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2014 April PAD Challenge: Final Results

Categories: Poetry Challenge 2014, Poetry News, Poets, Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog, What's New.

First off, the final results are not yet finalized for all the days. That’s my fault. While I secured guest judges, I alone took on the burden of whittling down each day’s poems to a short list. Next year, I plan to recruit a team of readers to help with that narrowing.

That said, I do have some final results to share and will update as the rest of the results are returned. I’m going to hold off on sharing Top 10 lists for days that still don’t have a winner–since I want the guest judging to be completely blind.

Here are the April PAD Challenge results for each day:

The winner is highlighted; the top 10 is in no particular order; an asterisk (*) denotes a poem that “almost” won. If you notice any errors (including your byline), please send me an e-mail at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com to get it corrected as soon as possible.

Day 1:
Prompt: Beginnings and/or Endings Poem
Guest Judge: Traci Brimhall

“cathedra,” by Barton Smock
“Learning Italian,” by Emma Travis
“When your domesticated coyote,” by Lara Eckener
“Movement Through Spacetime,” by Sara Diane Doyle
“Taking My Time,” by Cati Porter
“I cannot begin to tell you,” by Taylor Mali
“The Truth Itself Takes Care to Make Eyes,” by LGordon
“In Diminuendo,” by Richard Fenwick
“Restoring Beauty,” by James Von Hendy
“Thorn Bones,” by Taylor Graham

Day 2:
Prompt: Voyage Poem
Guest Judge: Neil Aitken

“sedoka,” by Stewart C Baker
“Canada Geese,” by TheFlawlessWord
“Riding the ATV to the Mailbox in Early Spring,” by Kit Cooley
“Midnight Voyage,” by Margie Fuston
“as if the windshield wipers,” by alotus_poetry
“Progress Takes Its Own Voyage,” by Barb Peters
“Georgia O’Keefe Hitches a Ride to Abiquiu,” by Susan J. Erickson
“Here I Am Holding,” by iris dunkle
“The Journey,” by ehorowitz
“Between Neverland and Oz,” by Walt Wojtanik

Day 3:
Prompt: Message Poem
Guest Judge: Shaindel Beers

“Belle Boyd, Confederate spy, imagines a letter from her Shadow Sister, by Kathryn Stripling Byer
“Message,” by Eleanore D. Trupkiewicz
“Wish You Were Here,” by shethra77
“Large Puddle in the Street…,” by Hannah Gosselin
“The Post,” by Sara Diane Doyle
“for violet,” by brandon speck
“Sticky Note,” by James Brush
“Tell Me Again How Family Is So Important,” by Kelly Ramsdell Fineman
“When Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,” by Kimiko Martinez
“Written in the Wind,” by Emma Hine

Day 4:
Prompt: “Since (blank)” Poem
Guest Judge: Vince Gotera

“Since I Am Taking a Break From Facebook,” by k weber
“Since October,” by Richard Fenwick*
“since you left,” by drwasy
“since the last time i heard your voice,” by Fatima Hirsi
“Since I Gave Myself Permission,” by Elizabeth Weaver-Kreider
“Since the pear I for days let ripen,” by Genevieve Fitzgerald
“Since you split my lip,” by Pearl Ketover Prilik
“Since My Poems Broke Up With Me,” by Jacqueline Hallenbeck
“Since the Last Snow,” by Bruce Niedt
“Since Fukushima,” by Tracy Davidson

Day 5:
Prompt: Discover Something Poem
Guest Judge: Patricia Fargnoli

“Hubris,” by Sharon Fagan McDermott
“Discovery,” by Carol J Carpenter
“Xox,” by hohlwein
“The End of Things Before They Begin,” by David Walker
“Divinum Mysterium,” by Jane Shlensky
“An entomologist after an apocalypse,” by amaranthe
“Attempt #4, Saturday morning,” by Taylor Emily Copeland
“Agate Tides,” by Mokosh28
“Found Alive (Berlin 1945),” by dianemdavis
“Discovery in the Woods,” by Bucky Ignatius

Day 6:
Prompt: Night Poem
Guest Judge: Andrew Hudgins

“how to live in the country dark,” by Barton Smock
“Summer Night,” by mimzy13
“523.4,” by ina
“We Are Brighter in the Dark,” by Lydia Flores
“Night,” by Elizabeth Weaver-Kreider
“Of the Night,” by Mark Windham
“Sea Monkeys Have an Expiration Date,” by iris dunkle
“Moon Monologue,” by David Walker
“Night of the Sea Monkeys,” by Taylor Graham
“Good Night,” by William Preston

Day 7:
Prompt: Self-Portrait Poem
Guest Judge: January Gill O’Neil

“Self-Portrait as the State of Minnesota,” by Susan J. Erickson
“A Look Inside,” by Scott Jacobson
“In the Louvre with Rembrandt’s Selfie,” by Margie Fuston
“Self-Portrait,” by Linda G Hatton
“My eyes are sunflowers,” by P.A. Beyer
“Self-Portrait,” by Cameron Steele
“April Self Portrait,” by Eileen Moeller
“Self Portrait,” by Roderick Bates
“51,” by Brian Slusher
“I Am a Crazy Quilt,” by Linda Voit

Day 8:
Prompt: Violent and/or Peaceful Poem
Guest Judge: Tom C. Hunley

“A Taste for Pain,” by Fatima Hirsi
“To the Woman Who Called at 7:15 AM to Break Up With Her Man,” by pamelaraw
“The Threat of Butterflies,” by Mokosh28
“The Prisoner’s Dilemma,” by P.A. Beyer
“Broken,” by iris dunkle
“Under A Box of Matches,” by flood
“My Father Kicked Dogs,” by Courtney O’Banion Smith
“This time, he didn’t make it home,” by Kendall A. Bell
“Unreported,” by Taylor Emily Copeland
“Papers on Top of More Papers,” by Bruce Niedt

Day 9:
Prompt: Shelter Poem
Guest Judge: Kelli Russell Agodon

“Shelter,” by Cameron Steele
“Home Before the Tornado Hits,” by drwasy*
“Ocean’s Voice,” by LCaramanna
“The Niche,” by Linda G Hatton
“Shelter,” by Roderick Bates
“Surviving the Storm,” by cam45237
“Thin Shelters,” by carolecole66
“Snow Globe,” by beale.alexis
“Sonnet for the Family Living in Their Car,” by C. Lynn Shaffer
“House,” by donaldillich

Day 10:
Prompt: Future Poem
Guest Judge: Nate Pritts

“What Comes,” by alana sherman
“Intrada,” by Khara House
“To shame the orphan,” by J. Lynn Sheridan
“An Affair in Chicago,” by hwerther
“Uneasy Laughter After Dessert,” by Linda Voit
“Futuro,” by Patrick J. Walsh
“Woman Hollering Creek,” by Kathryn Stripling Byer
“kenning,” by Barton Smock
“The Future Without Me,” by C. Lynn Shaffer
“An Unfinished Sentence,” by AleathiaD

Day 11:
Prompt: Make Statement Title of Poem
Guest Judge: Joseph Mills

Results to come.

Day 12:
Prompt: City Poem
Guest Judge: Victoria Chang

Results to come.

Day 13:
Prompt: Animal Poem
Guest Judge: Daniel Nester

Results to come.

Day 14:
Prompt: “If I Were (blank)” Poem
Guest Judge: Jericho Brown

Results to come.

Day 15:
Prompt: Love and/or Anti-Love Poem
Guest Judge: Barbara Hamby

“Romantics,” by Bruce Niedt
“Oh Yeah?,” by Penny Henderson
“Love. Hate.,” by Mustang Sal
“At Grandma’s Funeral,” by Patricia A. Hawkenson
“Wondering,” by George Smith
“Garden Variety Love,” by Jane Shlensky
“Two Clams in the Sand,” by Lori DeSanti
“The memory of falling asleep,” by Kendall A. Bell
“Sunday morning before church,” by drwasy
“Six Reasons Why Love Is Pissed Off Every April 15,” by Linda Goin

*****

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*****

Day 16:
Prompt: Elegy Poem
Guest Judge: Bob Hicok

Results to come.

Day 17:
Prompt: Pop Culture Poem
Guest Judge: Mary Biddinger

Results to come.

Day 18:
Prompt: Weather Poem
Guest Judge: Nin Andrews

Results to come.

Day 19:
Prompt: Pick Color, Make Title of Poem
Guest Judge: Thomas Lux

“Aubergine,” by Sara Diane Doyle
“Violet,” by Julie Germain
“Orange,” by Brian Slusher
“Prussian Blue,” by Joanne M. Clarkson
“Vermilion,” by Jerry Walraven
“White,” by G. Smith
“Yellow,” by Susan J. Erickson
“Burnt Umber,” by Eibhlin
“Mandarin Orange,” by pamela raw
“Gray Matter,” by James Von Hendy

Day 20:
Prompt: Family Poem
Guest Judge: Scott Owens

Results to come.

Day 21:
Prompt: Back to Basics Poem
Guest Judge: Deborah Ager

Results to come.

Day 22:
Prompt: Optimistic and/or Pessimistic Poem
Guest Judge: Lawrence Schimel

“Expectation,” by Sara Diane Doyle
“The Young and the Dying,” by Emma Travis
“Small Comforts,” by Deri
“The other side of the sun,” by wallrose34
“Ten of Swords,” by Joseph Harker
“Urula Upp and Dahlia Downn,” by Bruce Niedt
“Supernovas in My Glass,” by Liliuokalani
“The Glass,” by Vince Gotera
“Scenic Route #27,” by Kelly Letky
“Hope,” by Jerry Walraven

Day 23:
Prompt: Location Poem
Guest Judge: Erika Meitner

Results to come.

Day 24:
Prompt: “Tell It to the (blank)” Poem
Guest Judge: Kristina Marie Darling

“Tell It to My Brother,” by Barton Smock
“Tell It to the Coal Miner’s Daughter,” by JR Simmang
“Tell It to the Moon…,” by Tracy Davidson
“Tell It to the Cell With Your Windows Rolled Up,” by Laurie Kolp
“Tell It to the One You Cheated on Me With,” by Lydia Flores
“Tell It to the Wind,” by Elizabeth Weaver-Kreider
“Tell It to the Kids,” by Kendall A. Bell
“Tell It to the Breaker of Hearts,” by k weber
“Tell It to the Guitar,” by C. Lynn Shaffer
“Tell It to the Keepers of Melancholy,” by Jerry Walraven

Day 25:
Prompt: The Last Straw Poem
Guest Judge: Erica Wright

Results to come.

Day 26:
Prompt: Water Poem
Guest Judge: Amy King

“Fair Enough,” by k weber
“Ice,” by uneven steven*
“Housewife,” by Amy
“Seasick,” by Dana A. Campbell
“Swamp Water,” by Daniel Roessler
“Thirst,” by De Jackson
“Memento Mori,” by carolecole66
“Water,” by Daniel Paicopulos
“One Hydrogen, Two Oxygen,” by Phil Boiarski
“Water,” by Kimmy Sophia Brown

Day 27:
Prompt: Monster Poem
Guest Judge: Jeannine Hall Gailey

Results to come.

Day 28:
Prompt: Settled Poem
Guest Judge: Sandra Beasley

Results to come.

Day 29:
Prompt: Realist and/or Magical Poem
Guest Judge: Adam Fitzgerald

Results to come.

Day 30:
Prompt: Calling It a Day Poem
Guest Judge: Jillian Weise

Results to come.

*****

Whew! I know the results are still coming in, but the poets who’ve made those top 10 lists should be extremely happy with their work. I read through more than 21,000 comments and 5,600 pages of poems and encouragement.

Only 300 of those made the top 10 lists–or less than 1.4%. In other words, around 1 poem for every 100 comments. That’s crazy!

To be named winner, of course, is barely one-tenth of one percent.

In other words, people who made the lists above should be happy-happy-happy. Poets who didn’t make the lists should still feel happy as well. Beyond the subjectivity of the judges (especially me), there’s just the sheer numbers.

Many great poems made it past the first cut only to be trimmed before the top 10 lists were finalized. And well, the goal of this challenge isn’t making a list or being named winner: It’s to create 30 new poems!

Congratulations to everyone who participated and worked toward the goal of creating new poems!

*****

As many poets who’ve participated in the April PAD Challenge in the past know, I like to hand out a few extra awards, including the Poet Laureate of the Poetic Asides blog. So let’s start with that…

This year’s Poetic Asides Poet Laureate is the first ever repeat laureate. That’s right, William Preston has been named to his second consecutive term as the Poetic Asides Poet Laureate. He’s not only a wonderful poet, but he’s a constant source of inspiration and encouragement in April and throughout the year. In fact, he was still commenting on April poems well into May after the dust had settled on the challenge.

Congratulations, William!

I want to award a Top April Poet award (separate of the Poet Laureate honor), but there are a few that seem to be leading the pack. So I’m going to wait for the final results to all make it in before naming one (or maybe even a tie).

Look for updates over the next couple weeks, and I’ll be sure to publish a notification post when everything is set in stone.

*****

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*****

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. Every day, he was amazed at the talent, creativity, and energy poets brought to the table in April. Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

*****

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About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

44 Responses to 2014 April PAD Challenge: Final Results

  1. DanielR says:

    I think Robert and the judges had an impossible task because there was so much great poetry I read. It is really great to be involved in such a wonderful poetry community.

    And to William–Your tireless efforts to support and encourage amaze me. I appreciate it every time you comment on one of my poems. Thank You and Well Deserved!

  2. Azma says:

    Congratulations to all the winners and the top tenners. Your poems make such amazing reads!
    Congratulations to William on the well deserved award. Your kind words and positive feedback continue to encourage and inspire us poets.
    I never thought I was capable of coming up with poems on each day for a month but here I am! So proud I could do it!
    A big thank you to Robert for putting up this amazingly intriguing challenge!

  3. Evelyn Philipp says:

    Congratulations to PressOn, or as I now know, William. I’m new to all this, and your comments were very important to me. Thank you for what you do, and well deserved!

  4. sharon4 says:

    Congratulations to all! Robert Lee Brewer, this was a delightful, inspiring ride during the month of April 2014. I thank you for all of the prompts and all of your very hard work culling each day’s poems down to ten finalists. I’m so excited by this!

  5. Yolee says:

    Congratulations, William! You’re a fine poet with writings to back it up. :)
    Congratulations to every poet who participated and especially to those who placed in each category.
    Thank you, Robert, again, for hosting with such finesse.

  6. BDP says:

    Congratulations, PressOn! I know your non-poet (or are we always poets?) name is William, but PressOn gives me courage, so I like to use it. You’re so deserving of the honor of Poet Laureate times 2. Your words of encouragement are always appreciated, and your poems are on all occasions enjoyable and of your unique voice. You are a leader. Congrats, as well, to all the top tenners and to the winners of each day. The level of poetry written in 24 hour spans was/is high indeed. Robert, a special thanks to you and your team of poets!

  7. Clae says:

    Congrats to everyone on the list!

  8. Liliuokalani says:

    I had fun with each prompt (well, except two) and reading poems from each day. Nice work everyone, and definitely congratulations to the top tenners! I am filled with gratitude. Thank you Robert for encouraging this type of forum and also for those who participate and encourage others (PressOn…ahem, William included, congrats!!).

  9. Pat Walsh says:

    Congratulations to everyone who took part, and thank you Robert for all your work in putting together this wonderful event!

  10. Michelle Hed says:

    Congratulations William!! You are such a talent and a wonderful supporter! You are so deserving of this honor! Congratulations to the winners! Also, a big THANK YOU to Robert and all the guest judges for all their hard work.

  11. RJ Clarken says:

    Congrats to all the winners (so far!) but especially to William! You are one amazin’ poet, my friend! Thanks to the judges and to Robert!

  12. RuthieShev says:

    Congratulations to all the winners so far. Most of all congratulations to William Preston. You sure motivated me not only in this challenge but all the challenges. I started April 18 and it was my first time ever doing the PAD and the weekly challenges and you helped me through so much of them. Thank you :).

  13. Hannah says:

    Wow!!! What a wondrous work in the process of this entire endeavor…poets, host-poet-judge and guest-judges!!

    I’m so thrilled and honored to be in the top ten for day three…wow, truly so, so happy!!! Thank you!!

    A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to all of the other poets that made it into these lists!! Wonderful and to everyone that took this challenge on and wrote 30 poems for the month…AWESOME work!!

    This has been such a wonderful challenge to be part of…I continually enjoy being here and seeing everyone each year…a highlight to my year really!!

    BIG KUDOS and CONGRATS to you, William!! As has already been said, “you SO deserve this,” YES, I couldn’t agree more. You’ve been such a source of support and light in this community and I thank you deeply.

    WARM SMILES to all the friendly poets!! Joy for the poetic Journey to you all!!

  14. James Rodgers says:

    Well, bummer. No wins, no top tens (so far), but I guess we can’t all be in the 1%. I’m used to being in the 99% anyway. :)
    I got some great poems out of this, and I look forward to next year’s prompts, and trying again.
    Thanks to Robert, the judges, William, and anyone who took a moment to even read what I submitted. Your time is the greatest reward of all.

  15. k_weber says:

    Congratulations to all who participated! A giant high-five to the laureate of poets, those in the daily top ten, anyone who received a winner nod for a prompt and those yet to be spotlighted in forthcoming results. Secret handshakes and a skywriting of thanks to Robert, the guest judges and any and all poets who took time to interact and comment and provide feedback for their peers. Hearty stews and toasts to anyone who completed the challenge; the most difficult challenge of all!

    Thanks for a really great PAD Challenge this year! So many new friends!

  16. Marie Elena says:

    Ohmigosh … BILL!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations! What an exciting announcement, and I am absolutely thrilled for you!! Don’t ever think you don’t deserve this. You absolutely do.

    And I am thrilled also to see so many of the friends I love so dearly and have such respect for represented above. You all ROCK. BIG.

    Robert and all the judges, you did a great job. :)

  17. PKP says:

    Thrilled to see my name or at least my initials (lol) on a top ten list for one of the days.

  18. PKP says:

    Completely deserved William – you are a wonderful PL – Congratulations!

  19. Congratulations to all the winners and top tenners :)
    Congratulations to William as well – your comments on my poems were always insightful and encouraging and each time you made one I was pleased you took the time and made the effort. Thank you for that.

  20. Congratulations all! Many of these were among my favorites, too, but there were so many others, too!

    And especial congratulations to you William! An honor well deserved!

    • k_weber says:

      Great to see your name here in these lists, James! I enjoyed reading your work and having some dialogue with you about many different poems here.

      Pretty cool to see so many familiar names on the lists but then… TONS of people I never heard of (not in a bad way) – just goes to show that loads of people were participating this year!

  21. Linda Goin says:

    I remember many of these poems! Great work, and congrats many times over to the amazing poets (and to you, Robert, and the judges) for all the work!

  22. Jane Shlensky says:

    Congratulations, Bill! You were and continue to be a fabulous laureate. I still don’t know how you manage to read and comment on every poem posted, and always with such kindness, thoughtful insights, and good humor. Beyond that, your poetry is some of the best around. I’m so happy for you and to have you back as our intrepid leader.

    • PressOn says:

      Thank you, Jane, and everybody, for the kind words. I certainly don’t consider myself a “leader” here, but I do enjoy participating, learning, and sharing in the mutual support. Robert started, and all the poets have sustained, a piece of magic here.

  23. Bruce Niedt says:

    William, for some reason I never associated you with the screen name “PressOn”. Now I know why you were re-selected as Poet Laureate. You tirelessly read and comment on so many poems, I’m truly amazed you even have the time. You’re a fine poet too. Congrats! I, too, am happy to have made the top ten twice so far. Congrats to the other finalists and winners as well!

  24. PressOn says:

    I am stunned, but honored, at the Poet Laureate designation. As I think I’ve mentioned before, I view this site as a learning experience, and that certainly was true this past April, when so many poets posted. I tend to have a bias for forms, whereas most in the challenge wrote in free verse, or so it seemed to me (the sheer volume of poems made it impossible to read them all, to say nothing of commenting), but I learned from all that I read and got a better appreciation for the vast array of ways poets can write and leave memorable lines. It’s all the more humbling, therefore, to receive this designation, given the talents the challenge exposed. As you mentioned, Robert, it’s an achievement to make even one list amidst all this talent, and I was glad to have done that. The “laureate” honor is an unexpected bonus. Thank you.

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