Fall/Winter 2016, Vol. 36, No. 2
10. Vimaglo Sonnet
“Following form doesn’t always mean we have written a poem.”
18. The Landscape Speaks
I read many of what seemed to be prose sketches that need to be condensed and shaped to be actual poems. Much lovely writing--but extremely prosy.
General Judges Comments about Fall/Winter 2015 contests
5. Da Iceman: Required a poem written in the Minute form: Several poems were disqualified for syllable count or not being capitalized and punctuated like prose. One had both as issues.
Had 3 or 4 that didn't meet the requirements,
18. Cona You Write a Cento
A bunch of really nice cento poems you sent to me. One was eliminated from judging for not following the rules. But it was very difficult to place the others, as I felt that each one deserved to win. I was forced to count off points for such unimportant things (in my thinking) as punctuation, placement on the page, title in bold or all caps, etc.
On the first reading, I arranged them in order by the message in the poem. This carries the heaviest weight in my decisions. Next, I began to deduct points for those elements which I dislike:
1. Poem centered on the page.
2. Title all in CAPS.
3. Title centered on the page.
4. Title in bold.
5. Choppy flow in the language of the poem.
6. Inconsistent punctuation within the poem.
7. Switching from past to present tense, or from 1st person to 3rd person.
8. Weak last line.
That last criteria seems picky, but there were so many with a fabulous last line, I felt that I had to use it.
20. Lewisville Disqualified one with too many lines.
General Comments from Judges, Fall/Winter 2014
1. Suzie Siegel
It was very hard to choose between the first two poems. I enjoyed how both wove an element, light for one, water in the other, through the poems. (Two poems) had similar themes, but I ended up preferring the images of (one.) I also loved the added element of a poor woman sprucing up her place with plants. It reminded me of Mom and other women I've known.
3. Patrick Lee Marshall
Fewer entries did not make judging this contest any easier. All the entries were delightful including the Terza Rima with a couplet at the end, which I did not consider to meet the (contest) instructions.
6. Anne Sagor
1st Place--Marble Whispers--vivid images and some inspired word choices.
2nd Place--Not only do I like the poet's idea expressed in the poem, but I also
appreciated that this poem was punctuated correctly.
3rd Place--Makes one wonder why we as a nation have not abolished hunger in our midst.
1--a delightfully imagined race with a spider and good handling of rhyme.
2-- warm tableaus of home life.
3-- a poignant and moving theme.
Some of the others were more prose than poetry.
1st Place--Love Sonnets of Pablo Neruda (I looked up Neruda's work and believe our poet excels)
2nd Place--Dear Robert Louis Stevenson (This poet learned well from those beloved childhood verses!)
3rd Place--The Seven Pavilions (I did not read Kaye's 1000 pages, but this writer seems, to me, to have grasped and distilled the essence of Churchill's comment about history through these poetic lines of geography and world view. I think this work is somehow bigger than all of us and deserves a place and a publication.)
11. Faye Adams
What a wonderful group of Cento poems! All who entered are to be commended for their splendid work. Thanks for entering.