2015 April PAD Challenge: Poet Laureate

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As mentioned with yesterday's prompt, the 2015 April PAD Challenge list of winners is finally complete. Check them out here.

However, the purpose of this post is to unveil the current Poetic Asides Poet Laureate!

2015 April PAD Challenge: Poet Laureate

Actually, I'm going with the Poets Laureate this year: Nancy Posey and Jane Shlensky!

There are a few reasons why I chose them:

  • Both poets combined to write five of the winning poems.
  • Both poets helped screen poems for the challenge.
  • Both poets share encouragement and advice with other poets on this blog and on social media sites.
  • Both poets hosted the first ever Poetic Asides face-to-face poetry event.

When I think of a Poet Laureate, I think of someone who combines exceptional poetry writing while being an advocate for poetry and other poets. In both cases, I think Nancy and Jane are wonderful examples of who should be considered a Poet Laureate.

Please join me in congratulating Nancy and Jane on an excellent effort to write and help promote poetry!

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Re-create Your Poetry!

Recreating_Poetry_Revise_Poems

Revision doesn’t have to be a chore–something that should be done after the excitement of composing the first draft. Rather, it’s an extension of the creation process!

In the 48-minute tutorial video Re-creating Poetry: How to Revise Poems, poets will be inspired with several ways to re-create their poems with the help of seven revision filters that they can turn to again and again.

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A Few Other Notes

I still remember the night before the first April PAD Challenge on March 31 and talking with Tammy, who I would marry later in the year. I remember wanting to do something to encourage people to write poetry and wondering if anyone would even participate. Of course, people did, and it's only continued to grow.

The turnaround on the winning poems this year took much longer than anyone expected or wanted, especially me. There are many reasons (or excuses) why it took longer, but the main thing is that I tried a new process that proved not to work out the way I expected. So I accept full responsibility for the delay and apologize. The 2016 April PAD Challenge (yes, there will be one) will have a better process and turnaround.

Also, I've noticed (and I know this happens every year) some poets on the blog and on social media who've expressed angst over not being selected as a winner or finalist in this year's challenge. As a poet who is often rejected myself, I just want to remind everyone of two things: 1. Judging poems is a super subjective process (and meant to raise poets up, not tear them down); and 2. There were hundreds of poets (nearly 900 poets, in fact) who participated in this challenge on some, if not all, days.

The process of crafting poems should always be the main thing, and any awards or acceptances should come after. In other words, whether I win or lose, there's still another poem to write. And that's what keeps me going. I hope it keeps you going too.

Thank you to everyone who made it through last April, and I hope to see you again this April!

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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 (Press 53). Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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