Contributors to this prize-winning collection of contemporary poetry include Susan Keith, Kristopher Smotherman, Jacqueline Cooke, George R. Adams, Michael Burch, Lucille Lang Day, Christina Lovin, Judith Pacht, David J. Rothman, Frank Salvidio, Kathleen Browning, Nancy Meryl Bunich, Douglas W. Clark, K. Taggart-Hatlen, K.A. Hinkley, Jeff Howe, Carol Kanter, Mimi Moriarty, Daniel Waters, Robin Greene, Mary E. Donnelly, M.B. Powell, Tim Napier, Allen C. Jones, Gene Dixon, Maureen Cannon, Isaac Graf, Yvonne Nunn, Ian A. Hawkins, Christine Klocek-Lim, Linda Dousay, Belle Randall, Frank L. Ludwig, Rima Magee, Ryan Sawyer, Joseph Sherman, Kerry Wood, David W. Landrum, Lois Roisman, Matthew Haynes, Raymond Southall, Bruce Meyer, Joyce La Mers, Bobbi Dykema Katsanis, Meryl Raw, Philip Lewis, Peter Moltoni, M L Squier, Debbie Camelin, Noble Collins, Jessica Morrow, Tom Berman, Martin Steele, Johnmichael Simon, Peter Nash, Lynn Veach Sadler, Berwyn Moore, Susan Thomas, Dee C. Konrad, and John... More > Howard Reid.< Less
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By John Reid
Oct 15, 2009
"What Goes To Make An Award-Winning Poem?" Despite the book's sub-title, there are there are actually not 50 but 108 poems in this anthology, "Sailing in the Mist of Time". Of course, not all 108 are major award-winners. Some earned a "Commended" certificate and some were short-listed. But even a short-listed poem has a great deal to offer. Meryl Raw's entry, "Aftermath", speaks with seemingly effortless imagery directly to the heart of the reader: "I am a puppet/Suspended on commanding strings/Spiritlessly dancing/On command/Performing empty acts/Hanging on hope's hooks." Picturesquely imaginative imagery is often a feature of award-winning poems. In Tim Napier's commended entry, "Consolations", the poet can "hear the pine boards whisper/To the piano over there,/In the corner; they're going/To have a little hymn sing, Sunday, at 6/And my dead great aunt/Is going to play. The pony/Floats up out of the rug by the... More > bed/Where I slept as a child, comes/Whinnying down the back hallway/To see me. She wants me/To play horse. Shadows/from the larch trees planted/At three corners of the cottage/And cut down long/Ago, wash across the floor..." In many such entries, the images are cleverly sustained for a large number of stanzas. Sometimes, however, a poem is well served by brevity. Jeff Howe's highly commended "Horses in the Mist" is most effectively confined to two stanzas, each of six lines. The opening stanza: "When just before the day breaks free,/Rips loose the ragged reign of night./Clouds descend to hug the land,/Obscure the image from my sight/Of pastures where the grass is kissed/With dew, graze horses in the mist." These images are astutely reworked in the final stanza to bring the poem to a most effective close. So, imaginative imagery, cleverly sustained and brought to a powerful closure are often qualities found in award-winning poetry. Every poem in this book, whether it won a First, Second or Third Prize or a High Distinction or was Highly Commended, Commended or Short-Listed, appeals to the reader's mind, plays on his or her emotions, and presents not only something of beauty and insight, but, being poetry, sings to the soul.< Less
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