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PROS and CONS of PS Poetry Contests - L MILTON HANKINS's Blog

About L MILTON HANKINS
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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.


PROS and CONS of PS Poetry Contests

Blog Posted:4/17/2021 3:13:00 PM

     The following blog reflects my personal (positive and negative) feelings with which anyone may agree or disagree. It will be interesting, from my perspective, to see how many Poetry Soup members feel as I do, and how many think some of my feelings are off-target.

     Personally, I thoroughly enjoy the poetry contests, and I have submitted to almost all of them since becoming a member. That being said, I have had mixed feelings from time to time as I have observed the various, obvious "machinations" surrounding them. Hence a desire to share my thoughts and opinions, pro and con, with an invitation to readers to share their own thinking. So, here goes....

PROS

1.  PS Poetry contests have prompted me to branch out in my poetic expression, trying forms, formats, and rhyme schemes I had never tried before.

2.  PS Poetry contests have enhanced my general interest and participation in Poetry Soup.

3.  PS Poetry contests have lead to my spending a great deal more time reading and writing verse.

4.  PS Poetry contests have introduced me to previously-unheard-of-types of poetry.

5.  PS Poetry contests have directed me, through the results pages, to a number of poets who appear to be consistently writing first-class poetry.

6.  PS Poetry contests have presented me with writing prompts and challenges, which are powerful motivators.

7.  PS Poetry contests have consistently appealed to my innate competitive spirit.

CONS

1.  Sometimes, I find myself questioning whether contest sponsors are judging entries fairly when it is obvious they can easily learn "who wrote which" before making their placements. 

2.  I have observed that, occasionally, ideas (even titles) for poems are, shall I say, "borrowed" and/or "improved upon" by poets who submit poems later in a contest, i.e. having read the earlier submission in the New Poems list.  I have some specific examples, but prefer not to show them for obvious reasons.

3.  I have been perplexed [having submitted poems to some PS contests which have been previous contest winners in other venues, published in respected poetry journals, and have appeared in anthologies] seeing that they did not place, at all, in the PS contest!  Incidentally, I never submit an old poem when a brand-new one is requested.

4.  It is true, and I understand this perfectly, that rankings in poetry contests are the purview of the contest sponsor, who may or may not have any real expertise in evaluating poems submitted.  So, poets need to keep in mind they are submitting their poems to be voted up or down and/or ranked by ONE person, the contest sponsor.

5.  I find PS contest results directly affect my mood (and perhaps my blood pressure) especially when a poem I have written does not place (say out of 35 submissions), some of which are clearly not as well written as my submission!       

6.  Having been a teacher at several educational levels, from Elementary to University, I find it most disconcerting when poems containing obvious grammatical errors, misspellings, and obvious lack of sufficient proofreading find placement in PS poetry contests.

       

  

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Date: 4/24/2021 1:29:00 PM
I had to come back to this blog after a failure in a recent poetry contest. One of my lines had one syllable too many which I realized shortly after the contest closed. I changed it on my end but, alas, too late. I should have removed it then because I compromised my values with that change. However, the real reason I'm again responding is a problem (for me, at least) with contests in general. My main reason for entering is NOT glory. In fact, my intention is just to entice more poets to read my poems. Lack of interest is why I only post half my poems. So, I find the biggest pro of contests is calling attention to your work and the biggest con is restrictions that may compromise your meaning
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Jan Terry
Date: 4/24/2021 9:41:00 PM
L Milton exactly. We all would like some feedback on our work. I tend to write rather simple poems (easy to understand). I would love if they would inspire the general public (my family included) to read more poetry. If my poems make the reader emotional (laughter, tears or, maybe, wow), I feel I have written a winner.
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/24/2021 6:29:00 PM
Jan, lots of merit to what you wrote. So sorry you were too late to correct your entry. All of us have had similar problems. I proofread and proofread and still find mistakes. When I do, just like you, I fix them. I don't want my work misrepresented. Like you, too, I write poems for them to be read, not to win contests, but entering contests helps get them read. Right?
Date: 4/22/2021 4:21:00 AM
I agree with ALL of your points - good AND bad - and could give clear proof and a paragraph of substantive support of each, as there are poems and poets at the top of many lists here who consistently have grammar, spelling, context, syntax, tense, and senseless jargon errors. Sadly, it doesn't MATTER here, and there's not a thing you can do to change it. Public sites are all about "scratch my back and I'll scratch yours", NOT a place where you can go to get honest support or kindly critique or "fair" contests. VERY few if any judge truly "blind", and some openly admit that they don't judge in fair terms. Great blog, and a topic many of us have opined on ... to absolutely NO effect. Blessings
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/22/2021 9:12:00 AM
Thanks so much, Gregory, for contributing to the discussion. It is a shame that nothing, apparently, can be done to change the situations you, and many others, have pointed out. I certainly agree with everything you said, and I suspect many here would, as well.
Date: 4/20/2021 1:51:00 PM
What a great blog this has evolved into with tons of interesting discussions/eye-opening perspectives! Bottomline is N/As suck, we ALL get them, even the greatest poets here get them. Perfectly written, great poems get N/Aed every day. Fact. It's important to understand that contest sponsors place poems--whether those poems are the best ones in the contest or not!-- that speak to their muse, above all. The best poem submitted in a contest might not be the contest sponsor's cup of tea and gets an N/A. Not fair, but that's life, lol. When I was a newbie here, I used to get bent out of shape by N/As, but I've since developed a tough skin. Now it's like..."Meh, oh well, on to the next one!"
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/21/2021 8:28:00 AM
Thanks, Edward. I'm so happy to added to the discussion. Hey, we all know we are good poets, so it hurts when someone tells us a perfectly fine poem is N/A! Really! I don't allow the opinion of one person to throw cold water on my entire body of work. Thanks!
Date: 4/20/2021 4:21:00 AM
In my view, sponsors judging merely reflect what resonates with them and as such, is no reflection on the poets capability. If we feel impacted due to N/A or lower than expected ranking, all the more reason to participate, until this negative consciousness. contracting, ego spawned impulse finds no place within! If anyone wishes to place their ‘favourites’ higher up, it’s their game! Let them play it! Ultimately, we write for ourselves, as an outlet of our artistic expression. :)
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/20/2021 9:03:00 AM
So true, Unseeking Seeker and Jenna. Thanks for your contribution to the discussion. I think pretty much everything has been said that needs to be said now. I so appreciate every person who contributed...and, now, let's write poetry!!!
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Jenna Logan
Date: 4/20/2021 8:44:00 AM
Seeker, your sentiments mirror my own. I have hope we can all agree that none of us are qualified to judge the poetry of others with the astute capability needed. It’s a game called Sponsor’s Choice’ so whether disappointed in a placement or not, there’s no point in Pouting after the first 5 minutes like I do if not placed. If we are happy with our poetry...we can consider ourselves a winner.
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Rama Balasubramanian
Date: 4/20/2021 8:15:00 AM
Well said. Thanks. Take care, Rama
Date: 4/19/2021 5:30:00 PM
As a newcomer in mid-2019, I began sponsoring premier's knowing from the onset that entrants ID were doable and that the trim cycle of a premier left me with poems vs. poetesses/poets, then I moved onto standards in 2020 and onwards. I have contacted entrants, basically alerts, but stopped that practice. Most sponsors are specific in the syllable counters that they use, listed in their contest rules--I do not. Most sponsors are unwavering on rhyming--spot on, using RhymeZone, and sometimes near-to-rhyming, I change at times, between both. I state new and/or welcome old poems.
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William Kekaula
Date: 4/19/2021 8:47:00 PM
Milt, as I spoke of my contests, I offer choices to syllable counters and will add to it should someone soupmail me of a new site (as done before) and I plan to be flexible to rhyming, also, I am returning to premiers and the lean cycle. Cheers!
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/19/2021 7:46:00 PM
There are certainly a few hundred better poets than I am on this site. If thirty-five of them present a better piece of work than I do, then, I do not deserve a place among them or above them.
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/19/2021 7:43:00 PM
I have no problem with repeated first place winners who are outstanding poets and who stand head and shoulders above the other submissions. I do have problems not placing when less deserving poems place. I feel like you do (with the novocaine shot!) I have never complained to or confronted a sponsor over the matter.
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/19/2021 7:41:00 PM
Thanks for valuable insights, William. I must point out selected syllable counter is wrong! That is deplorable. I have re-written to avoid the problem. In the future, I plan NOT to give any heads-up; experienced poets should not make the kinds of mistakes I find. If they want to know why they did not place, then I will tell them. I never value my worth as a poet on what anyone says...sponsors or editors, period. In that respect, I am arrogant!
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William Kekaula
Date: 4/19/2021 5:55:00 PM
There are times that a N/A, will leave an impression on my face as if a dentist just shot my jaw with novocaine--I mean, really. At one time, a poetess described me as a repetitive 1st Place winner, obviously, no accounting of N/A's, if not leading, at least 'tis in the running. I usually step back at such times and measure my worth making sure I didn't dig my hole too deep.
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William Kekaula
Date: 4/19/2021 5:31:00 PM
Sponsors who welcome old (sometimes after soupmail exchanges) I will either enter it showing the date 'twas written and/or if any alterations of the said old poem, I will rewrite it and then show the new date. I do, for the most part, include an example of what I am looking for in my contest, but some do not view them, ergo, they interpret my intents. I think the 'NP' idea, is cool!
Date: 4/19/2021 11:27:00 AM
Hi Milton, I’m so happy you wrote this blog. I love the contest because they inspire me to write, and they introduce me to the various forms. I lean more toward Constance La France’s comment. I try to focus on the positive aspects of the contest. Each sponsor is looking for a specific thing ( it’s a lot of pressure hosting a contest). I rarely host contests because I’m still learning and really don't feel qualified to be a judge. Thanks for posting this blog:-) Alexis
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/19/2021 7:31:00 PM
You are so welcome, Alexis. I appreciate your contribution to the discussion.
Date: 4/19/2021 8:57:00 AM
If N/A means not acceptable, maybe it should stay as N/A for errors in grammar, spellings, syllable counts, rhyme or whatever, the case maybe. Perhaps, the ones not placed should be N/P. Then it would be clearer for poets, who will not place, why? So far in my 8 months with PS, there is one sponsor, who e-mailed me regarding my syllable count and I am grateful for her kindness. With that, I also found that PS Syllable Counter counts some syllables differently than How Many Syllables.
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/19/2021 9:46:00 AM
Marilene, I have agonized over that difference in syllable counts in the two venues, too. Your suggestion is well-taken. If poets will contact me through Soup Mail about their poems or why they did not place in my contests, I am more than happy to positively respond.
Date: 4/19/2021 8:37:00 AM
I host many contests and there are often comments from people who have issues for not placing. I do make it clear what I am looking for to place in the contests. It is subjective and never really objective. It doesn't mean that those poems that didn't place were not worthy. I judge blindly but have also stumbled upon poems submitted, if they will not place I try to contact that poet to edit. This has backfired and I have decided to not do this in the future. I think that it can be discouraging to run contests when there is a lot of backlash and negativity. On the flip side, I have made small errors that cost me a placements in other contests. It was not a great feeling but understood.
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Tania Kitchin
Date: 4/20/2021 3:25:00 PM
True, but sometimes if you read the poems of those you follow it can happen. I try to not look at any new ones when I am running a contest. I think that we can all be over sensitive at times, myself included in how our poems place on the winners list or not at all. I think it depends on many factors and doesn't mean the one's not posted were not worthy. Sometimes I have wanted to stop running contests due to the the negativity that I sometimes get but overall most people on here are supportive and make the site a great one!
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/19/2021 7:49:00 PM
I understand, Tania. I do not read poems in the new list if I am aware (because of the title) they are likely to be submitting to my contest. I really don't want to read any of them until I am in the evaluating frame of mind.
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/19/2021 7:34:00 PM
Good point, Tania. Thanks for clearing that up. I must admit I have done the same thing. I hate to see a really fine poet miss out when they made a mistake, possibly because they did not proofread their submission. On one occasion, I asked the person to take another look at their work. I felt badly about doing that for days because of personal ethics, but I have gotten over it.
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Tania Kitchin
Date: 4/19/2021 11:27:00 AM
I do judge blindly but there are times when reading posted poems I may see one that was posted to my contest and have contacted the person to request an edit. It caused too many issues and I have decided to ignore it if I see any. I do not go looking for them. I like to be surprised when the winners are posted. I do belong to another site that posts the submission with the person's name, very interesting. It is funny how that seems to cause less issues.
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/19/2021 9:44:00 AM
Tania, you said you judge "blindly," but then went on to say you sometimes "contact that poet to edit." I'm a bit confused. Appreciate very much your contribution to this discussion. It is important.
Date: 4/19/2021 3:11:00 AM
may i just say it would be impractical to contact all the entrants who don't place; in a premier contest it would mean tracking down at least 25 people and giving them explanations! having said that, if someone wants to know why i didn't place them i am happy to explain my reasoning if they soup mail me..i always write a personal comment/critique on my winners' poems as i think it's the least you can do as a sponsor; i also used to put up a blog giving an overview of the contest, but recently stopped doing that as i found hardly anyone read them so not much point lol
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/19/2021 9:41:00 AM
Very sensible approach. I am wondering, though, will sponsors take offense if a poet asks them why they did not place? I would hope not, but it appears that some contest sponsors can be rather defensive when it comes to the subject of judging. If someone asked me, I'd tell them in a kind way why their poem did not place in my contest, period. If I don't hear from the poets, I assume they are not that concerned.
Date: 4/18/2021 10:33:00 PM
Just an afterthought: Contest organisers should NOT be burdened by having to explain N/As, because remembering from my days of running contests on here, many contests are flooded with, eg prose, inappropriate content, not on the subject of the contest, etc. I would like to reiterate: The top three placements in a Premier Contest should have a free critique - it is standard procedure in other international poetry contests, and the judges' decision is final (no post mortems). Yes, some poets' work is distinctive; some write rainbows of colour (blindingly so); and yet more poets consistently write poetry best described 'in the grey scale'. What pleases one, does not necessarily pleas others - choices in the contests on PS will always be made along the lines of personal preference. It would be a sad day when contest organisers must first be subjected to scrutiny of qualifications. This site is for fun. Poetry magazines are where you may test your mettle as a serious poet.
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/19/2021 9:38:00 AM
There is a lot of merit to what you say. I have not advocated "scrutiny of qualifications." Because of his on-going contests in which some submissions received N/As entirely upon the sponsor's "opinion," I wondered what his background was for evaluating poems. So, I asked him. If he took offense, that was his problem, not mine. I still participate.
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Suzette Richards
Date: 4/19/2021 3:04:00 AM
:))
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JAN ALLISON
Date: 4/19/2021 1:22:00 AM
BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO THE VOICE OF REASON SPEAKS!
Date: 4/18/2021 9:50:00 PM
If a poem is given NA for reasons like 1. Spellings.2. grammar 3. Syllable count 4. Date 5. Not writing contest name 6. Not following rules. Contestants should be informed. If quality not up to mark, poem not liked by sponsors no explanation needed. Instead of NA for small reasons if sponsors would just mail contestants and ask them to make corrections, it would avoid NA.
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/19/2021 9:32:00 AM
Rama, I don't agree entirely. I think poems that are rejected for "quality not up to mark" present the best opportunity for teaching. The sponsor doesn't have to be cruel about it, but it would help if they were honest in their explanation why the poem was not ranked.
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/19/2021 9:31:00 AM
Jan, in most cases, the sponsors know who wrote the submission from the get-go. They can read the poem in the new poem list, they can use the poet search function, and/or they recognize the poet's style. We shouldn't kid ourselves about this. There is little or no anonymity here. Wish there were!
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JAN ALLISON
Date: 4/19/2021 1:24:00 AM
if I have made errors and not followed the rules/ syllable count etc and get an n/a and I just accept it, If the sponsor contacts someone to say they made a mistake then they will know who wrote the poem
Date: 4/18/2021 9:50:00 PM
There are some sponsors who place all, if such sponsors would post a blog on why they gave NA to few. I mean a general blog like few got na for not writing date etc. It would be helpful to avoid silly mistakes and improve. Contests are a means to teach and learn new forms, no teaching is complete if mistakes are not pointed out. I have learned a lot since I joined soup, only because contest sponsors taught forms in contest entry section. I would like to thank all sponsors.
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/19/2021 9:28:00 AM
Me too, Rama. Your comment is well-taken, and your suggestions are heard. Thanks so much for contributing to the discussion. Interesting, I think, "no teaching is complete if mistakes are not pointed out." Perhaps that is what is missing in the contests.
Date: 4/18/2021 9:38:00 PM
This brings to mind high school and my English teacher who gave me a bad grade in literature because i said a certain short story ending was not at all surprising... she had me meet her in her office later to go over the canned responses i would need to give to ensure high grades in the external (aka first world) exams It was an eye opener for me ... art is subjective unless they make it academic...as in judging, where do you draw lines on creativity? Einstein knows ... and do you need care as to how it’s judged, particularly the why?...
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Susan Woodrow
Date: 4/19/2021 10:14:00 AM
Actually, when you enter a contest as an artist, you already know the subjectivity of it all, so there shouldn't be need to have explanations for N/A...what's nice is the reasons for the winners being selected but usually, if you read a sponsor's writes, you can pretty much write to please their tastes but then are you being true to yourself - something art's always advocating to the point it's so cliché..
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/19/2021 9:27:00 AM
I hear you loudly and clearly, Susan. Thanks for your contribution to this blog. Art is always subjective, but that subjectivity is in the mind of the beholder. I think judges in contests should recognize that fact and be very careful in how they approach the artist.
Date: 4/18/2021 9:25:00 PM
There are contest sponsors who have given me valuable feedback on my poems and why they placed it where they did. In a recent contest, I was surprised to receive a simple critique in the poem comments. I appreciate that the sponsor took the time to tell me how I might improve my poem. I followed their advice and tied my poem together with an additional stanza. Following a suggestion after another contest, I was able to change the last stanza of my poem to add more darkness and a shock factor to make the poem more memorable. I thank those poets for their advice. I find contests to be a valuable learning experience and an aid to my thought process. Thanks. Jan
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/19/2021 9:24:00 AM
Jan, it sounds like you have had some enriching experiences in the contests, and that is so good to hear. Thanks for sharing. I think all of us find the contests opportunities for expanding our knowledge of poetry forms and styles. That's good!
Date: 4/18/2021 8:10:00 PM
I do appreciate learning different types of poetry with the contests, although I do question some of the judging like you do... in silence... I just keep going to challenge myself and grow.
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/18/2021 8:23:00 PM
Good 'nuff!
Date: 4/18/2021 7:59:00 PM
I've only been a member of the PS for 8 months and I agree with your PROS for I learned a lot since I became a member in August 2020. I also accepted the fact that some of the contests are judged based on the personal choice of the sponsor, for I get N/A with one sponsor and when I enter the same poem with another sponsor, I would be placed. I am a late bloomer and just started writing poetry two years ago with no formal training, nor English literature, masters. My poems are simple so I could reach everybody. I don't think I need that high intellectual vocabulary to be understood or relate to my readers.
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/18/2021 8:22:00 PM
I agree with you wholeheartedly, Marilene. Poets come from all walks of life, all races, creeds, nationalities, sexual orientation, and educational levels. Your ability to express yourself in ways that bring satisfaction to you are, IMHO, the only prerequisite. Incidentally, big words often turn me off!
Date: 4/18/2021 2:50:00 PM
L Milton Hankins, Poetry and contests; always at sixes and sevens. There can never be a loser when the real contest is only with yourself. My two cents. -Richard
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/18/2021 6:33:00 PM
So true, Richard. Thanks for your contribution to the discussion.
Date: 4/18/2021 2:38:00 PM
I just want to pick up on Rama's idea of giving a reason for N/As. As a judge, I would love to provide the reason for the N/A, I think contestants deserve that. On the other hand since we are peers and some people are sensitive, the odd one would want to argue with the judge ~ again the one bad apple ruining it for the rest. Another point if I may, in my opinion if we were allowed to run more than one contest at a time, there would be more action and we would feel less impacted by the result of one contest.
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JAN ALLISON
Date: 4/18/2021 3:52:00 PM
I think some sponsors would simply stop running contests if they had to justify the reason why a poem hadn't placed. If we enter a contest we have to accept it may not be to the sponsors taste or we haven't followed some rule. We can go on debating this subject till the cows come home but nothing will change, the contests are challenges and win or lose I will continue to write for many of them
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/18/2021 2:43:00 PM
Thanks, Line, and thanks for your well-thought-out suggestion. Good idea. N/As should be explained and those entering the contests would be advised if their poem is not acceptable...why. Thus, sponsors would have to give considerable thought to a work before denying it placement. Or, it could be optional on the sponsor's part with advance notice that any poems not selected will get an explanation why.
Date: 4/18/2021 1:39:00 PM
Well done on raising this topic! I have been surprised by some N/As too but it is simply what appeals to the sponsor! I write for the fun of it, and my skill has gone up since I joined PS! I must thank all the sponsors who take time out to do it! It is a great community of poets with similar interests and fun! I am not sponsoring many but I seriously considered the idea of three or four poets independently marking the poems and adding the scores to rank winners. That can be done through soup mail! But win or lose, I shall smile!
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Krish Radhakrishna
Date: 4/18/2021 7:43:00 PM
Richard love that quote from G Marx!! ha, ha, ha!! here is another “ Are you coming quietly, or shall I put the ear plugs on? “
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Quoth TheRaven
Date: 4/18/2021 2:35:00 PM
Krish, That is an excellent idea. I decided long ago I wouldn't be part of a contest that would have me as a judge. -Groucho Marx
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/18/2021 1:52:00 PM
Thanks for your participation here, Krish, and for your thoughtful suggestion. Perhaps something like that could be taken under consideration. This is truly a great community of poets, and all of us are thrilled to be a part of it. I know I am.
Date: 4/18/2021 11:48:00 AM
I enter quite a few 'professionally' run comps i.e. the big national/international ones, and i try to bring what i learn to the judging process of my own contests..i study the winning poems in those professional comps, and i also study and take on board what the judges say about the poems, and what they say about their criteria for judging etc. i try to keep up to speed with the contemporary poetry scene in general and feed what i learn into my own poems and contests..:)
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/18/2021 1:49:00 PM
Thanks so much for your contribution here, Charlotte. What you say is well-taken. It is always good to hear a contest sponsor say, "I try to keep up to speed with the contemporary poetry scene in general." I think we all want more professionalism in the contest system here at PS; at least, I do.
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JAN ALLISON
Date: 4/18/2021 12:53:00 PM
I have always been SO proud to place in your contests Charlotte you have been so kind encouraging to me to write short forms and as a result some of my haiku have been published by haiku journals:-)
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Suzette Richards
Date: 4/18/2021 12:18:00 PM
Yes, I agree with the notion to have the winning poems critiqued. I wish that the PS sponsors would follow suit.
Date: 4/18/2021 10:53:00 AM
As Edward said below: It is what it is . And we have to just adopt the positive attitudes as expressed by some of the others here at your blog! 11 years here has taught me a lot, and that is why Edward said it best!! (and the pros you mentioned at least outweigh the cons).
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/18/2021 11:08:00 AM
LOL, Jan. I suppose I'll not get a decent placement now, eh? Oh well, I had good intentions, and I think this discussion gave some of us an opportunity to vent. I will continue to participate, and I will continue to sponsor and judge as unbiased as I can. I'm still learning.
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JAN ALLISON
Date: 4/18/2021 10:57:00 AM
Do you recall when names were allowed on poems - and then this was stopped by admin. I remember one sponsor gave me a low place and when the contest closed they mailed me saying 'they expected better from me' so much for no names lol, with another sponsor I could predict what placement i would get. hugs jan xx
Date: 4/18/2021 10:50:00 AM
It was interesting to read all the comments you got. Yes, as one person pointed out, there have been multiple discussions on contests, but those were before you arrived. Changes were made. The new style of contest was formed, with ten wins or less. I have always hated the fact that there is no anonymity, but it's utterly impossible to have such a thing here. When I judged contests at Shadowpoetry years ago, I did not even KNOW who the other two judges were whose opinions also contributed to our annual winners of big contests at that website (which is now shut down). Because of the way Soup is set up, we can't have contests the way I personally would like them to be.
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/19/2021 9:53:00 AM
Harry, it is never my intention to insult anyone, period. If they are insulted it is their decision to be insulted. Everyone must have control of their own feelings. If you are insulted, you are taking all of this entirely too seriously. Yep, some poems which place higher than mine are not as well written, period. Sometimes my higher placement is not as well-written as some lower, too.
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harry horsman
Date: 4/18/2021 9:45:00 PM
Milton you harp on about some here taking offence. No that is not the case at all, I reiterate that your blog insults the sponsors who in their opinion (and isn't your blog an opinion also?) place the poems in their own order, also you insult the poets who are place above you. You have already stated 'some of which are clearly not as well written as your own'.
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/18/2021 8:27:00 PM
Harry, I'm so glad you shared this with us. If a judge wrote that my poem "should have place first" I'd respond, "Then, why didn't it???" The idea that the judge's "circumstances" didn't warrant it is BS, IMHO.
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harry horsman
Date: 4/18/2021 6:40:00 PM
To Jan's reply below, I have had 7 soup mails from judges over the years, regarding a contest with an apology, for not being placed higher, 4 of those i was told i should have place first if circumstances (for them the judge) had been different.
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Andrea Dietrich
Date: 4/18/2021 1:10:00 PM
oh yes, definitely it was a better system, but at the same time, it was a very professional thing. The winners got chapbook deals out of it, so we judges had to judge each entry according to five criteria . Even then, it was so weird for me to see how "OFF" the other judges may have been in the way they saw a poem compared to me! However, when we ALL agreed on a poem, it was the CLEAR winner, and that's what mattered.
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/18/2021 11:05:00 AM
I understand completely, Andrea. But, I think you'll agree that was a better system. When I judged forensics many years ago, we had very rigid standards for judging. Still, I'm certain many participants were upset.
Date: 4/18/2021 9:26:00 AM
Hello, Milt, it is what it is with poetry contests, you win some, you lose some. One should temper expectations or end up extremely disappointed. I'm always cautiously optimistic about my chances of a win. When I don't place, which is often, I simply move on along. I don't bother finding out why. I like to think I'm a fair contest judge. What's the point of judging otherwise? I judge poems based on quality of the poems and nothing else. My way of running contests--picking the titles--solves the problem of accidentally clicking into poems written for my contest in the "New(All) section! I judge blindly, but I always notice the distinctive writing style of some poets; impossible not to, IMO.
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/18/2021 10:59:00 AM
Hi Andrea, welcome to the discussion. I'm learning so much, and I appreciate all of the contributions. I tried to find previous blogs on this subject, but didn't find any, before I started this one.
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Andrea Dietrich
Date: 4/18/2021 10:39:00 AM
Ditto what Edward said. We can only try our best. Sometimes I fully expect NOT to win, and I actually win. Other times, I feel I OUGHT to win (especially if almost everybody who entered IS winning) and when I do not, I feel sad as if the judge did not want me on their list. You learn to develop tough skin here and roll with the punches!! Judges do not like sour grapes, so it's best to just accept "it is what it is"
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/18/2021 9:32:00 AM
Thanks for your fine contribution to this discussion, Edward, and your sound advice about tempering expectations.
Date: 4/18/2021 8:23:00 AM
Hi Milton, the pros of entering contests surely inspire me to write more:) as for the cons, yeah they are there, especially the last two, but I keep going on, hopeful that one day I will win, especially the premium contests:)
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/18/2021 9:14:00 AM
Thanks for your contribution to our discussion, Jo. I think that is one of the most important things about contests--they inspire us to write from prompts and suggested themes/titles. Who wins what will always be subjective. I don't think any of us like to get a N/A on something we have worked very hard on.
Date: 4/18/2021 7:50:00 AM
I am glad, Milton, you wrote this great blog, and this topic is being discussed. Everything you said about PROS is very true. I agree with rob caramack - without the themes, without the new formats, overall without the inspiration - I would not have written so many poems. But I wonder about the CONS Milton has mentioned - could there be a better way for judging these contests? I myself had a fair share of disappointments with N/As, but now I have decided to be confident with my own creations, not worry so much about winning, which is subjective, and move on with my next project. Thanks to Milton for writing this blog, thanks to the sponsors, and thanks to everyone for expressing their points of views ...Mala
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/18/2021 9:11:00 AM
Mala, thanks so much for your contribution to this discussion. I think all of us concentrate on the PROS to keep us contributing to the site's overall effectiveness. This is good. Like you, I try to write my poems for my own inner peace and satisfaction, not for the contests, and sometime I find that I am embarrassed by a contest submission (even one that wins) and I want to delete it after the contest is over. Who wins the contest is purely subjective...the decision of the sponsor, and we must make peace with that. OTOH, we have the choice of which contests we enter and which we do not. Thanks again, Mala. Good contribution.
Date: 4/18/2021 7:31:00 AM
Milt, I think you should focus on the positives, the pros, and let go of the cons. I get tons of NA's but I just keep writing. An NA on PS does not define me as a poet/writer. Contest themes give me inspiration, a chance to learn a new form, and take me to places in my mind, I may not have gone, and I love that. I think a person can learn the technical and perfect way to write a poem form, have perfect spelling, great words, perfect punctuation, perfect meter and the poem is as cold as ice, love _Constance
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Andrea Dietrich
Date: 4/18/2021 10:41:00 AM
so true. A great way to think of the N/A's. They absolutely do not define us if we know in our hearts that we wrote a GREAT poem!
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/18/2021 9:08:00 AM
You are absolutely right, Constance, and concentrating on the PROS keep me participating. OTOH, we wouldn't give opportunity for discussion without the CONS. LOL. I love your spirit, your attitude, and the work you present on PS. Your contribution here is priceless, and I hope the attitude you work with continues to inspire all of us...and it will!
Date: 4/18/2021 6:43:00 AM
Great blog and relatable mixed feelings duos !
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Paris-Maree Boreham
Date: 4/19/2021 4:29:00 AM
There's not much more I can contribute as most comments here cover all. I second what Brother John wrote " I think the biggest con is that judges are able to see who wrote them. I think members should come up with a way to make an anonymous blocker hidden from the judge."... unfortunately though I don't see this happening anytime in the near future or at all but geeee would save many problems, me thinks !
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/18/2021 9:05:00 AM
Thanks for your response, Paris-Maree. We'd love to hear more of your thinking on this subject. Feel free to elaborate.
Date: 4/18/2021 4:12:00 AM
I agree with all that you state. I feel in standard contest with multiple placement reason for NA should be given. Many times I fail to understand why NA was given. Some sponsors do write a blog and mention reasons for NA, many don't. Good you wrote on this topic. Take care, Rama
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/18/2021 9:00:00 AM
Thanks, Rama, for your contribution to this discussion. N/A always seems sort of harsh. Just a suggestion--every poem submitted could be ranked from top to bottom...with poems not adhering to basic form, structure, syllable count, etc. being ranked very low on the list, eliminating N/A. We obviously have poets from every educational and national perspective, so, that needs to be taken into account, as well. I find more than one first-second-third place winners in any contest to be ludicrous, frankly. Thanks, again.
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Rama Balasubramanian
Date: 4/18/2021 7:25:00 AM
Thanks Jan. Will do the same next time. Love and hugs, Rama
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JAN ALLISON
Date: 4/18/2021 6:21:00 AM
You could always mail the sponsor asking why - I have found on several occasions i have been at fault either with syllable count or not adhering to the rules but at the end of the day it's down to the sponsors personal choice:-) hugs Jan xx
Date: 4/18/2021 4:09:00 AM
It's a theme of previous blogs, and you just have to accept this is the way the 'contests' are run. Premier contests were introduced a few years back which makes them more of a proper contest with limited placements. I know some of my best work would never have been written without these contest prompts and win or lose I am grateful for the opportunity to challenge myself by writing and learning new forms, and if my poem places then hopefully it will be more widely read . I'd love to see generic titles used with our own unique title could be placed in the body of a poem which would stop sponsors being able to see a poem on the new poems list, but its also easy to recognise someone's style.
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Andrea Dietrich
Date: 4/18/2021 10:56:00 AM
well said, my friend!
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/18/2021 8:57:00 AM
Thanks so much, Jan. Yes, I agree with what you have said and see the possibility of the "generic title" idea. You make excellent points, and it is true that, after awhile, we begin to recognize certain poets' styles. True. I'm afraid there isn't much that can be done about that. These kinds of discussions ultimately will make for small changes and a better contest system as time goes by. It's also important for every person to have a right to their say. I can't thank you enough for your fine contribution to this discussion.
Date: 4/17/2021 11:40:00 PM
Oh, I can identify with all of the above. Running a contest, is no easy task. Lately I have picked up more 'N/As' than breakfasts ... Even in the last contest you held :)) No gripe there, Milt. What I would like to see is an analysis of the (at least top three) poems placed as Nina used to do. I feel that the contest sponsors should go that extra mile as poets break their backs to support their work - contests often revolve around a poem/example that the sponsor had written.
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/18/2021 8:52:00 AM
Suzette, I cannot tell you how much I appreciated the spirit in which you responded. You have also presented some possibilities for improving the contest system. Frankly, it was not until my last two contests that I realized they were really not anonymous. I am sort of naive in some ways! I absolutely love your attitude toward this whole business. Thanks so much for your response.
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Suzette Richards
Date: 4/18/2021 5:47:00 AM
An aside: If a poem is not placed because of a spelling mistake, can the sponsor please indicate that only USA spelling and grammar would be acceptable (for example). There is a difference :)) Also, I have seen 1st place winners who did not comply with the basic rules of a poetic form. Therefore, reading past examples of a particular form here on PS is not always a good yardstick. I have taken issue with poetic forms listed here, but this is a site for having fun and not to be taken too seriously, it seems. Just my thoughts on the matter.
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Suzette Richards
Date: 4/18/2021 12:38:00 AM
On the subject of disliked contests: I absolutely abhor constrained writing where I am required to include set words - it is so reminiscent of school, that my kneejerk reaction is to rebel ... But, like all things at my age, winning is not everything: it is water off a duck's back and I move on to the next challenge.
Date: 4/17/2021 7:21:00 PM
Hi Milton, having been here on soup for over 10 years, i seen these sort of blogs here many times. Contests are the sole opinion of the judges. To be honest your blog is exposing those judges, that in their opinion did not rate your poem. You talk of education. i myself had none, neither did a poetry soup friend of mine here, who has a poem listed as a teaching aid, along with Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Tennyson, and more. Also Taylor Swift the pop star. In a Moscow university. with a poem that received a N/A in a contest here. So along with so many others. Are you just a sore loser?
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Andrea Dietrich
Date: 4/18/2021 10:45:00 AM
There have been a ton of blogs on this topic (before you showed up). People just all got tired of talking about it, and they initiated those premier contests several years ago, which in my opinion, narrow down the field so much that many great poems get left off, but as Edward above said in general "It is what it is"
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/17/2021 8:08:00 PM
Nope, Harry, not a sore loser. I win my share. Teaching creative writing, I have turned aside work the author felt was very deserving, and I have stacks of well-deserved rejection slips. I wrote this blog to give all PS poets an opportunity to express their feelings, pro and con, about the contests. You have addressed the subject appropriately. You'll find some of my poems listed as examples here in Poetry Soup, as well. I sense that you have taken offense, and that was not the purpose of this blog at all. For that, I am sorry. Thanks so much for your input, Harry. P.S. I have not found any previous blogs on this subject.
Date: 4/17/2021 5:47:00 PM
An excellent list of pro and cons Milton, I can understand where you are coming from. I myself am a first time sponsor of a contest, and I don't know much about judging them. I think the biggest con is that judges are able to see who wrote them. I think members should come up with a way to make an anonymous blocker hidden from the judge. That's just how I feel - Jacob
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Brother Jacob
Date: 4/18/2021 6:58:00 PM
I've just realized, though Milton, and wouldn't really do no good because the judge could log out of his or her account and still see the contestants poems.
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Paris-Maree Boreham
Date: 4/18/2021 6:41:00 AM
I agree also Brother John, if this were the case- surely a much fairer outcome for all without favouritism or even discrimination would prevail though being aware that any person can create a comp and be a sponsor it's somewhat fair, though I see you make a valid point !
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/17/2021 7:06:00 PM
Oh, I agree with your suggestion wholeheartedly, Brother. I think there should be a way to enter a poem in a contest that does NOT filter through your poem listing first, or, appear in the New Poems listing. Anonymity is so important I'd like to see some steps to bring it about. Thanks so much for your input. I appreciate it immensely.
Date: 4/17/2021 5:14:00 PM
Milton – finding a judge that is not affected by reciprocity on PS is difficult, and finding one that is not affected by some type of bias is close to, or is, impossible. For me, the pros are worth the cons because the contest will end and the results of it get buried in the database — but the effect of the contest lasts forever. Contests have had me write many poems that I would not have otherwise written.
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Aurore Severo
Date: 4/17/2021 11:21:00 PM
This is not a place for honest critique, then again, one may ask why are you even here?
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/17/2021 7:04:00 PM
Good thoughts, Rob. I thought I should have had a third section discussing possible solutions to some of the CONS, but I thought enough was enough for now. Yes, the pros are worth the cons, my friend, definitely. When I am upset by the results of a contest, I get over it quickly...particularly, if I do well on a subsequent contest. I'm human, too.
Date: 4/17/2021 4:36:00 PM
Hi Milton, Most poets work hard on their poem before they enter the contest, and if they don't place or honorable mention, some poets either feel disappointed, and some others get quite upset. I've had some poems highly regarded on another poetry website, but, in a PS contest they're N/A'd, lol!!! I know I'm not qualified to judge forms of poetry I'm not as familiar with, and my grammar isn't perfect. I would love to hold a Halloween poetry contest in the fall, with a few forms of poetry I know enough about, for cash prizes, but it would hurt my heart to have to N/A some of them. Milton, your poetry is exquisite, .
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L MILTON HANKINS
Date: 4/17/2021 7:02:00 PM
Thanks for your thoughts, Regina. This is why I wrote this blog. I see you have experienced something I had and wrote about. Go for it! I'll enter your contest. And, thanks for saying such a nice thing about my poetry. I believe you know I enjoy reading your work, too.

My Past Blog Posts

 
WORLD PROBLEM VILLANELLE CONTEST
Date Posted: 5/9/2021 8:46:00 AM
GOOD NEWS FOR MAJOR WORLD PROBLEM CONTEST ENTRANTS
Date Posted: 4/21/2021 1:53:00 PM
PROS and CONS of PS Poetry Contests
Date Posted: 4/17/2021 3:13:00 PM

My Recent Poems

Date PostedPoemTitleFormCategories
5/9/2021 Of My Inner Being Roundeli am,peace,spiritual,
5/9/2021 Preparation for Long Confinement Terzanelleanxiety,health,natural di
5/9/2021 Adventures of a Rakish Teenage Heel Pantoumadventure,lust,memory,
5/9/2021 Waterproofing Versehumor,water,
5/9/2021 Beach Bigots Free verseperspective,political,pre
5/9/2021 Beach Reflection Haikubeach,ocean,sky,
5/9/2021 Local Curmudgeon Limerickage,beach,
5/9/2021 Panama City Beach Impressions Haikubeach,nature,
4/30/2021 The Way You Look At Me Monokulove,passion,romantic lov
4/30/2021 Unfairness Versehumor,word play,
4/29/2021 Mistaken Identity Limerickhumorous,
4/29/2021 I Must Move On Roundelheartbreak,hurt,lost love
4/29/2021 Coming or Going Diamantetravel,
4/29/2021 A Naturalist Living in Perth Limerickanimal,humor,
4/29/2021 I Traced Her Steps Free verselost love,sorrow,suicide,
4/28/2021 Black and White Diamantecolor,word play,
4/28/2021 Beware of Biased Journalism Terzanelleangst,conflict,confusion,
4/28/2021 Freeloader Haikubird,food,nature,work,
4/28/2021 Debit or Credit Diamantebusiness,money,
4/28/2021 Two Tips on Titles Free versewriting,
4/27/2021 Our Daddy Rhymedad,father,home,
4/27/2021 May He Rest In Peace Blank verseabuse,death,farewell,fath
4/27/2021 Life and Death Rondeau Redoublefear,horror,
4/27/2021 In Tune With My Flowers Dizainflower,garden,music,
4/27/2021 When We Met Verselove,
4/27/2021 Consolation Rhymedeath,faith,
4/27/2021 Reconsidered Approach Limerickhumor,humorous,
4/26/2021 Love or Lust Diamantecrush,love,lust,meaningfu
4/26/2021 My First Yoga Lesson Rhymehealth,irony,moving on,pa
4/26/2021 Letter to My Son Quaternlove,son,
4/26/2021 Just Wonderin' Ninetteself,
4/26/2021 To My Dying Companion Italian Sonnetdevotion,loss,love,wife,
4/25/2021 Teenagers Verseclass,student,teacher,tee
4/25/2021 On the Outer Edges of Space Terza Rimagod,space,travel,universe
4/25/2021 Seedtime Diamantefood,garden,spring,
4/25/2021 Friend or Foe Diamantefriend,friendship,identit
4/25/2021 I Shall Write of It Rondeau Redoubledeath,grief,missing you,m
4/25/2021 Eventually Monokutime,
4/24/2021 Our Last Thoughts Rhymedark,death,spoken word,
4/24/2021 Tarnished Dreams Villanelleimagination,mental illnes
4/24/2021 Parting Thoughts Coupletangst,death,feelings,
4/24/2021 Last Words Ottava rimadeath,goodbye,words,
4/23/2021 Unrequited Infatuation Ghazalcrush,imagination,longing
4/23/2021 Thoughts on a Lifetime of Travel Sonnetadventure,age,travel,
4/23/2021 The Bitter End Coupletbreak up,marriage,
4/23/2021 Stash Limerickhumor,money,
4/23/2021 Of Men and Ships Versemetaphor,ocean,sea,
4/22/2021 A Sestina on Judging Sestinajudgement,poems,poetry,
4/22/2021 Tell Me, Who Do You Say That I Am Free versechristian,religion,religi
4/22/2021 Danger Zone Ottava rimaculture,dance,youth,
4/22/2021 Great Questions Terzanellephilosophy,
4/21/2021 Heart Ache Blank verseheartbreak,heartbroken,lo
4/21/2021 Breakfast Epulaeryufood,good morning,grandmo
4/21/2021 More Guns on the Street Rhymeheartbreak,irony,satire,s
4/20/2021 Birth in Storm Blank verseanimal,birth,cat,storm,
4/20/2021 Speak Out Fibonaccicare,rights,spoken word,
4/20/2021 Soliloquy Versespoken word,
4/20/2021 The Kiss Rhymehumorous,kiss,love,youth,
4/20/2021 Puppy Love Rhymelove,youth,
4/19/2021 Helping Daddy Understand Nursery Rhyme Rhymekindergarten,nursery rhym
4/19/2021 Rare Moments Sublime Sonnetlost love,memory,remember
4/18/2021 When Neighbor's Came Around Rhymenostalgia,remember,world
4/18/2021 Who Am I Roundelperspective,philosophy,
4/17/2021 Agape Love Free versegod,love,religious,
4/17/2021 Tragic Times Free versewar,
4/17/2021 Early Spring Dawning Roundelemotions,hope,morning,spr
4/16/2021 Magical Haikunature,spring,water,
4/16/2021 Pleasantries of Spring Haikunature,senses,spring,
4/16/2021 First Spring Mowing Haikunature,spring,
4/16/2021 Embers Free verselost love,
4/16/2021 An Angelic Visit Hybronnetangel,dream,inspiration,v
4/15/2021 Just Stating the Obvious Poetry Contest Rhymeprayer,religious,
4/15/2021 Words Better Left Unsaid Rhymeirony,peace,spoken word,w
4/15/2021 A Word of Advice Dizaingrowing up,identity,life,
4/15/2021 What Wind Cannot Respect Rhymeautumn,grief,metaphor,nat
4/14/2021 Revelation Free versegospel,peace,religious,
4/13/2021 The Seminal Decision Free versedestiny,future,growth,lif
4/13/2021 Night Across the Pond Free versedark,night,
4/12/2021 Ode to an Elementary School Teacher Odeclass,education,school,te
4/12/2021 Sign of Splendor Rhymeadventure,courage,motivat
4/11/2021 Forest of My Dreams Suzette Primedream,lost love,marriage,
4/11/2021 The Eagle's Realm Free versebird,flying,nature,sky,
4/11/2021 A Far Cry Villanelleafrica,children,death,hur
4/11/2021 April Flirts With Spring Free verseapril,spring,
4/10/2021 Miss Kentucky April Quatrainapril,cheer up,weather,
4/10/2021 Do It Again Nursery Rhyme Rhymenursery rhyme,
4/10/2021 Poetry Soup Acrosticpoetry,
4/10/2021 Untitled Free versebeauty,time,
4/10/2021 Beauty and the Poet Free versebeauty,poetry,poets,
4/10/2021 Immortal Words Rhymepassion,poetry,writing,
4/10/2021 Lessons I Have Learned in Eighty Years Didacticlife,
4/9/2021 Whence Passed the Verse Rhymeirony,poems,poetry,words,
4/9/2021 The Old Red Barn Pastoralamerica,farm,memory,
4/9/2021 A Pet Minichu Rhymedog,loss,pets,
4/9/2021 The Shine in My Life Free versechildhood,father son,ligh
4/8/2021 The Marlboro Man and Me Villanelledesire,recovery from,
4/8/2021 Immortal Rose Rhymenature,rose,
4/8/2021 Rods of Steel Will Bend Rhymedream,patriotic,war,
4/8/2021 Finicky Drinkers Free versedrink,humor,
4/7/2021 Puppies Versecare,dog,

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Fav Poems

PoemTitleFormCategories
VERSE FREED to couplet Coupletnostalgia,word play,
Vanishing Specter Terza Rimafriend,travel,truth,
A Song of Three Rhymefun,
A Man Called Leo Quatrainanxiety,emotions,father s
Eloquent Epitaphs Rhymehumor,
this old building Versehome,
It Was a Good Morning until Free versedad,fun,kid,
The Holy Road Free versewar,
Q Tipping Political Verseabuse,america,angst,discr
It Was A Good Morning Until Rhymehumor,
Spring Rhymeflower,spring,summer,sun,
I REMEMBER SMOKEY Quatraincat,childhood,
Baxter Bug and the Purple Orb Rhymeinsect,
This Beautiful Brown Eyed Boy Narrativeblack african american,bo
silence Free versechild,conflict,death,phil
To Her Son in Law Light Versehumor,
Lazy Bones Rhymework,
ILL REPUTE Rhymehumorous,lust,sin,
That's When the Fight Began Coupletfun,funny,humor,humorous,
My Whiskey Was Dumped Into the Well Rhymedrink,water,
Blue Ridge Nights Free versepoetry,
The Virginia Hermaphrodite Dramatic Monologuehistory,
To The Temptations Free versemusic,tribute,
The Nature of a Shadow Light Versesurreal,
The Honeymoon Light Versehumor,
Lend Me Your Ear Rhymecharacter,integrity,peopl
Contemplation Free verse10th grade,11th grade,12t
A Pig Questions Light Versehumor,
On Wings of Imagination Verseimagination,
Watching Amos Plowing with Horses Narrativehistory,nostalgia,
Miss Amelia Havisham's Garden Shed Rhymedeath,garden,literature,
Statues In The Park Rhymehistory,
The Last Supper Limerickjesus,
I Felt An Ache Inside Rondeau Redouble11th grade,12th grade,ang
M A X I M I Z E Acrosticinspirational,
All The Young Hymns Rhymechildhood,religion,school
Making a Hillbilly Jacuzzi Rhyme10th grade,11th grade,12t

Fav Poets

PoetCountry 
Laura Leiser United States Flag United States Read
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Brian Strand United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
William Tatum United States Flag United States Read
charles messina United States Flag United States Read
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Richard Lamoureux Canada Flag Canada Read
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