By Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
If you’re reading this newspaper, you obviously value the written word. But if you not only appreciate it, but fancy yourself a bit of a wordsmith too, you might be interested in the Carter County Poetry Society’s upcoming annual poetry competition.
The contest, sponsored yearly by club members and supporters, awards prizes in 15 different categories, including two youth categories. In the past more of those categories have been related to different styles, but this year only the cinquain – a five line poem, usually on a nature theme, with two, four, six, eight, and two syllables on each line, in that order – remains a set style; sponsored this year by club member Neal Salyers. Though cinquains are usually based around nature, the category is open to any subject as long as it conforms to the style.
The other categories are based around specific subjects or topics, or are open to any subject and style.
The Home Sweet Home category, sponsored by Jamie Lynn Barker, is open to any style of poem based around the title topic, within a 60 line limit.
Opening the jar, sponsored by Angela Barker Thomas, is also open to any style with a 60 line limit, and must use the phrase “opening the jar” somewhere within the pore, but not in the title.
The Time Machine category asks the poet to take a look at themselves in the past or in a future situation. This category, sponsored by Laura Ruth Hogston, also has a 60 line limit within any form.
The Planes, Trains and Automobiles category is open to any style, sponsored by Lad Barker, as is the spiritual or inspirational poem category, sponsored by Janet Maddix.
The anonymously sponsored Poet’s Choice category is open to any subject, any form, with a 60 line limit.
“If a poem doesn’t fit other categories, enter it in this one,” contest chair Maddix wrote.
The Watchdog category, in honor of service members, guard members, and veterans, invites the poet to go “anywhere this thought takes you”, as does the Birds category, sponsored by Sunny B.
The Old Sayings category is sponsored by Jack and DeeLisa Miller, with Miller’s Insurance Agency in honor of Granny Blanche Barker.
Into the Wild is another category with a 60 line limit, this one on the title theme and sponsored by Jacob Barker.
Kentucky Land is another subject category with no stated limitations, this one sponsored by Camila Haney.
The two youth categories are for children age 9 – 12, sponsored by Sandy Litteral and focusing on the topic Dream; and for children age 13 – 15 on the subject Teacher, sponsored by Philip Litteral.
There is also the Grand Prix, a category for poems on any subject, in any style, within a 60 line limit, as long as the poet puts up the $6 entry fee.
That fee is charged for all poets entering works in the category, with 60 percent of the entry fees going to the first place poet and 40 percent to second place.
Entry in all other categories is $2 per entry, unless you’re a poetry society member, then entry is free.
First place winners in those other categories will take home $10 prizes, second place $7, and third place $3.
All poems must be original work, and cannot have received other awards of more than $10 or been previously published. Poets are limited to one entry per category, and all submissions must be made in a typewritten or typed digital format. Unless otherwise specified, poems are limited to 32 written lines, not including the title, and 56 characters in width.
Two copies of each poem must be submitted, one with the contest category only in the upper left corner, and one with the contest category, name, phone number, address, and email. On a separate piece of paper you submit a cover page with your name, phone number, address, and email address in the upper left corner, followed by a list of the poems entered – with contest category – followed by the title and first line of the poem.
Entries, including entry fees or membership dues, must be received by May 20, at Carter County Poetry Society, c/o Janet Maddix, Contest Chair, 18166 W US HWY 60, Olive Hill KY, 41164. Annual membership dues are $10 for adults, $7 for students.
Winners will be announced and awards mailed after the Annual Awards Celebration, time and details to be determined.
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