Okay, results sounds kind of weird for the April PAD Challenge. It's more of a re-cap, I guess, or a snapshot. One thing I've learned over the years is that what happens in the April PAD Challenge continues to ripple out beyond April and the blog.
Poets have shared collections partially written from prompts on the blog; teachers contact me with poems written by their students (from elementary school to college); and poets share their publishing successes with poems that started right here.
I'm happy to be involved in getting things started, but the poets are the ones who take it to the next level. And then there's the community that fosters that sense of creating and re-creating on here. People like Walt Wojtanik, Marie Elena Good, Bruce Niedt, Jane Shlensky, Nancy Posey, Laurie Kolp, Tracy Davidson, RJ Clarken, De Jackson, Taylor Graham, and so many more, which brings us to our first "result"...
2013 Poetic Asides Poet Laureate
The honor goes to a newer member of the community who came on fast and furious and has continued to offer encouragement beyond April during our weekly Wednesday prompts. I'm, of course, speaking of William Preston.
His writing style is excellent, but the thing I always appreciate the most in a Poet Laureate candidate is his never-ending dedication to offering words of encouragement to other wordsmiths on the blog. As far as I'm concerned, the three best ways to help poetry is to read poetry, write poetry, and encourage other poets. William does all these.
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Top 25 List
I think the number of highlighted poems changes every year, but I chose the number 25 this year for a few reasons. The top reason is that there are 25 weeks between this Friday and the final Friday before the next April PAD Challenge.
Why is that significant? Because I'm planning to run an interview with each member of the top 25 on every Friday between tomorrow and the next April PAD Challenge. What better way to work through the list and get to know other poets.
As far as the list, I had trouble enough getting down to 25 poems/poets; it was nearly impossible to get it ordered. So I didn't rank these poems. The list is ordered by alphabetical order of the poet's last name. I loved every poem in the top 25, and I look forward to sharing each one between now and April.
Here's the Top 25 list:
- I am an early bird and I am late, by Bartholomew Barker
- and your hands shook, by Ian Chandler
- Hold That Football, by Diana Terrill Clark
- Posted: No Trespassing, by Carole Cole
- Bad Timing, by Taisha Cooke
- The Morning After, by Tracy Davidson
- In Case of Death, by Ashley Marie Egan
- Lexicographer's Daughter, by Taylor Graham
- What I Don't Know at This Moment, by Rachel Gurevich
- Sevenling, by De Jackson
- In Case of Contentment, by Pamela Klein
- Powerless, by Larry Lawrence
- Fire takes care of bad memories, too, by Raina Masters
- Grandpa's autograph, by Annie Newcomer
- Work, by Nancy Posey
- Dichotomy, by William Preston
- The Farmer's Wife, by Deri Pryor
- Holding, by Deborah Purdy
- Dying Sea Bird, by Alana Sherman
- Storm-taught, by Jane Shlensky
- Hotdogs on the Grill, by Linda Simoni-Wastila
- Oakland Dawn, by George Smith
- Broke, by Sally Valentine
- I Love Hats, by Gloria Watts
- Sonnet for the Common Man, by Walter J. Wojtanik
Congratulations to everyone who made the Top 25!
Remember: We have another poem-a-day challenge coming up in November (guidelines for that will be posted in the next week or so). Also, I have a $500 re-mix challenge up related to my recent poetry collection (click here for those guidelines).
Also, every Friday between tomorrow and April will feature a poem and interview with the top 25. It'll be like handing off the torch leading up to the Olympics. I'm so excited!
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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer's Digest Writing Community and the author of Solving the World's Problems (Press 53). He writes poetry, edits books, creates blog posts, manages a free weekly newsletter on publishing, speaks at events around the country, writes for Writer's Digest magazine, judges contests, and lots of other fun writing-related activities. Voted the 2010 Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere, he's also a Cub Scout den leader and pre-school room mom. Robert is married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five kids (four boys and one princess). Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.
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