A Celebration of POetry-online!

APRIL FIRST FRIDAY POETRY CELEBRATION ONLINE!

 April 3rd 5:00*

“SNAPSHOTS IN TIME” 

An ONLINE  ZOOM Reading with our 2020 Winners 

and New Hampshire Poet Laureate Alexandria Peary


Space is limited!

 please contact  dianaleevelie@aol.com 

by April 2nd to be included 

 


*April 3rd, 2020  - Public Reading is Cancelled

Please Scroll Below to read this year's winning poems

PLUS... special April POetry Workshops - ONLINE !

"Poetry in the Time of COVID: Resilience, Community, and Connection"

 

Free Virtual Writing Workshop with Alexandria Peary!

8 Sessions during April  ...Space is limited!

Click Here for more information and to register for each


 These workshops are in collaboration with Kirsty Walker, President of Hobblebush Books 

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2020 Poetry Contest "Snapshots in Time"

2020 Winning POems

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FROZEN

The world stopped spinning

Everything was silent,

The breeze stopped blowing the trees,

And the river stopped rolling along.

Everything was silent,

Oh, so very silent And Dark.


Sophie Stachulski, Elementary School Winner

Strafford NH

Just Like That.

It’s funny how quickly a moment can go from thrilling to terrifying,

Just like that.

Laughter turns to screams

The world becomes so loud, yet so deafeningly silent.

The impact isn’t even the worst part,

But the pressure of the water overtaking my body and stealing my breath is what kills me.

I try to gasp for air

But to no avail.

Air turns to water and fills my lungs.

In my last moments I relive everything in my life up until now.

Every wrong decision

Every right one

Everything in between

Will the world miss me?

Or will I just be another unknown soul,

Gone?

Just like that.


Callie Valeri, High School Winner

New London NH

A 1987 Photo of Female Destinies

Mom, me, and my little sister, frowning. Summer vacation, road-trip.

Dad had rested the 1960’s Travco motor home, to extend its life

on the road. While we waited for it to quit its white-steam-sighing,

he brought his camera out to capture a gigantic Arizona cactus.


My little sister and I fence Mom, as directed, and stand in front of the star.

My oldest sister—absent—explores a Christian camp, 3,000 miles away, 

where she’ll meet her future husband and try-on Mom’s Sunday shoes. 


The star of the photo towers behind us, stiffly poking the desert sky

with its succulent-nubs, to force the rain that just won’t come.

This inside-out pincushion grows from Mom’s slumped shoulders, out


of her housewife-head, as if all of the cooking & sewing she did for us

came back in one impatient clump. Her feet swell beneath the burden 

in the degree of heat that melts cheese; another reason we are not smiling.


My golden-haired sister—dressed in blue—leans close to Mom’s right side,

gazing at the concrete with her tiny-blue-eyes. Her three-inch feet

are firmly tucked together, readying her Air Force Sergeant future.


I am captured at eleven, a tanned, brunette, bean-pole; summer’s dry-gleam

a pasture in my hair. My white pants are rolled to my scuffed knees. My 

white tank top hides two sore bumps, (soon-to-be trainees)—I match


Mom’s scowl. This trip, she tells me that it is about time I wear a brazier.

My left-hand rests on the back of my head, my elbow forms an arrow

pointing in the direction apposing her. Deep, in the distance between us, 

on my right shoulder, a highway-sign cautions, alongside a chain-linked fence:

Do Not Enter.


  

By Amber Rose Crowtree

First Place Adult Category

Grafton NH

Compost Poem

A lopsided moon sends no light through the bare trees

as I stumble blindly

toward our compost bin.

One foot squishes and I jerk it back.

Someone’s cigarette smoke bullies its way

into my consciousness-a neighbor? Walker?

Undistracted, briefly stilled, I savor my small illusion

of solitude.


Joyce White, Second Place Adult Category

Farmington NH

LAST RIDE UP MEETING HOUSE HILL

No one knows 

The next ride could be you 

in the black hearse with the yellow fringe and tassels 

draped over velvet drawn curtains 

always parked in the dark end of Johnson’s barn. 

In her stall, across from the hearse, Lucy 

the retired black mare, waits alone. 

When it’s time, she wears an ostrich plume 

pulling the carriage slow and steady  

with its pine casket and massive iron wheels 

through the village of Sutton 

up Meeting House Hill to the Old South Cemetery. 

It might be Mrs. Ferry who is the next one to go. 

The ninety-seven-year-old woman who lives on Barker Road 

and holds the Boston Post Cane made of ebony with an engraved golden knob. 

Although the last time I saw her,  

she was on a step ladder painting her kitchen ceiling.  


Jody Wells, Third Place Adult Category

Sutton NH

Judge's Comments

 

Alexandria Peary, New Hampshire Poet Laureate


Elementary School:

Poem #1, "Frozen": This poem offers a view on a grand scale, combining in metaphor the planetary with the emotional. The writer offers complex imagery about movement--and a complex scenario of movement stopped.


Middle School: No submissions.


High School: Poem #6, "Just Like That." This poem presents a tight focuses on a serious moment, with an admirable use of longer lines, repetition, and voice for poetic effect. The use of casual "talk language" in the title does a great job of countering the seriousness of the scenario.


Adult:

First Place: Poem #5, "A 1987 Photo of Female Destinies"  Written in a prose poem style, this poem offers concise and evocative imagery around family life and female identity, with at times surreal imagery ("inside-out pincushion grows from Mom's slumped shoulders, out // of her housewife-head, as if all of the cooking & sewing she did for us / came back in one impatient clump." The writer uses details from the surroundings in complex metaphoric ways, especially at the close, and takes on the concept of a snapshot in time in snapshot-like stanza shapes.


Second Place: Poem #36, "Compost Poem": A lean, haiku-like focus on a momentary observation with deep internal voice and musicality ("I savor my small illusion / of solitude"). The poem deftly moves within minimal words between complex states of mind, beginning with the parallel drawn between the moon and speaker.


Third Place: Poem #9, "Last Ride Up Meeting House Hill": In an almost Emily Dickinson-like way, this poet takes on mortality; different than Dickinson, the writer mixes the "I" with a direct address to the reader, a "you." The poem succeeds in mixing time periods as well: both the nineteenth and the twenty-first century. The final image of the old woman is evocative: she's painting her kitchen ceiling in an independent, very much alive way, but the ceiling also suggests ascension (to another life).  

LETTER TO THIS YEAR'S CONTESTANTS

  

Literary Arts Guild

Center For the Arts

PO Box 872

New London, NH 03257

March 22, 2020


Dear Poets,

Thank you very much for entering the ninth annual Poetry Contest conducted by the Literary Arts Guild of the Center For the Arts, Lake Sunapee Region. The official contest winners are: 

FIRST PLACE: Amber Rose Crowtree for her poem, “A 1987 Photo of Female Destinies”

SECOND PLACE: Joyce White for her poem, “Compost Poem”

THIRD PLACE: Jody Wells for his poem, “Last Ride Up Meeting house Hill”

HIGH SCHOOL WINNER: Callie Valeri for her poem, “Just Like That”

MIDDLE SCHOOL:  No Entries

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WINNER: Sophie Stachulski for her poem “Frozen”


We are gratified by the numbers of entrants, and by the generally high quality of the submissions. While there was a limit to entries that actually won awards, there are many more of the submitted poems that are works of merit, and attest to a high level of talent and interest in poetry. We appreciate your contribution to the artistic expression that increasingly characterizes our state of New Hampshire, and hope that you will continue to participate in the activities and events that the Center For the Arts offers to our region. 


Sadly, due to the corona virus situation, we must cancel the April 3rd reading by the winners and New Hampshire Poet Laureate, Alexandria Peary. We will be working on a way to present the winners reading their poems via the internet. More on this will follow.


Whether or not your poem was selected as a “winner,” we send our thanks for your participation, and urge you to keep writing!


Sincerely,

Dianalee Velie 

Contest Coordinator

The Literary Arts Guild

dianaleevelie@aol.com