Friday, September 26, 2014

Welcome to the Fall Contest, Part 2

The second contest honors musician and songwriter Gene Clark who was born in November 1944. Clark had a varied career, starting off in folk (New Christy Minstrels), then helping to create folk-rock with the Byrds, and then veering off into country and beyond.  Unfortunately, for various reasons, including his fear of flying in an airplane and his substance abuse, his career was not a successful one.  More than twenty years after his death, his album No Other is receiving the acclaim it deserves.  This year Beach House, Iain Matthews, and other musicians have toured, performing the songs from that album.  And this fall some of you may be writing poems inspired by them...or other songs by Clark.

We'll start with his songs with the Byrds, the ones that you may recognize.

"Why Not Your Baby," from Clark's work with Doug Dillard, is the saddest song in the world.

"Out on the Side" is more typical of The Further Expedition of Dillard and Clark:

I'm going to skip ahead to No Other.  This is Clark's version:

The recent tour's version is here:

If you would rather listen to individual songs, here are a few.

Here Clark performs "Train Leaves Here This Morning" with Roger McGuinn.  The video is from 1978:

I'll finish with one of Clark's late duets with Carla Olson:

The internet has numerous pictures of Clark as he was photogenic as a young man.  Even as a middle-aged man who did not age well, he was picturesque.

The poem that you submit may be unpublished or published.  Just be sure that you have the rights to it.  Let me know where it was published, and I will credit that journal or book.  

I recommend *not* quoting Clark's lyrics.  The focus of this contest is your poetry.

The deadline for this contest is December 30.  I will publish the poems as I receive them.  Please send them to -- thank you!

And, of course, all poems published this fall are eligible for Thelma's Prize -- even if they don't fit into our contests.


  1. this is a cool site, so glad to be here - Thelma is the legendary cat pictured above? will have to introduce her to Frosty, another infamous cat - best to your creative endeavors - ayaz daryl nielsen - and will do a post of this fine site soon ( love the Byrds, still am eight miles high (au naturel, of course)

  2. Welcome, ayaz daryl :) Yes, Thelma is the cat above. She is our literary cat as she likes to lie in newspapers and on books. If I'm up too late, she will jump on my keyboard.

    Thank you for promoting the fall contests! :)