|Me, at the apex of my "Hey Jude-loving" days.|
I'm happy to say my poem "Dia de los Muertos" won second place in the Member's Only category of the Oregon Poetry Association's Fall 2016 contest. This was a fun piece to write. Since poems for this contest have to be six - twelve lines, I took four haiku I'd written a few years before and linked them together.
As a teacher of creative writing, I love this type of play. Take a line from your journal, a line from your grocery list and a line from a medical bill or a concert program or a Valentine and see what happens when you combine them. Of course some of our greatest works were created by following a carefully drawn road map, but it's also fun to be surprised, to follow some hidden paths and make new discoveries along the way. In my poem, I wouldn't have consciously sat down and made a connection between dry cookies and my brother's silver trumpet, but as I began to weave my haiku together, I found that when I united these images, they expressed something that went beyond the ideas I'd set down in the two separate pieces.
In the Poet's Choice category of the same OPA contest, my longer piece, "Hey Jude, Hey You," won an honorable mention. Once again, in writing this piece, I had the pleasure of making some unexpected connections. I took the song and scribbled away until I found what it meant to me. I actually thought this piece was going to be about my brother, but the poem took me to an entirely different country.
If you're interested in entering an Oregon Poetry Association contest, you can learn more about them at http://oregonpoets.org/. At the same site, you can also order copies of Verseweavers, the OPA's journal of award-winning poems.
Here's to a year of traveling to new places and making new connections!