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 poet who typically shares my work via performance (and sometimes competition), my wheelhouse is narrative free verse. But any poet who competes at the national level will tell you haiku slams are the highlight of the competition. I’ve spent years developing a form called the disciple, that stems from my utter frustration with pantoums.
The Joanna Catherine Scott Award blends creativity and technical proficiency. Send us your sonnets, sestinas, villanelles, and pantoums. Bops and ballades. Centos and ghazals. Send us your contemporary expressed in 50 lines or less through traditional form to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to check out the adult contest page for a complete list of submission guidelines.
Check out this pantoum from Taylor Mali; then have a laugh with this sonnet from RJ Walker (…and Miley Cyrus. Just. Trust me) Be sure to check out the 2021 contest winners in the 2021 Pinesong; and read Mary Jaimes Sarrano’s below.
Mary Jaimes-Serrano is an author of romance novels and poetry. She has poetry published in Heron Clan VII and her books are available on Amazon and Kindle as well as her author website. She will be starting her MFA in writing in January of 2022. She can be found on Twitter @MaryJaimesSerr1 or on her website dedicated to her books and poetry @ mjaimesserrano.com