All good things come to an end. This summer my run of contests is through. I will continue to offer themes, but I will no longer award prizes. It was amazing and humbling to see how many poems I received for what turned out to be the 2017/8 contests. Thank you to Catfish McDaris, Will Mayo, and Ethan Goffman who helped me judge the overwhelming number of entries, many of which were excellent.
Tonight we have the winners and honorable mentions.
I'll start with the first batch of poems for Thelma's Prize, which Ethan and I judged. Claudine Nash won for "A Beautiful Rain." If you would like to read more of her poetry, you will enjoy these from 2016: http://thesongis.blogspot.com/2016/10/claudine-nashs-that-true-voice-and-talk.html. We awarded honorable mentions to “Last Show” by Carol Alexander, “Conor Clapton” by H. Holt, “Children in the Sky” by Michael Lee Johnson, and “Steps in the Night” by S. Liam Spradlin.
Catfish McDaris judged the next set of poems. Here Alan Britt won for "Straying the Course." Alan's "As April Yawns, I Enter" also won an honorable mention. "Max" by wayne f. burke earned one as well as did Leslie McKay's "Louis Armstrong's Wink." You probably also know Leslie for the rengay that she and her fellow poets contribute.
Will Mayo and I scrutinized the final set of poems. Ultimately, we awarded the prize to Bill Cushing's "Listening to Bird." This is not his first Thelma's Prize as his “Music isn’t about standing still and being safe" won in 2016. The following poems received honorable mentions: "The strangest lullaby" by Kamiliah Carlisle, "With Charcoal Black" by Ken Allan Dronsfield, "Haibun" and haiku #1 by Daniel Snethen, and "Anticipation" & "And the Rains Came" by Ann Christine Tabaka.
We divided the 1940s contest into two: poems and prose inspired by musicians born in the 1940s and poems and prose inspired by musicians active in that decade. Ethan judged the first, and I judged the second. Poet and artist Kerfe Roig's "Blue (All I want)" won the former prize, and Bill Cushing's "Listening to Bird" won the latter. Among the poems and prose inspired by musicians born in the 1940s, the following pieces received honorable mentions: "USING THE BLUES AS A MEAT TENDERIZER" by Alan Britt,
"Conor Clapton" by H. Holt, and "Walnut Street Bridge" by S. Liam Sprandlin. In the other contest, “The Depth of Tenderness” by Nbada Sibanda, “Louis Armstrong’s Wink” by Leslie McKay, and “Three Tracks for a Funeral” by Bryn Fortey earned honorable mentions.
I also held a contest for poems and prose inspired by water or drought, which I judged. Claudine Nash won the prize for "A Beautiful Rain" and "Sometimes Before It Storms." Honorable mentions were earned by “Anticipation” by Ann Christine Tabaka,
“Sailing/for Joseph Conrad” by Bill Cushing, and “Devolution” by Carol Alexander.
Last but not least are the local poets. This time we had quite a few new entries, in part because I published some writers from my poetry group in DC. The winning poem in this category was Suriya's "A Yes Poem." Receiving honorable mentions were “Leaves” by Alan Britt, “Progress” by Steve K., “This Moment” by Stacie Marinelli, and “The sun illuminates the brush…” by Miss Kiane.
Congratulations to everyone, and thank you for participating and supporting The Song Is...
At last I am going to post some music.
I'll start with something by Bird. This version of "Cherokee" is from 1942: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3vACbUETa0
Now I'll mix in a live version of Joni Mitchell's "Blue": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5mlE9Pezes. Here she does sound a bit like Laura Nyro.
Let's switch gears and listen to Louis Armstrong's "A Kiss to Build a Dream on": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSe1Takt5FU
Next is Eric Clapton and BB King's version of "Riding with the King": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJK78Y3zoQk
Enjoy! I hope that you'll consider sending in some poems to the Song is..