I have been writing some since I retired in 2010 – some prose, some poetry, some opinion type pieces… but this past weekend found me the opportunity to participate in a poetry event at the local art center that we call The Crossing Arts Alliance.  The TCAA is housed in an old school, along with other artists who rent the classrooms as work space or living space – and at the north end of the second floor is the Q GALLERY, where the even took place….

And that event was POETRY ON THE WALL II.  Poets were invited to submit up to three poems to be judged and then displayed on the wall of the gallery, culminating in a reception and reading of works by the poets, and the announcement of first, second and third place, as well as a People’s Choice award.

I entered three poems, as did many others.  A total of 52 poems by 26 different poets showed up in the hands of the event planner Krista Soukup, owner of the Blue Cottage Agency (http://www.bluecottageagency.com, with the Crossing Arts Alliance as the home, with some funding by the Five Wings Arts Council.

At 1 pm on February 8, a full house of an audience (about 70 people) gathered in the Q Gallery to hear the poets read one of their works… and a great variety of poems indeed were heard.  There were poems about snow, about attics, about pretty girls in the city, about stonings, about travel, about so many subjects.  Writer Sheila O’Connor spoke about her rise as a writer following the readings, and then the contest winners were announced…. The judge of the contest, Penelope Swan, explained how she had waded her way through all the poems, put them away for a few days, then read them again, them read them again out oud – and arrived upon her conclusion of the top three – Third place went to Laura Hanson of Little Falls, Second place to your truly, and first place to Doris Stengel, who I am pleased to say is one of my main mentors in my writing….  The People’s Choice award went to Susan Smith-Grier.   It was a fun day – and I SO much appreciated comments from someone other than my usual small circle of poet friends – and was so very glad to have my wife Wilma at my side to hear me read and to hear me named as one of the winners…. It is one of my more rewarding moments in my four years of actively writing.

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May it happen again….

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