Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ohio Poetry Day Contest -- May 15, 2017 Deadline for Submissions

Don't miss this opportunity to be a part of Ohio Poetry Day. May 15 is the deadline for the dozens of contests that are a part of the event.

Here is a copy of the submission form. We realize the type is small. This is how it comes to OPA from Ohio Poetry Day staff in the mail. It's chocked full of great contest information, and as a result, the type is small. OPA recommends that in order to see it best, you should print a copy of the form which is in jpg or photo format. You can do that by saving the image to your computer and printing it.

You can also use your own paper as an entry form if you don't want to print off a copy of the form. Be sure to provide all the information required, including which poems you want to be considered for which contests. Follow all the submission instructions. (Many photo viewers will allow you to zoom out thereby enlarging the type so you can check to see that you have included everything.)  It is recommended that you contact the Ohio Poetry Day by writing to Amy Jo Zook at 3520 St. Rt. 56, Mechanicsburg, Ohio 43044, and ask to be placed on their mailing list so that next year you will get a form delivered to your home.





Friday, February 24, 2017

Ohio Poetry Association Releases New Poetry Anthology Focused on Art in Ohio

A Rustling and Waking Within cover
The Ohio Poetry Association (OPA) is releasing a new ekphrastic poetry anthology, titled, A Rustling and Waking Within. The collection is a celebration of art and poetry in Ohio. The 139-page perfect-bound book contains poems written by friends and members of OPA in response to various forms of art featured in Ohio's museums, galleries and many other venues, including homes. Works by Ohio artists, both older art and more contemporary, are included.  On the cover is a painting by Camille Pissarro (French, 1830–1903), titled, "The Roofs of Old Rouen, Gray Weather " used by permission from the Toledo Museum of Art. The project marks the culmination of four OPA writing events that were held in major art centers in Ohio.

An initial release event, at which contributors will read their poems against a visual projection of the art to which they responded, is slated for Saturday, March 11, 2017, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, at the Wexner Center for the Arts, 1871 N. High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43210. The event is free and open to the public and promises to be of interest not just to poets and artists but also to the general public. Along with a multimedia poetry reading, the afternoon will feature food, beverages, and raffles. Books will be sold at the event and poets will be available to sign them.

A second release event will be held on Sunday, March 12, 2017, at the Toledo Museum of Art, 2445 Monroe St., Toledo, Ohio 43620, beginning at 2:00 pm. Several more events at Ohio's art museums, coffee shops, and bookstores throughout the state are being planned. Information on these events can be found on the OPA website or on the OPA Facebook page as it becomes available.

The anthology was edited by Sharon Fish Mooney, herself a contributing poet and OPA member. Mooney organized the book by region of the state based on the art, and within each region, she organized poems based on when the art was created or displayed. She says: "The Ohio Poetry Association hopes that through this collection, the reader will want to view art that is currently located in Ohio or that has traveled through Ohio. We want the reader to get up close and personal by visiting the various venues where the art resides. Through these poems, we hope readers will experience some of what we as poets experienced when we viewed it."

The book features an introduction by Terry Hermsen, Professor of English, Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. In his introduction, he suggests "that the primary task of ekphrastic writing, whether in the form of poetry or not, lies in seeking out a dialogue between that original silence" that is art "and the cradle of words" that is poetry. He goes on to state: "Through entering that open space which lies like a hidden valley somewhere between a painting and poem, we might come to know art all over again."

A complete list of the 48 poets and poem titles featured in the book, as well as links to the art that inspired their poems, is available at the OPA website: ohiopoetryassn.org. Any organization that would like to sponsor a reading should email team@ohiopoetryassn.org.

The Ohio Poetry Association (OPA), chartered originally as the Verse Writers’ Guild of Ohio, is a nonprofit, educational volunteer organization with a 501(c)(3)Federal designation and a member of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. Chartered in 1929, the Ohio Poetry Association promotes poetry and supports Ohio poets of all ages and in all stages of their writing lives by providing a variety of learning events, readings, and contests.

For more information about the event, contact Chuck Salmons, President, Ohio Poetry Association, at charles@ohiopoetryassn.org.

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