Tuesday, April 29, 2014

2014 Bethesda Poetry Competition

Joanne Rocky Delaplaine’s poem “Sentenced” was selected by David McAleavey as winner of the 2014 Poetry Contest organized by Bethesda Urban Partnership and Bethesda Magazine. Ms. Delaplaine is a member of The Writer's Center, and she has taken many workshops over the years.  We're glad to post her winning poem. - The Editors


By Joanne Rocky Delaplaine

 When I think of your arms, I do not think
home, but house on fire, Knight of Wands,
and when we burned too brightly, I’d say
ice on limestone, Nine of Swords...
we were a small country once, Belgium,
fine chocolate, a train station in every town,
but now that you’re dead, we’re Russia, vast,
pierogis and borscht, with the Caspian Sea to cross,
you’re Moscow and I am banished to Minsk,
you’re the crime I’m doing penance for,
you’re my sentence without end.


 * * *

 Ms. Delaplaine's comments about her poem:     

Do I feel more at home in solitude or with another/others? What proximity or distance does any relationship need to endure?  A comment about "home" by Diane Keaton in an A.A.R.P interview prompted this poem. I find the images in the Tarot deck intriguing, dense, the way a dream is...
full of possibility.

Joanne Rocky Delaplaine is a Maryland native. Her poems have appeared in Poet Lore, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, (Walt Whitman and Anti-War issue), Cabin Fever: Poets at Joaquin Miller’s Cabin 1984-2001, Innisfree Poetry Journal, International Poetry Quarterly, The Northern Virginia Review, Radio Pacifica’s WPFW website, and elsewhere. She’s taught poetry workshops at the Great Labor Arts Exchange, and workshops combing yoga and poetry at The Second Annual Mariposa Poetry Retreat, Split This Rock Poetry Festival, and UnityWoods Yoga Center. She consider The Writer’s Center one of her homes and co-hosts CafĂ© Muse which sponsors poetry readings in Friendship Heights the first Monday of the month. 





Tuesday, April 8, 2014

And the Winners of the Poet Lore Contest Are...

In honor of National Poetry Month, Poet Lore, a publication of The Writer's Center, co-sponsored a poetry contest with the Enoch Pratt Free Library of Baltimore, Maryland. Chosen from a select pool of Maryland poets, the judges, Poet Lore editors Ethelbert Miller and Jody Bolz, honored four outstanding local poets: Mya Green, Emily Card, Randolph Pfaff, and Margaret S. Mullins. The three place winners will be published in the Fall/Winter issue of Poet Lore. The winning poet, Mya Green, will read her poem, “Responsibility”, at the CityLit Festival in Baltimore on April 12 and her poem has been made into a display at the Pratt Central Library.

1st Place: Mya Green

Mya Green is originally from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She is an independent editorial consultant who earned both her BA in Liberal Arts and MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College (Bronxville, New York).  She served as poetry contest director and editor for LUMINA Journal Volume XI and acted as a liaison for Sarah Lawrence’s 9th Annual Poetry Festival, where she also opened for 2012 National Book Award winner, Nikky Finney. 

Here is an excerpt from her winning poem, "Responsibility":

Feel the vibrations, she'd say. Deep South extracted

from my throat before it could root. We are not of the tribe,

we are a nation: fifteen burials at every stopping place,

sickness with each mile. Little Wolf says

the shaman woman walks in front of my mother

carrying a woven blanket, white. That I am late,

that I am never late.

2nd Place: Emily Card

Emily grew up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and spent her childhood combing the beaches of Assateague Island.  She loves to seek out new experiences and moves often, having lived in Canterbury, England, and Boston, Massachusetts.  She currently works as a manager at a law firm in Baltimore, Maryland.  She studied literature and design but also enjoys whetting her mind on the sharp edges of science and politics.  Though previously unpublished, Emily likes to write image-rich poems that draw upon her experiences as a 26-year-old wanderer.

 Here is an excerpt from her winning poem, "Saudade":

but I have flown home for the harvest moon,

pedaled my bicycle barefoot every dusk
and stopping, stood
impaled on the spoked shadow

of a wheel that was always in the path ahead,

always dragging another wheel behind.

3rd Place: Randolph Pfaff

Randolph Pfaff is a writer, editor, and visual artist living in Baltimore. His work has been featured in Poet Lore, PANKH_NGM_NRevolver, and Heavy Feather Review, among others. He edits the literary journal apt and runs the small press Aforementioned Productions.

Here is an excerpt from his winning poem, "Contiguous":

I am opening this story

with the sound of fun--
sing-alongs on FM radio,

and the erratic drumbeat

of highway wind
pulsing through car windows.

I am showing you a picture

so you'll see what it was like
to be confined in this kind of freedom.

Honorable Mention: Margaret S. Mullins

Margaret S. Mullins divides her time between rural Maryland and downtown Baltimore.  She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, the editor of Manorborn 2009:  The Water Issue (Abecedarian Press) and author of Family Constellation (Finishing Line Press, 2012.)  Her work has appeared in New Verse News, Persimmon Tree, Alehouse, Loch Raven Review, Creekwalker, Magnapoets, The Sun, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Sugar Mule, OVS, and Writer's Almanac among others, and been read by Garrison Keillor on NPR.

To learn more about the Enoch Pratt Free Library, please visit: http://www.prattlibrary.org 

To keep up with Poet Lore in its anniversary year, please visit us on Facebook.