Calling All Poets for The Common Good!


Common Good’s Amateur Love Poem Contest

Sharpen those pencils, ye poets of old, and young, and in between. Garrison Keillor and his bookstore, Common Good Books, St. Paul, Minn., have created the “Common Good Amateur Love Poem Contest” and are inviting poets who have not yet published a book of poetry to submit “poems of love or praise.”

The winner will be announced at the store’s “afternoon of poetry” Sunday, April 21, in the Weyerhaeuser Chapel at Macalester College.

“Poetry is a record of the life around us and in us, and you’ll get a better idea from poetry what it was like to be alive in 2011 than you will from the New York Times.”–Garrison Keillor

Copies of the winning poem will be published in Common Good’s newsletter, and will be printed and made available at the store.

Entries may be up to 14 lines or 200 words long and are due by March 18, with a limit of one entry per person. Poems should be mailed to

Finalists will be announced April 1, the start of National Poetry Month, at which point the store will display copies of the poems, and customers can vote for their favorites during the following two weeks.


Feline Friday: one of our favourite authors lets her story out of the bag

This is Blodyn, one of our favorite poetesses.

She shares her life in pictures and words over at Hywel’s (pronounced Howell’s) garden site.

Today, after a week of protests, wars, upheavals and such, we thought everyone could use a little chill time.

So, check out B’s recent work, A Birthday Rhyme.

Published in: on October 21, 2011 at 1:51 PM  Comments (1)  
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Poets sally forth to the field, with your manuscript, if you wish to be published and pick up a bit of cash


The editors of FIELD are pleased to announce the fifteenth annual FIELD Poetry Prize competition. The contest is open to all poets, whether or not they have previously published in book form. Unpublished poetry manuscripts between 50 and 80 pages in length will be considered. Oberlin College Press publishes the winning manuscript in the FIELD Poetry Series and awards the winning author $1,000 plus standard royalties.

Manuscripts must be submitted during May 2011. [Deadline is May 31st] The contest reading fee is $28 and includes one year’s subscription to FIELD. This year, for the first time, manuscripts should be submitted electronically, through our online Submissions Manager.

All manuscripts will be judged by the editors, David Young and David Walker. We will announce the winner here in August 2011. [So you get to spend the whole summer feeling like a winner!]

Please note: Persons interested in submitting work for the FIELD Translation Series should read the guidelines.

Council of Literary Magazines and Presses

Contest Code of Ethics

CLMP’s community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to
1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors;
2) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines—defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and
3) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically.
We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.

Oberlin College Press supports the CLMP code, and in an effort to make our contest selection process as ethical as possible, close friends, relatives, and those whose manuscripts have been shaped in any way by the contest judges are ineligible to enter our contest.

Published in: on May 16, 2011 at 8:08 AM  Leave a Comment  
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It’s baaaack! National Poetry Month that is!

It’s that time of year again, when poets begin to think of making merry delights in verse for the gardens of your mind!  In case that came out to flowery for you to understand, April is National Poetry Month.

Dust off your Frost,

Polish your Goldsmith,

Frolic with Herrick,

Or just join Service and the boys

Whooping it up in the Malamute saloon!

The Malamute Saloon was the first saloon to open in Los Angeles after the repeal of prohibition.

As Mad and as Merry as a March Hare!

Some of you may not know it but the March Hare, which ended the 13th, is Atlantic Canada’s largest poetry festival. Although the March Hare may not be the best known literary festival in Canada, it is surely one of the most interesting and innovative. Started by 3 golfers who were looking to drum up business during the bleak winter days of March, The March Hare concept has rabbited across the globe. March Hares blend poetry and music and refram traditional forms of entertainment embedded in the culture of Newfoundland and Labrador so as to showcase writing from all over the world in a way that appeals to a popular audience.

To quote the organizers:

The March Hare attempts to create the conditions under which it is the quality of the whole experience that is being sought, and it is being sought not just by the organizers and the performers but also by the patrons, who are made to feel that they are an integral part of the enterprise. A populist, democratic philosophy prevails. Traditional stories alternate with contemporary poems, emerging writers appear alongside established writers, local performers share the stage with performers from all over the world, and all of them are accorded the same courtesy. While long-term achievement may be given the nod of respect in the form of an extra two or three minutes at the podium, the time allotments are tight and more or less equal. There are no stars at the March Hare.

Obviously you missed this year’s March Hare, but you can try to catch him next year. And after that, why not organize a March Hare of your own?!

Published in: on March 25, 2011 at 8:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Height-ho Silver Anniversary! It’s the 25th Annual Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering

“Preserving the traditions of the American West in words and music…each year in the Spring.”

The Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering is a three-day event celebrating the oral tradition of the working cowboy in poetry, stories, and music. If you’re out that way, stop by and enjoy more than 50 performers in the classrooms and on the stages of Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas.  The University is on US Hwy 90 at the eastern edge of town.

One of the headliners this year is Elizabeth Ebert. Elizabeth has been featured at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering at Elko many times, received the Academy of Western Artists’ Best Female Poet award and many other honors.

A South Dakota native, she and her husband S. J. live  near Thunder Hawk, South Dakota. They have 3 children, 6 grandchildren, and 5 great grandchildren. She says, “As I tell people, we have now been married for 19 wonderful years—plus those other 39 that sometimes got a little ‘iffy.'”

If you aren’t familiar with her work, you can stop on by and check it out here. We highly recommend “He talked about Montana.” It’s reminiscent of Robert Service.

Published in: on February 25, 2011 at 8:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Prepare to celebrate The Bard! No, not Shakespeare, the other Bard, Robert Burns!

For those of you that have not yet marked your calendars, tomorrow night is Burns Night, the annual celebration of the Ploughman Poet, lyricist, folk song collector, rake, and all around party animal, Robert Burns (b. Jan 25, 1759).

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only Luve
And fare thee weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.


This rather famous song, attributed to Burns, was actually something he heard a woman singing. It was a folk song he’d collected but just as fine for that!

Published in: on January 24, 2011 at 8:02 AM  Leave a Comment  
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