Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Congratulations to the Winners of the Spring/Summer Contests

This evening I would like to announce the winners of the various contests for the spring/summer.  It is always difficult to choose winning poems from so many wonderful selections, some by poets I know personally, others by poets I know only through their work.  To change up the contest, I asked two poets whom I respect highly to help me judge the contests.  The judges were author Catfish McDaris whom you know from this blog-zine and many other literary sites online and poet, playwright, and performer R. Michael Oliver who contributes so much to the literary scene in DC.  (Thank you, gentlemen!)

We had so many poems this spring/summer that I divided Thelma's Prize into a spring category and a summer one.  Michael judged the spring whereas Catfish judged the summer.

The winner of the spring contest is poet, editor, and publisher A.J. Huffman for "The Barbie Formerly Known As."    Congratulations!  This poem truly pops.

Michael also singled out the following works for special praise (they were finalists): "The Talk" by Will Mayo; "For Dad" by Charles Clifford Brooks III; "Chicago, 1971" by Avis Danette Matthews; "Woman's Way" by Doug Mathewson; "Robert" by Bea Garth; "In Route to Metro" by Miss Kiane; and "Feminine Blues" by Ali Znaidi.

Local poet and member of the D.C. Poetry Project, Avis Danette Matthews won the local prize for "Chicago, 1971," one of the poems that I had nominated for Best of the Net.  You may remember that Avis' "Metaphorical" won several prizes last summer.  Michael (who judged the local poems and flash fiction) also complimented "In Route to Metro" by Miss Kiane, the dynamo behind The Gathering, a local event that brings together poetry and social activism.

Another local poet Ed Schelb won the summer contest for his graphic poem "Dogbelly Auditions for the Ghost of Elvis."  Continuing our trend of poets who win multiple awards, Ed also won the prize for women in music (judged by Catfish) and swing music (judged by myself) for his "Quixote in Cowtown."  I'd also like to mention British poet Bryn Fortey's poems inspired by Stan Kenton and Lil Hardin Armstrong respectively.

While judging Thelma's Prize (summer), Catfish also praised Martin Willits, Jr.'s "Janis Joplin: Listening to Little Girl Blue"; Ed Schelb's "Quixote in Cowtown"; Will Mayo's "Solitude's Passing",  "Love of Learning", and "Checking In";  Lynne Viti's "Harp Music"; Miriam Sagan's "Etudes";  and Sheryl Massaro's "New Spell."  "Janis Joplin: Little Girl Blue" and "Harp Music" were also the finalists for the women in music contest.

I would also like to award Angelee Deodhar Callie's Prize for her visual contributions to The Song Is..  Angelee's poems and "visuals" (as I call them) will also start off the fall/winter contest very soon,  but I will also link to some entries that have featured her work:

Finally, there is one last contest: the summer music contest.  I'm pleased to see how much interest this contest attracted.  I would like to award the prize to Lynne Viti for "I Can't Get No" and John McDonald for his haibun "Jazz Streets." 

To sum up, here are the results of the spring/summer contests:

Summer Music:  Lynne Viti"I Can't Get No" and John McDonald"Jazz Streets."

Callie's Prize:  Angelee Deodhar

Women in Music: Ed Schelb"Quixote in Cowtown."

Swing Music: Ed Schelb"Quixote in Cowtown."

Local Poetry:  Avis Danette Matthews, "Chicago, 1971"

Thelma's Prize (Summer):  Ed Schelb"Dogbelly Auditions for the Ghost of Elvis.

Thelma's Prize (Spring):  A.J. Huffman"The Barbie Formerly Known As."

Congratulations to each prize-winning poet, and thank you again to judges Catfish and Michael.  More importantly, thank you to everyone who participated!  I hope that you will continue to send your work to The Song Is..  The next contest is coming up very soon, and you could be among the prize-winners.

Although this is a very long entry, I am going to conclude with some music for you.  Although I should probably find some punk rock, I am going to post "La vie en rose" by female saxophonist Anat Cohen and her quartet:

Totally switching gears, I am moving on to Michael Nesmith and the First National Band's cover of "One Rose":

They also did a song called "Calico Girlfriend":



  1. I enjoyed this blog very much regardless of its length. Many thanks for the fine poems the judges selected and also for Angelee's contributions. Most of all, gratitude to you, Marianne, for putting all this together. The song is is truly a far-reaching and inclusive blog.

    1. Thank you, Mary Jo, for your contributions and your comments! I hope that you will be able to participate in the fall contests. My best to you and your family.

  2. Marianne, I am wowed by how "The Song Is..." has taken off! Big thanks to you for sharing my poetry and to R. Michael for recognizing it.

  3. Let me echo what's been said thanks marianne and thanks to the judges and congrats to winners and readers and all who make this a living thing