Another month, another delayed contest result. This time it was the fault of the Texas Snowpocalypse! I’m glad to be on the other side of that and getting things back on track.
This month’s winner is Peter H. Schmidt. His golden shovel, “Rise Up,” draws from John Gillespie Magee’s “High Flight,” as well as “My Shot (Rise Up Part)” from the musical Hamilton. Peter asked me to make a donation to an organization helping homeless people in Austin; I selected Caritas of Austin, an organization dear to my heart, to receive a $25 donation in his honor.
Rise Up What does it mean to rise up Is it enough not to give up Is hope caged the rage the Phrase of the heart too long Denied a fair start, delirious Furious infamous self-injurious burning Away as respect is due, blue Notes all through, I’ve Never stopped, won’t be topped Won’t take my eyes off the Sky, gonna do, not die, wind-swept I will climb clouds to heights Flights of eagles at my feet with Stars so close I’ll make it easy For all eyes to see: my amazing grace
I can’t wait to see what y’all write for this month’s poetry contest! There are two prize options: 1) A $25 gift certificate to the independent bookstore of your choice, or 2) A $25 donation to the literacy nonprofit, aid organization, or public library of your choice. Please see the Monthly Contest Page for complete rules (there aren’t many) and past winners. This month’s deadline is Friday, February 20th.
Prompt The golden shovel is a form invented by poet Terrance Hayes. He created it in homage to Gwendolyn Brooks. In honor of Black history month, the February contest is to write a golden shovel related to environmental or climate issues. Feel free to be creative with the source text. My friend E. Kristin Anderson has a series of golden shovels based on Ke$ha songs.
If you’re unfamiliar with this form, read the poem “Golden Shovel” by Terrance Hayes as a reference point. Notice how the line endings in both parts are made up from Brooks’ “We Real Cool.” Notice how Hayes uses the words in a more straightforward way in the first section, and focuses more on sound in the section section. (Note: you do not need to write a multi-section poem; go with what works for you.)
Email your golden shovel to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11:59 pm on February 20th. Please also send me the title and author of the poem or song you used as your source text. (Include a link if possible.) The winner will receive a gift certificate to the independent bookstore of their choice, or I will make a donation in their honor to a nonprofit.
After much delay, I’m finally excited to announce the winner of the January poetry contest! I received a record number of entries this month, and on top of that, I had to move unexpectedly after my landlord sold my house! It’s a relief to be getting settled in my new place and back into a routine.
One of my (many) passion projects is serving on the board of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review. It’s been an honor to help keep an independent print journal going during increasingly challenging times.
Borderlands is currently going through a leadership transition. This fall, the board realized that we needed to split our volunteer Administrative Director position into three roles. The work was just too much for one person, especially with their work considered an in-kind donation to the organization. To that end, we split the role into three: Administrative Director, Development Director, and Production Director.
We are looking for people interested in serving Borderlands in a volunteer capacity to help us continue to thrive. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and we have been going strong since 1992 largely with the help of committed community members.
You can find descriptions of all three positions here. Submissions are open until February 15th, 2021. To apply, please send a resume to email@example.com (you can address your email to the Board as a whole.)
Please also feel free to pass this information on to anyone you think would be interested! Even if these roles aren’t right for you, spreading the word is a huge help. One of the best things you can do is help the right people for the job find us!
It’s time for another poetry contest! I can’t wait to see what y’all send me this month. There are two prize options: 1) A $25 gift certificate to the independent bookstore of your choice, or 2) A $25 donation to the literacy nonprofit or public library of your choice. Please see the Monthly Contest Page for complete rules (there aren’t many) and past winners. This month’s deadline is Wednesday, January 20th at 11:59 pm.
Prompt Write a haiku with the following theme: inside/outside. You do not have to include the theme words in your poem; explore different ways of embodying the theme through language and image. Haiku can range from 1-3 lines. 5-7-5 syllable structure is not required. Please keep haiku to approximately 17 total syllables for the entire poem.
Email your haiku to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11:59 pm on January 20th. Given the brevity of the form, poems pasted into the body of the email are preferred. If you have unique formatting that requires submitting as and attachment, that’s fine.