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Bloodroot Haiku Award

The past few days have found me shleppng back and forth from bed to couch, folliwng a strict Nyquil and hot tea regimen, and bemoaning my decision to brave the post-holiday hallways maskless. I’ve been in and out of troubled sleep – mostly awake in the dark of night. Things have not been great. But today. I found a burst of energy that afforded me the opportunity to go outside to check the mail. And y’all. Fresh air is nothing short of life changing. In that brief trip to and from the mailbox I appreciated every drop of sunlight, the…

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Joanna Catherine Scott Award

This morning’s post comes to you from the kitchen of my parents’ kitchen in Las Vegas, NV. It is only my second time visiting them since they moved here several yeras ago (right at the top of the pandemic), and so it doesn’t feel quite as comfortable as the childhood home where my family and I have spent Thanksgiving for the past couple decades. And yet. The chipped and faded yellow mugs from which my older brother and I drank our first cups of coffee are in these cabinets. My parents’ prized photos of their mothers and siblings are carefully…

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Alice Osborn Award

Around this time last year, I told you about a dedicated first grade teacher to whom I attribute my love of poetry. I didn’t tell you about Oranges, the poem I wrote at the urging of a second grade teacher who convinced me I might be good at writing it. And then there was my eighth grade English teacher, who showed me the magic of memorizing my own work and performing it. There’s something about the things we fall in love with as children that have a way with staying us. Every day I am grateful that poetry is one…

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Mary Ruffin Poole Award

There are a great many things that I take for granted. I woke up this morning and expected, with very little effort on my part, to have water for a shower, electricity for my television, and clean clothes to wear to the job I rely on. I do this (and have done this) every day for years and take for granted for that I will continue to do this for many more. On Tuesday, without thought, I drove to my polling place, knowing I’d be able to vote safely for the candidates of my choosing. I take for granted that…

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The 2023 Contests Are Now Open!

And just like that, the submission period for the 2023 Pinesong Awards are open. Can you believe it? Have you selected the poems you’re going to enter? Still working on final edits? This year, I am incredibly excited to announce a brand new contest – the Jean Williams Poetry of Disability, Disease, and Healing. Over the past few years, we have all been made more aware of what a precious gift health is, and what a luxury it was for many of us to not have been aware already. We invite you to share your poems of up to 36…

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World Poetry Day

I have a confession.  Sometimes, I let myself get so wrapped up in how amazing a thing should be, that I don’t actually myself to do or participate in the thing, for fear that the actuality of it won’t live up to my own hype. Which is why at 8:00pm I finally had to tell myself, “Just write SOMETHING,” so that I didn’t let World Poetry Day pass without a check in with you. That’s the post. Today is World Poetry Day, and I hope you were able to find a moment of celebration. Did you read a poem today?…

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2022 Pinesong Award Winners

It is my extreme pleasure to announce the winners of the 2022 Pinesong Awards Poet Laureate Award Preliminary Judge: Anne McMasterFinal Judge: Joseph Bathanti First Place: Two Variations on a Theme of a Tenement (as Viewed from the Window of a Moving Train With a Song Interposed) by Maria Rouphail Finalists: A praise poem, without the praise by Mary HennessyIF WAKING RECAPITULATES THE EXPULSION FROM EDEN by Celisa SteeleInjections by Kat Bodriemaking order of things by Lucinda TrewPerseids by Kelly JonesNightsong by Joyce Compton BrownSummer at the Boy’s Camp by Carlin CorsinoTake Jesus, for Example by S. L. CockerilleTeaching the…

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On rejection…

We are two weeks into 2022, and I have already received two rejections for work that I submitted last year. As I prepared submissions to be sent to our contest judges, I held both of those rejections close to my heart. I know that every poem that will be read over the next few weeks was entered with care and hope. And though they each tell stories worthy of being heard, less than ten percent will be recognized by our judges. My heart already breaks for the people who will begin their year with rejection. One of my favorite poets…

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Joanna Catherine Scott Award

I was introduced to poetry by Mrs.Heard, arguably the best first grade teacher in the game. She harnessed the power of the PTA to type, print, and publish (via FedEx coil binding) the stories that I and my classmates wrote in our short story journals; she put our books on the shelves alongside Beverly Cleary and Mercer Mayer; and she guided each of us through creating our own collection of poetry. We wrote acrostics, limericks, concrete poems, and haiku. She taught us the value of form.  All these years later, my relationship to form is a bit different. As a…

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