Thursday, September 22, 2016

Selecting a Poet: Ohio Poetry Day's Process



“I've been an Ohioan my whole life, and I'm honored to be recognized in my home state,” says Maggie Smith, the newly crowned Ohio Poet of the Year. A big congratulations is certainly due for this wonderful accomplishment, awarded by the Ohio Poetry Day (OPD) Association.

    Started in 1938, this non-profit organization is interested in promoting quality writing, often through its blog, chapbooks, and contests. Long-standing member Amy Jo Zook, who functions as both treasurer and contest chairman for OPD, graciously shared the process of selecting a winner. 

These books can be nominated by any well-read person, and mostly come from publishers, literary groups or organizations, libraries, or independent sources such as friends and family. A poet may never nominate oneself and will likely not know of their nomination unless told by the nominator, or until they win the title of Ohio Poet of the Year. Similarly, Smith stated “...I honestly [knew] nothing about it. I did not know my book and I [were] being considered. I received a call while on vacation... informing me that I was selected as Ohio Poet of the Year for The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison, and I was delighted, of course.” 

As one can imagine, there are quite a few choices to narrow down, typically into a selection of four to eight books. This is the set that the judges, members of OPD who are handpicked each year, examine. 

When asked what the judges hope to see, Zook replied that the best pick is “neither too simplistic nor too abstract.” The book should be recently published, so as “to best capture the poet’s current style.” Like Smith’s work, many of the past winners’ books contain poems about or related to Ohio, but this is not required. However, and understandably so, it must be of high quality. Zook added that “the goal is to find something accessible to a large audience,” something challenging in content that would make the reader crave more of the poet’s work.

The judges then vote after comparing all the choices, and this step is done individually. Zook believes that, by waiting until after voting to discuss the poetry with the other judges, the final pick does not become a compromise. Instead, the election is more clean and clear. 

And so the election this year led to Maggie Smith, who says her book “...was largely inspired by fairy tales and folklore, but it blends those influences with my Ohio roots.”

“Many of the poems are set in or reference places that are important to me, including my childhood home in Westerville, Alum Creek, and Schiller Park in German Village,” she explains. No doubt some of these poems will feel familiar to Ohio readers! 

To hear Maggie Smith’s luncheon reading and speech, come join Ohio Poetry Day at Heidelberg University on October 15 for the award ceremony. The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison and her other publications will also be sold there. If your interest is peaked for more of Maggie’s poetry, please visit her website maggiesmithpoet.com

For more information on Ohio Poetry Day 2016, see the following articles on the OPA blog:   

Written by Logan Morales

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Maggie Smith Named 2016 Ohio Poetry Day Poet of the Year

Ohio Poetry Day Association
chartered as a nonprofit corporation

News Release


Ohio Poetry Day (OPD) 2016 is pleased to announce that the Poet of the Year for 2016 is Maggie Smith of Bexley, Ohio, chosen for her book The Well Speaks of lts Own Poison, published in 2015 by Tupelo Press.

Smith, a native Ohioan, was born in Columbus and has degrees from Ohio Wesleyan (B. A.) and Ohio State (M.F.A.). She was for a time a lecturer at Gettysburg College and is now a freelance writer. Her previous publications include three chapbooks, Disasterology (Dream House), The List of Dangers (Wick Poetry Series) and Nesting Dolls (Pudding House), and a full length book, Lamp of the Body (Red Hen Press). She has had awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Sustainable Arts, and the Ohio Arts Council individual excellence award.

As this year's Poet of the Year, she will receive her award at the meeting at Heidelberg University on Saturday, October 15, and be the luncheon speaker. The weekend will also include a workshop for the winning poems from the Evan Lodge Award and prizes given for all the winners in the general contests.

Those not on the OPD mailing list who wish to receive the reservation form for luncheon and workshop may send SASE or just a postcard with name and address to Amy Jo Zook, 3520 State Route 56, Mechanicsburg, OH 43044 to be included in the mailing. There will also be a book room selling the BEST OF 2016 books and the books by the Poet of the Year and other poets present. Come join us in this, our 79th year.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ohio Poetry Day 2016 Contest Winners Announced


Ohio Poetry Day 2016 is fast approaching, and the list of winners of the OPD poetry contests has been released. We're excited to see so many OPA members among the winners and honorable mentions.

There were more than 1,000 entries to this year's OPD contests, which are open to anyone and offer a chance to win prizes and be published in the annual Best of Ohio Poetry Day anthology.

This year's OPD will take place at the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio, October 14–15, 2016. Friday evening, following his visit to Heidelberg, poet laureate of Kansas and Associate Professor of English, Washburn University, Eric McHenry will lead an evening poetry workshop. He will also be reading from his work. Ohio Poet of the Year, Maggie Smith of Columbus will be reading from her work Saturday afternoon mostly likely sharing poems from her recent book, The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison.  It will be a high-powered two days of poetry.

"All interested writers and friends are welcome!" says OPD co-coordinator Bill Reyer. "Members of the Ohio Poetry Association who have never attended Ohio Poetry Day will find the event in October an enriching and warm experience."
To learn more about this year's event, email event organizer, Bill Reyer  at wreyer@heidelberg.edu.

Congratulations to all the winners and honorable mentions in this year's OPD contests!



Ohio Poetry Day 2016 Winners List


Please note:  Prize-money checks and certificates will be mailed after the Ohio Poetry Day event the weekend of October 14 - 15 for those winners who cannot attend.         

1.         OPD Special Award - 80 entries
1st - Russell H. Strauss, Memphis, TN
2nd - Phyllis Lee, Sebring, OH
3rd - Rita Aiken Moritz, Pell City, AL
HM - J. Paul Holcomb, Double Oak, TX n; Nick Sweet, Shepherd, TX; Linda Frisa, Cincinnati, OH; Jake Olson, Tiffin, OH; Betsy M. Hughes, Dayton, OH; Joyce Shiver, Crystal River, FL; Joanne Greenway, Cincinnati, OH; Valerie Esker, Beverly Hills, FL; Richard L. Luftig, Pomona, CA

2.         Got It Covered - 8 entries
1st - Alice E. Irvin, Blanchester, OH
2nd - Mary Turzillo, Berea, OH
HM - Sara Gipson, Scott, AR

3.         Evelyn Barker Award - 52 entries
1st - Alison Chisholm, Merseyside, UK
2nd - David George, Urbana, OH
3rd - Rita Aiken Moritz, Pell City, AL
HM - Elaine Costanzo, New Concord, OH; Evelyn Corry Appelbee, Henderson, TX; Anne Pierre Spangler, Lebanon, PA; Benjamin A. Dugger, Elizabethton, TN; Beth Staas, La Grange Park, IL

4.         Crème de la Crème - 659 entries                 
1st - Von S. Bourland, Happy, TX
2nd - Alison Chisholm, Merseyside, UK
3rd - Evelyn Corry Appelbee, Henderson, TX
HM - Russell H. Strauss, Memphis, TN; Caroline Walton, Crystal River, FL; Nancy Susanna Breen, Loveland, OH; Linda Frisa, Cincinnati, OH; Jane  K. Kretschmann, Piqua, OH; Catherine M. Moran, Little Rock, AR; Joyce Shiver, Crystal River, FL; Rhonda Baughman, Indianapolis, IN; Lucille Morgan Wilson, Des Moines, IA; Maureen S. Fry, Conover, OH

5.         Unexpected Joy - 37 entries       
1st - Sally Bulford, Hopewell, OH
2nd - Marilyn Tullys, Canton, OH
3rd - Joan Terry, Dallas, GA,
HM - Jan O'Dea, Columbus, OH, Betsy Kennedy, Columbus, OH, David L. Byrn, Prescott, AZ, Kerry Trautman, Findlay, OH, Anna L. Cates, Wilmington, OH, Barbara Blank, Garland, TX, D Beecher Smith, II, Memphis, TN
           
6.         Small Stuff - 47 entries
1st - Crystie Cook, Sandy, UT
2nd - Roberta Angerman, Wooster, OH
3rd - Phyllis Lee, Sebring, OH
HM - Joyce Shiver, Crystal River, FL; Lucille Morgan Wilson, Des Moines, IA; Madelyn Eastlund, Beverly Hills, FL; Geoffrey A. Landis, Berea, OH; Ruth Naylor, Bluffton, OH; Robert Schinzel, Highland Village, TX; LaVern Spencer McCarthy, Blair, OK; Caroline Walton, Crystal River, FL; Vera Ogden Bakker, Bountiful, UT

7.         Columbus, Ohio, Now and Then - 12 entries
1st - Rhonda Baughman, Indianapolis, IN
2nd - Rikki Santer, Columbus, OH
3rd - Annie McWilliams, Columbus, OH
HM - Wendy Colopy, Danville, OH;  Brenda Miller, Orrville, OH

8.         Exploring Nature, Discovering Meaning - 86 entries
1st - Dalene Stull, Danville, OH
2nd - Margaret Gleave, Ainsdale, UK
3rd - Alison Chisholm, Merseyside, UK
HM - Louise Onyett-Love, Boulder, CO;  Amy Jo Schoonover, Mechanicsburg, OH; Carol Louise Moon, Sacramento, CA; Annie McWilliams, Columbus, OH; Rhonda Baughman, Indianapolis, IN; John McBride, Bettendorf, IA; Jim Villani, Youngstown, OH; Evelyn Corry Appelbee, Henderson, TX

9.         Just for the Fun of It - 90 entries
1st - Roberta Angerman, Wooster, OH
2nd - Gail White, Breaux Bridge, LA
3rd - Brenda Miller,  Orrville, OH
HM - E. Gail Chandler, Shelbyville, KY; David Lee Garrison, Dayton, OH; Ruby Kapp, Green Springs, OH; Barbara Blanks, Garland, TX; Amy Jo Schoonover, Mechanicsburg, OH

10.       In Memory of My Three Brothers - 92 entries                   
1st - Crystie Cook, Sandy, UT
2nd - Linda Frisa, Cincinnati, OH
3rd - John McBride, Bettendorf, IA
HM - Russell Strauss, Memphis, TN; Nancy Susanna Breen, Loveland, OH; Nancy J. Binghurst, Ashland, OR; Mary Turzillo, Berea, OH; Jerri Hardesty, Brierfield, AL

11.       Haiku for Betty - 64 entries       
1st - Mary Turzillo, Berea, OH
2nd - D. Beecher Smith, Memphis, TN
3rd - Anna L. Cates, Ashland, KY
HM - Rita Aiken Moritz, Pell City, AL; John Bing, Tiffin, OH

12.       In Memory of Steven Lee - 58 entries
1st - John Bing, Tiffin, OH
2nd - Crystie Cook, Sandy, UT
3rd - Barbara Blanks, Garland, TX
HM - Lee Pelham Cotton, Locust Hill, VA; Dalene Stull, Danville, OH; Von S. Bourland, Happy, TX; Evelyn Corry Appelbee, Henderson, TX; Maureen S. Fry, Conover, OH

13.       Literary Personas - 30 entries                   
1st – Dargan Ware, Moody, AL
2nd – E. Gail Chandler, Shelbyville, KY
3rd – Larry Michaels, Fremont, OH
HM – John Bing, Tiffin, OH; Rose Ann Spaith, Columbus, OH; Geoffrey A. Landis, Berea, OH

14.       "I hate you—let's have drink - 35 entries       
1st - Alison Chisholm, Southport, UK
2nd - Lucille Morgan Wilson, Des Moines, IA
3rd - Nancy L. Marshall, Sugarcreek, OH
HM - Rita Aiken Moritz, Pell City, AL; Anne Pierre Spangler, Lebanon, PA

15.       Let It Flow - 46 entries
1st - Nancy Susanna Breen, Loveland, OH
2nd - LaVern Spencer McCarthy, Blair, OK
3rd -Maureen S. Fry, Conover, OH
HM - Phyllis Lee, Sebring, OH; Betsy M. Hughes, Dayton, OH;

16.       In Memory of Tessa Sweazy Webb - 21 entries       
1st - Joyce Shiver, Crystal River, FL
2nd - Russell H. Strauss, Memphis, TN
3rd - Von S. Bourland, Happy, TX
HM - Helen Webb, South Point, OH; Catherine M. Moran, Little Rock, AR; Sara Gipson, Scott, AR

17.       Thomas Finley Award - 70 entries
1st - Christine Howey, Cleveland, OH
2nd - Diane Kendig, Canton, OH
3rd - Tanya Pilumeli, Geneva, OH
HM - Robert Schinzel, Highland Village, TX; Helen Webb, South Point, OH; Vera Ogden Bakker, Bountiful, UT; Gail White, Breaux Bridge, LA; Linda Frisa, Cincinnati, OH

18.       Wright Writers of Dayton - 47 entries
1st - Betsy M. Hughes, Dayton, OH
2nd - Crystie Cook, Sandy, UT
3rd - Barbara Blanks, Garland, TX
HM - David L. Byrn, Prescott, AZ; Alison Chisholm, Merseyside, UK

19.       Through the Window - 75 entries
1st - Mary Turzillo, Berea, OH
2nd - Gordon Smith, Hot Springs, AR
3rd - Alison Chisholm, Merseyside, UK
HM - Phyllis Lee, Sebring, OH; Annie McWilliams, Columbus, OH; Emery L. Campbell, Lawrenceville, GA; Russell H. Strauss, Memphis, TN; Lucille Morgan Wilson, Des Moines, IA; Von S. Bourland, Happy, TX; Richard L. Luftig, Pomona, CA; Maureen S. Fry, Conover, OH; D. Beecher Smith, II, Memphis, TN

20.       Great Expectations - 75 entries                   
1st - Evelyn Corry Appelbee, Henderson, TX
2nd - Beth Staas, La Grange Park, IL
3rd - Jane K. Kretschmann, Piqua, OH
HM - Elaine Costanzo, New Concord, OH;  Eric Blanchard, Dayton, OH; Dalene Stull, Danville, OH; Nancy Susanna Breen, Loveland, OH

21.       Words to a Newborn - 34 entries
1st - Brenda Miller, Orrville, OH
2nd - Von S. Bourland, Happy, TX
3rd - Alison Chisholm,  Merseyside, UK
HM - Jake Olson, Tiffin, OH; Geoffrey A. Landis, Berea, OH; Jennifer Hambrick, Worthington, OH

22.       New Ballad Award - 31 entries
1st - Brenda Miller, Orrville, OH
2nd - J. Paul Holcomb, Double Oak, TX
3rd - Alison Chisholm, Merseyside, UK
HM -Evelyn Corry Appelbee, Henderson, TX; Joyce Shiver, Crystal River, FL; Geoffrey A. Landis, Berea, OH; Lucille Morgan Wilson, Des Moines, IA; Eric Blanchard, Dayton, OH; Joyce Gorum McGee, Gary, TX; Emery L. Campbell, Lawrenceville, GA; Jim Villani, Youngstown, OH; Charles K. Firmage, Boise, ID; D. Beecher Smith, II, Memphis, TN

23.       Tantrum - 53 entries
1st - Mary Turzillo, Berea, OH
2nd - Russell H. Strauss, Memphis, TN
3rd - Larry Michaels, Fremont, OH
HM -Amy Jo Schoonover, Mechanicsburg, OH; Nancy L. Marshall, Sugarcreek, OH; Rhonda Baughman, Indianapolis, IN; Louise Onyett-Love, Boulder, CO; J. Paul Holcomb, Double Oak, TX; Betsy Kennedy, Columbus, OH

24.       Family Ties - 60 entries       
1st - Vera Jones, Weaverville, NC
2nd - Maureen Fry, Conover, OH
3rd - Dalene Stull, Danville, OH
HM - Nancy K. Jentsch, Melbourne, KY; E. Gail Chandler, Shelbyville, KY; Gail White, Breaux Bridge, LA; Nick Sweet, Shepherd, TX; J. Paul Holcomb, Double Oak, TX

25.       Welcome Aboard - 17 entries
Co-1st - Anna L. Cates, Wilmington, OH
Co-1st - Bea Wissel, Cincinnati, OH
HM - Cecile Cary, Dayton, OH; Ruby Kapp, Green Springs, OH; Pat Snyder Hurley, Columbus, OH
                                                                                   
26.       Heidi Knecht Memorial - 34 entries
1st - Amy Jo Schoonover, Mechanicsburg, OH
2nd - Nancy Susanna Breen, Loveland, OH
3rd - Tanya Pilumeli, Geneva, OH
HM -Larry Michaels, Fremont, OH; Gloria Alden, Southington, OH; Rose Ann Spaith, Columbus, OH; Wendy Colopy, Danville, OH; Nicole M. Gnezda, Worthington, OH; Anna L. Cates, Wilmington, OH; Jake Olson, Tiffin, OH

27.       Family Ties - 76 entries
1st - Margaret Gleave, Southport, UK
2nd - Mary O'Dell, Louisville, KY
3rd - Kerry Trautman, Findlay, OH
HM -  Deborah Walker, Conover, OH; Lisa Brandstetter Holt, Mt. Orab, OH; Betsy Kennedy, Columbus, OH; Vera Ogden Bakker, West Bountiful, UT; Susan Iwinski, Kettering, OH; Nancy K. Jentsch, Melbourne, KY; Diane Kendig, Canton, OH; Catherine Moran, Little Rock, AR; Russell H. Strauss, Memphis, TN; Jake Olson, Tiffin, OH

27.       Evan Lodge Workshop Awards - 26 entries

Alphabetically arranged - ten equal awards

John Bing, Tiffin, OH
Lisa Brandstetter Holt, Mt. Orab, OH
Anna L. Cates,  Wilmington, OH
Gene Corman, Fullerton, CA - Ohio native
Elaine Costanzo, New Concord, OH - two awards
Pat Snyder Hurley, Columbus, OH - two awards
Mary Turzillo, Berea, OH
Deborah Walker, Conover, OH


Total number of poets who entered OPD 2016:  135
Total number of poems entered in OPD 2016:  1010
Total number of states represented:  26, Canada (1 entrant) and the UK (2 entrants)

                                                                                                                       
© 2016 Ohio Poetry Association

Monday, July 18, 2016

Join OPA in Baking Up Some Poetry

Feeling hungry for inspiration and freshly baked bread? The Ohio Poetry Association is teaming up with the Glass Rooster Cannery in Sunbury, Ohio, for a unique cook-and-write workshop. Space is limited, but any are welcome! In this late summer activity, you will join a group to personally make (and later lunch on) homemade bread. These sensory experiences will influence a bit of freewriting, followed by a reading of the group's poems.

Art and antiques barn at Glass Rooster Cannery.
To further elaborate on this event, we've posed a few questions to Terry Hermsen, editor of O Taste and See and English professor at Otterbein University, and Robin Mullet, OPA member who writes the Muse Clues column for the newsletter and is organizer of the event.

1. Robin, what prompted this workshop to combine food and poetry?
   “Our president, Chuck Salmons, had brought up the idea at an OPA meeting, mentioning that Terry Hermsen and David Lee Garrison had edited and published a food-inspired anthology. I love food poems and those two poets, so I volunteered to organize it.”

2. Terry, how do you believe cooking influences the written word?
   “It's funny how two such seemingly different things as cooking and poetry can actually be so closely connected. But the word 'poet' actually goes back to the word 'maker'. To be a poet means to stir up some ingredients and see how those textures, spices, and substances merge. There are recipes, of course, but it's the invested soul of the writer that makes the meal.”

3. Robin, what do you hope to see happening at this event?
   “First and foremost, I hope people get inspired to write poetry, and secondly, I hope they have fun! I think the hands-on experience of bread making will heighten all of our senses and give our muse a jump start. And the grounds at Glass Rooster Cannery are really lovely.”

4. Robin, what could a newcomer expect from a poetry workshop?
   “If you are new to poetry workshops, you will discover how poets share and care about each other’s work. But you are never forced to share if you don’t wish, so don’t be afraid. I always take something helpful from a workshop even if I don’t write a single decent line that day. Also, poets are some of the most fun people I’ve ever met and we love to eat!”

5. Terry, you were an editor of O Taste and See – Food Poems. Could you recommend any other sources of food-inspired poetry?
   “As for other anthologies, I've only seen a few. But the more recent The Hungry Ear, edited in 2014 by Kevin Young, looks rather fine to me. It includes some of the same poems as the now-out-of-print O Taste and See, and is organized in much the same way with poems gathered around such topics as 'Spices' and 'Meat and Potatoes' and even 'Souplines'. Our anthology was so much fun to put together, but one could go out and create one's own. Food connects to family, history, politics, culture... and to our own individual sense of taste and memory. Who would've thought?”

For info on registration and directions, please visit the OPA website Events page here. The sign up deadline is August 1.

Thanks to the Glass Rooster Cannery for providing this delightful place in which to create. We hope you'll join us to bake up some poetry!

by Logan Morales
OPA Intern

Monday, July 4, 2016

Don’t miss the Annual OPA All-Star Picnic on Saturday, July 9, 2016




 Share your ideas with people of like-mind and get motivated by their encouragements and experiences.Israelmore Ayivor, Shaping the Dream


This year’s July OPA Quarterly Business Meeting and All-Star Picnic will be held at the beautiful Jeffrey Park, Memorial Shelter located at 165 N. Parkview Ave., Bexley, Ohio 43209
 
The park is a 40-acre recreation area on the east side of Columbus, complete will all the amenities—hiking trails, playground for children, kayak and canoe ramp, tennis courts, and restroom facilities—the perfect setting for this year’s annual outdoor poetry event. The picnic is open to OPA members and their friends and family, or anyone who is looking for a great afternoon of potluck and poetry. It’s that time of the year when in the beautiful out-of-doors, we can share our ideas and words with people of like-mind and get motivated.


An original watercolor painting by Deb Grenert will be raffled.
The program promises to be wonderful: Ohio poets communing with fellow poets in a casual setting, featured readers, contest winners, and special guests. There will be raffles—including the grand prize of the original watercolor painting by Deb Grenert, used as the cover of the 2013 issue of Common Threads. And of course, we’ll have an open-mic where members and guests will be invited to share a poem of their own. As usual, the event is a potluck, so bring your favorite dish to share. Also bring a beverage. Paper plates, napkins, cutlery, and cups will be provided.

Featured All-Star Readers


Our featured poets will include Darren C. Demaree and Sharon Fish Mooney who will be reading from their recently published books. 

Darren C. Demaree
Darren C. Demaree is the author of five poetry collections, most recently The Nineteen Steps Between Us (After the Pause, 2016). He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the NetAnthology. Currently, he is living in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife and children.

Members may recognize the name of Sharon Fish Mooney, who is the chairwoman of the OPA high school poetry contests. Sharon will read from her new book, Bending Toward Heaven – Poems After the Art of Vincent van Gogh (Wipf and Stock/Resource Publications, 2015). Sharon won the inaugural Frost Farm Prize for metrical poetry. She also is currently editing an ekphrastic anthology of poems by Ohio poets on art in Ohio for the Ohio Poetry Association. She teaches research online for Regis University and Indiana Wesleyan and lives in Scio, Ohio.
Sharon Fish Mooney

Other poets featured will be the Ides of March Contest winner, Benjamin Dugger, and winning student poets from this year’s OPA High School Contests. We hope to see you all there next Saturday. 
 

Parking

 
There is parking and access to the Memorial Shelter by using the Clifton Avenue entrance, just west of Parkview Avenue. You can also park in the Jeffrey Mansion parking lot off Parkview Avenue and then walk down to the park behind the mansion.





© 2016 Ohio Poetry Association