted did NOT follow the directions for the contest. That being said, many of the fifty poems submitted were superb, well-written, and beautiful, but I had to follow the directions I had set forth, i.e. poems longer than 14 lines are being given last consideration, as are those who did not provide an address for me to send winners' checks! Some of the poems had absolutely nothing to do with a visionary look at 2021, which was rather disappointing.

Judging 50 entries is no small feat. It will be a couple of weeks, at the least, before I have made my final decisions. I hope everyone will be patient, and I will do my very best to select the best poems.

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Date: 11/22/2020 6:58:00 AM
Milton, thanks for the contest win or lose, I penned a poem I love because of your inspiration. I cannot imagine judging 50 poems, yes, that is quite a mind boggling feat! _Constance
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Date: 11/21/2020 11:53:00 PM
Hi Milton, thank you for sponsoring this contest and for taking the time to carefully adjudicate the entries. Maybe I am the only one who felt this way, but I did not feel comfortable including my address in a publicly accessible poem. My humble suggestion for the future would be to obtain the addresses of the winners after the contest is over, via the privacy of a Soup mail. I wish you well in your judging, and I look forward to reading your final selections. My belated condolences on your wife's passing 2 years ago. ~ John
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Watt Avatar
John Watt
Date: 11/22/2020 11:37:00 AM
Milton, I appreciate your response. I didn't mean to sound like a wet blanket. Obviously many people entered your contest, and it was not an issue for them. I think your theme was an inspiring one. We as poets should be challenged to dream big and write of our ideals, and I think your contest provided that challenge. God bless your day ~ John
Date: 11/22/2020 9:00:00 AM
Thanks for your note and your suggestion, John. I did not know how to go about this whole thing from the beginning, and I didn't want to promise a cash prize and not know where to send it. I'm thoroughly enjoying the evaluation stage, and I will try to do better next time. She died two years ago today, John. I've moved on, but it is very, very difficult. Thanks for your condolence.
Date: 11/21/2020 6:33:00 PM
I did not try it because I see nothing good in the future and did not want to do a downer poem. Good luck with your judging. it's never easy.
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Dietrich Avatar
Andrea Dietrich
Date: 11/22/2020 12:05:00 AM
Makes me curious how they could ignore such an explicit theme! I see what John said above about your wife's death. Sorry to hear about that, Milton.
Date: 11/21/2020 8:14:00 PM
Ah, Andrea, I wish you had. Maybe next time. I was amazed by the number of poets who simply ignored the theme. Oh well....

My Past Blog Posts

Visionary 2021 Contest
Date Posted: 11/21/2020 11:42:00 AM

My Recent Poems

Date PostedPoemTitleFormCategories
11/30/2020 Cellular Phone Quatrainanxiety,change,conflict,t
11/29/2020 A Lament for America Terza Rimaamerica,patriotic,politic
11/28/2020 Wild and Wonderful West Virginia Rhymebeauty,nature,
11/26/2020 Nesting Swallows Terza Rimaanimal,bird,nature,
11/26/2020 Days of Uncertainty Quatrainamerica,political,
11/24/2020 The Twelfth of Never Rhymetime,
11/24/2020 Graciousness Trioletjoy,
11/24/2020 Diamond in the Rough Quintain (Sicilian)poetry,
11/23/2020 Ill Wind and Me Coupletdepression,hope,sad,
11/22/2020 Ode for Lonely Immigrants Odeamerica,history,immigrati
11/21/2020 Angel Unaware Quatraincharacter,people,self,
11/21/2020 A National Travesty Pantoumamerica,bullying,conflict
11/20/2020 Unseen Distant Bay Pantoumearth,ocean,
11/20/2020 My Soul Is Locked Within Free verseself,
11/19/2020 Love Is Happiest Tankahappiness,love,
11/19/2020 Trump Limerick Limerickhumor,
11/18/2020 Feelings Juejucry,feelings,
11/18/2020 Comments on Crooked Politicians Quatrainpolitical,
11/17/2020 Citizen Trump's Disgrace Quatrainamerica,future,political,
11/12/2020 Lady Liberty Still Stands Proud in New York Harbor Quatrainamerica,history,language,
11/11/2020 Somewhere Along Our Southern Border Free verseabuse,children,heartbroke
11/10/2020 Mama's Kodak Dramatic Versekid,memory,mother,
11/9/2020 Youth Saw Me Passing By Rhymeage,irony,youth,
11/8/2020 Comer's Stand Free verseadventure,happiness,youth
11/7/2020 If I Were the Only Poet Left in the World Today Free verseliterature,poets,words,
11/7/2020 My Bucket List Light Verseadventure,fun,places,trav
11/5/2020 Autumn Leaves Haikuautumn,humor,
11/5/2020 A Proud American Rhymeamerica,patriotic,pride,
11/4/2020 On Wearing a Murse Dramatic Monologuecourage,culture,perspecti
11/4/2020 A Valuable Insight for Chronic Winners Quatrainappreciation,encouraging,
11/3/2020 Conspiracy Theorists Free verseangst,confusion,fantasy,i
11/3/2020 On the Loss of Nephews Sonnetdeath,family,grief,life,l
10/31/2020 Unknown Part of Me Coupletcharacter,me,self,
10/29/2020 Morning in Bukoba Free verseafrica,community,culture,
10/29/2020 Mother and Fawn Blank verseanimal,environment,nature
10/29/2020 Ballad of the Silver Bridge Balladsad,
10/28/2020 Heaven's Gate Sonnetheaven,hope,together,
10/28/2020 Spirit, Like a Rose Free versemetaphor,rose,symbolism,
10/27/2020 Random Memory Curtal Sonnetmemory,motivation,
10/27/2020 I Love the Songs of Heroes Lyrichero,patriotic,
10/27/2020 The Old Homeplace Elegiac Lyrichome,loss,
10/27/2020 Bullies Make Me Sick Free versebullying,racism,
10/27/2020 A Fleeting Moment Free verselife,thanksgiving,time,
10/27/2020 The Fiddler Prose Poetryfarewell,heartbreak,inter
10/26/2020 My Minichu Rhymefun,kiss,
10/26/2020 A Feeling of Dread Free verseangst,depression,
10/26/2020 Youth Saw Me Passing By Light Verseage,youth,
10/26/2020 The Big Change Quatraindivorce,life,peace,rememb
10/26/2020 103 First Floor West Carpe Diemage,destiny,life,metaphor
10/25/2020 Suppose for a Moment Quatraincharacter,happiness,ident
10/25/2020 A Chilling Reminder Free verseanxiety,fear,political,
10/25/2020 Some April Day Coupletage,depression,future,hop
10/24/2020 Reality Sets In Rhymeage,identity,moving on,ol
10/24/2020 On Being Human Free versecolor,humanity,race,
10/24/2020 Moonbathing Light Versefun,humor,
10/23/2020 The Frightening Future Quatrainculture,fear,future,polit
10/23/2020 At the Graveside of One Who Suffered Rhymedeath,funeral,grave,grief
10/22/2020 Halloween Couplethalloween,
10/22/2020 With Apology to John Newton Quatrainchange,religious,
10/21/2020 Village on the Rhone Ekphrasisart,river,
10/21/2020 Sometimes When Shadows Fall Free versemountains,

My Photos

Fav Poems

VERSE FREED to couplet Coupletnostalgia,word play,
Vanishing Specter Terza Rimafriend,travel,truth,

Fav Poets

Laura Leiser United States Flag United States Read
John Hamilton Canada Flag Canada Read
Eric Ashford United States Flag United States Read
Janis Thompson United States Flag United States Read
Sandra Haight United States Flag United States Read
Suzanne Delaney United States Flag United States Read
Thomas Wells United States Flag United States Read
Linda Fowler United States Flag United States Read
Jones Muta Tanzania Flag Tanzania Read
Brian Strand United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
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