Home

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?…

Keep reading

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…

Keep reading

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…

Keep reading

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…

Keep reading

Carol Bessent Hayman Poetry of Love Award + Poetry of Courage Award

Happy New Year.  The first few days of the year are filled with such reflection and hope. With so much possibility. And, despite the uncertainty of the past two years, I have found that people are approaching the start of 2022 with the same belief that this year can be a year of joy and healing and reclamation.I like to go into each year with a word that sets the tone and guides my growth (often in unexpected ways). Up until almost midnight, I thought my word for this year was going to be “open”, and then, right at the…

Keep reading

Mary Ruffin Poole American Heritage Award

Here’s where I admit that I’ve written and deleted what feels like a ridiculous number of beginnings to this blog post. I want to talk about this holiday season. The utter joy of scrolling through various social media feeds and seeing friends who haven’t seen family members in years, donning their matching pajamas and sharing meals together. But. I can’t talk about that without mentioning how nervous I am about an uptick in virus cases when several of these reconvened family members inevitably carry asymptomatic COVID back to school and work. Or. Thinking about those with strained family relationships, grieving…

Keep reading

Poet Laureate Award

Yesterday, I was blessed to begin the day with poetry. Gideon Young – teacher, poet, and flutist – captivated each of us with a program of haiku, a few longer poems, and absolutely gorgeous music. Perhaps what resonated with me most, was a very conversational moment in the program when Gideon said, “poetry became real for me, when poets became real for me.” I found myself at that moment, wanting to reach out to all of my mentors in this craft, and this morning, those words were with me still.  I met Jaki Shelton Green several years ago during a…

Keep reading

Alice Osborn Award

I attribute my love of poetry almost entirely to my first-grade teacher, who after letting me read the final chapter of Charlotte’s Web aloud during storytime (because she was too overcome with emotion to continue), discovered that I also had the rhythmic timing necessary to read poems aloud to the class. We, of course, dove into the Shel Silverstein classics. She challenged us with harder, second-grade poems. We read them to each other. We illustrated the lines. We fell in love with poetry.  The Alice Osborn award, judged by Kristian Erny, celebrates playful language, surprise, and novelty. These poems, written…

Keep reading

Thomas H. McDill Award

I spent these past few days celebrating Thanksgiving with my family and a few close friends. It was three days of food and games and laughter and impromptu crochet projects that filled me with utter joy. Here, I also acknowledge that the holiday itself has a violent history that deserves our reflection – one that some believe is beyond redemption. I also believe that magic is possible when people gather together to express gratitude.  What does that have to do with the Pinesong Awards? Well. Not much. Until you consider what happens when my father begins to say grace. You…

Keep reading

Follow My Blog

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.