National Poetry Month was inaugurated to be the month of April, by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture. The definition of poetry and explanation has no simple answer because there are many different opinions about this subject. Most people think the poems have to rhyme, which is a style, but not the only way to write a poem. Movement and sound are the two main ingredients of poetry, then add feelings and you have a completely dysfunctional image of what poetry is.
Poems are written because something moved the writer by touching the core of their soul. They use writing poetry to make sense of the world around them. It is a very personal thing. They share a deep part of who they are; as a person and how they want to be perceived by the world around them. Living in the moment, the past, and with hopes for the future their thoughts are shared. The poem may rhyme, beat to a different drum, or flow as if in a breeze or riding down a stream. Poetry reaches in to the reader’s mind touching their senses and emotions. Poetry can touch every emotion and all the senses, it can create love, hate, kindness, sadness, anger, and happiness, it can make you hot or cold, flushed deep red or bone white, the list can go on and on. With each word a poem can bring to life a new perspective or leave one to think… “Wow, they wrote that one for me.”
In a sense, poetry is a language all its own, speaking to and taunting the reader, creating challenges for the poet to find a sweet spot that wakes up readers by challenging them to look deeper and to be mindful of themselves. There is no set way to write or speak poetry. Although some people would argue that point.
As the poetry contest chair, I could not have been able to do this contest alone. It takes a great deal of help from our membership and outside volunteers. I want to send out a special thank you to all the people that have been a part of this contest and helped to make it a success.
Thank you to the judges: Our President Connie Mukherjee, Tim Pompey, Joe Zimmerman, Michael Edelstein, Joan Day, and Lin Rolens. Our Technology/Website team, Michelle Soto and Barbara Piszczek. Carol Malone for her part in putting out the word through our Facebook page and Newsletter “The Write Stuff”. And Our Publicist Sheli Ellsworth for sending out our Poetry Contest flyers electronically and creating our certificates.
Our latest winning poems will be featured soon.