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Showing posts from February, 2016

A Brief Look at Ohio Poet of the Year

Nominations Now Being Accepted Since 1976, the Ohio Poetry Day Association (founded in 1937 by authorization of the Ohio Legislature) has been naming annually an Ohio Poet of the Year, basing its choice on a book published in the previous one to two years. The award is based on the one book and not on an aggregation of work published over some time. During the first several years, selection was made by the Poetry Day Board, acting as a committee of the whole. In the past 20 or so years, there has been a coordinator and a group of (lately) four judges, different each year, who are chosen to represent academic and non-academic outlooks, and to include generally an equal number of male and female judges, one of whom is a former Poet of the Year. One variation is that in the 50th and 75th years of Poetry Day (the competition had not existed at the 25th year), instead of honoring an already-published book, the OPD Association has offered a contest for a chapbook manuscript and has pub

Becca Lachman shares her Desert Island Books

After leading a terrific workshop in early January, poet Becca Lachman has sent us her list of desert-island poetry books—those must-haves that shape her life in many ways. She writes: "To me, ‘desert island’ books means keeping my finger on the pulse of those poems and collections I need to look into my own life in order to encourage change, forgiveness, and transformation—basically, those major things that I often ache to see and read about in the larger world." Not surprisingly, Lachman's list is emblematic of her respect and admiration for William Stafford. But all of the works here will strike chords deep within any reader. "These are books that have changed me, have asked me to laugh more, and have asked me to look hard at my voice, privilege, and possibility," she says. "They are also books I keep going back to when I want to re-learn how to tell a story that matters through verse, a poem series, or even a table of contents." Ask Me: Sel