April Poem of the Month contest

For April, the Poem of the Month prompt is a special one, because April is National Poetry Month. So, in addition to my read-a-poem-a-day challenge, my blogging in April will focus on poetry of place. Therefore, the contest prompt is: Write a poem about York. Your poem can be about the city, the country, a specific building, landmark, park, business or person. As long as York County is recognizable in your poem, anything goes. Tell the world where you’re from, in a poem.

When your poem is finished, copy and paste it as a comment on this post. Be sure to include the poem’s title, your name and your York County, Pa., township of residence.

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American Life in Poetry, No. 474

by Ted Kooser

Let’s celebrate the first warm days of spring with a poem for mushroom hunters, this one by Amy Fleury, who lives in Louisiana.

First Morel

Up from wood rot,
wrinkling up from duff
and homely damps,
spore-born and cauled
like a meager seer,
it pushes aside earth
to make a small place
from decay. Bashful,
it brings honeycombed
news from below
of the coming plenty
and everything rising.

American Life in Poetry provides newspapers and online publications with a free weekly column featuring contemporary American poems. Poem reprinted by permission of Amy Fleury and the publisher. Introduction by Ted Kooser copyright © 2014 by The Poetry Foundation.

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Hear three poets read April 18 at York’s King’s Courtyard

It’s NOT the King’s English monthly poetry night presents the verse of Randolph Bridgeman, Michael Czarnecki and Melissa Carl at 7 p.m. April 18 at King’s Courtyard Artists’ Collective, 124 E. King St., York. Continue reading “Hear three poets read April 18 at York’s King’s Courtyard” »

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#Readapoem: My progress at the halfway point

Read a poem out loud to someone! Photo by Flickr user caribbeanfreephoto.

Read a poem out loud to someone! Photo by Flickr user caribbeanfreephoto.

So it’s April 15. Have you filed your taxes?

Kidding.

But have you read 15 poems out loud yet in April?

Here’s my #readapoem list so far: Continue reading “#Readapoem: My progress at the halfway point” »

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Watch York’s new poet laureate being inducted by Mayor Bracey April 1

On April 1, Christine Lincoln was sworn in as York’s fifth poet laureate by Mayor Kim Bracey.

In definition of the laureate post, Mayor Bracey said, “A poet laureate works to bring the power and beauty of poetry and spoken word to our community.” Mayor Bracey went on to speak about outgoing laureate Carla Christopher’s  expansion of the poet laureate role and her vision for the literary arts in York under Lincoln.

Watch the full ceremony here:

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American Life in Poetry, No. 473

by Ted Kooser

I was born in April and have never agreed with T.S. Eliot that it is “the cruellest month.” Why would I want to have been born from that? Here’s Robert Hedin, who lives in Minnesota, showing us what April can be like once Eliot is swept aside.

This Morning I Could Do A Thousand Things

I could fix the leaky pipe
Under the sink, or wander over
And bother Jerry who’s lost
In the bog of his crankcase.
I could drive the half-mile down
To the local mall and browse
Through the bright stables
Of mowers, or maybe catch
The power-walkers puffing away
On their last laps. I could clean
The garage, weed the garden,
Or get out the shears and
Prune the rose bushes back.
Yes, a thousand things
This beautiful April morning.
But I’ve decided to just lie
Here in this old hammock,
Rocking like a lazy metronome,
And wait for the day lilies
To open. The sun is barely
Over the trees, and already
The sprinklers are out,
Raining their immaculate
Bands of light over the lawns.

American Life in Poetry provides newspapers and online publications with a free weekly column featuring contemporary American poems. Poem copyright © 2013 by Robert Hedin from his most recent book of poems,Poems Prose Poems, Red Dragonfly Press, 2013. Poem reprinted by permission of Robert Hedin and the publisher. Introduction by Ted Kooser copyright © 2014 by The Poetry Foundation. online publications with a free weekly column featuring contemporary American poems.

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Poets who write with a strong sense of place: Suggested reading

Back in 2011, Jeremy Richards wrote an essay for The Poetry Foundation website called “A Shifting Sense of Place.”

In this essay, he interviewed four contemporary poets whose sense of place, whatever and wherever it might be, is a strong presence in their work. The four poets were Patricia Smith, Todd Boss, C.D. Wright and Frances McCue. All four poets answered questions about what place means to them, and all four provided poems.

It’s a good essay, but it’s also beneficial to hear from poets who are doing something that perhaps we aspire to do. Writing about a specific place can be a difficult thing because how I remember a place might be very different than how you remember the exact same location. To write authentically while still saying something new about a city, region or landmark isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Think you can do it? If you live in York County, write a poem about York and enter the April Poem of the Month contest.

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American Life in Poetry No. 472

by Ted Kooser

What might have been? I’d guess we’ve all asked that at one time or another. Here’s a fine what-might-have-been poem by Andrea Hollander, who lives in Portland, Oregon.

Ex

Long after I married you, I found myself
in his city and heard him call my name.
Each of us amazed, we headed to the café
we used to haunt in our days together.
We sat by a window across the paneled room
from the table that had witnessed hours
of our clipped voices and sharp silences.
Instead of coffee, my old habit in those days,
I ordered hot chocolate, your drink,
dark and dense the way you take it,
without the swirl of frothy cream I like.
He told me of his troubled marriage, his two
difficult daughters, their spiteful mother, how
she’d tricked him and turned into someone
he didn’t really know. I listened and listened,
glad all over again to be rid of him, and sipped
the thick, brown sweetness slowly as I could,
licking my lips, making it last.

American Life in Poetry provides newspapers and online publications with a free weekly column featuring contemporary American poems. Copyright © 2011 by Andrea Hollander from her most recent book of poems,Landscape with Female Figure: new and selected poems, 1982-2012 (Autumn House Press, 2013). Introduction by Ted Kooser copyright © 2014 by The Poetry Foundation.

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March Poem of the Month contest winner!

Amy Kern Triantafyllou of North Codorus Township is the March Poem of the Month winner for her poem "Lucky Me."

Amy Kern Triantafyllou of North Codorus Township is the March Poem of the Month winner for her poem “Lucky Me.”

Lucky me for getting to read the nine entries — all poems about luck in its various forms — to the March Poem of the Month contest.

There were some creative interpretations of the theme this month, with poems cataloging the various types of superstition and charms believed to bring luck, as well as poems about leprechauns and fool’s gold — the stuff of St. Patrick’s Day lore.

The poem that stood out to me this month was written by Amy Kern Triantafyllou of North Codorus Township. Her poem “Lucky Me” is this month’s winner: Continue reading “March Poem of the Month contest winner!” »

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JoAnne Diodato takes the poet laureate reigns in Hanover

JoAnne Diodato was recently selected to be Hanover’s next poet laureate.

Hanover Evening Sun reporter Lauren Linhard did a story on Diodato and her goals for the poetry community of Hanover during her tenure as laureate, which include encouraging more young people to participate in Guthrie Memorial Library’s teen poetry contest and getting adult poets involved in the Hanover Poets group that meets every third Monday. Check out Linhard’s story here, and visit joannediodato.com for more on Diodato.

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