I am honored to introduce to you our Grand Prize Winner of my first poetry contest!
First, a special thank you to Colleen and Lisa for helping me to put this together. With my schedule, I could not have done it without you two! Family, please go ahead and follow their blogs. You WON’T be disappointed!
Next, I would like to thank everyone who entered as well as those of you who shared this contest. It is not easy to “stand” up here and do something like this so thank you for your support.
Congratulations to Merril D. Smith for her poem “Zora Neale Hurston.”
Not only did it touch on our theme, but it embodied so much of Zora that I felt like if I didn’t know who she was before, I did now. Here’s what Colleen had to say:
“The author captured the essence of Zora and her strength to fight for the rights of African American women as if she was able to channel her bright spirit through the written word. Splendid imagery and descriptions. When I close my eyes, I can see Zora in all her glory!”
My favorite lines are:
“…her soul crawls out
from its hiding place
time and distance cannot shrink
her words…” – Colleen Chesebro
Whoop! Merril, here’s what you’ve won!
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke (hardcover)
From When I was a Black Girl by Yecheilyah Ysrayl (paperback)
And Still, I Rise by Maya Angelou (paperback)
Your Poem on this Blog
Social Media Support
Please tell us a little bit about yourself:
MDS: Thank you so much, Yecheilyah Ysrayl, Colleen Chesebro, and Lisa W. Tetting! I am honored to have been selected as the Grand Prize Winner for this poetry contest.
My name is Merril D. Smith. I live in National Park, NJ, which is a small borough right across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. I’m an independent scholar with a Ph.D. in American history, but my blog is mostly a poetry blog. Poetry is my creative outlet, though it is something I’ve come to only within the past few years. Perhaps I needed some life experience and time to reflect, but now my muse says, “write poetry.”
Do you have any poetry collections out Merril?
MDS: I don’t have a poetry book out yet, but it’s coming! I’m currently finishing up two reference books on rape. My other books are available on Amazon and other sites.
Before we get to your poem, please tell us a little bit about it. What inspired this piece?
MDS: The theme of the poetry contest was the Harlem Renaissance. I chose to write about Zora Neale Hurston because I think she was a brilliant and fascinating woman. She lied about her age (saying she was younger than she was) so that she could finish high school. Then she went on to study anthropology with Franz Boas, and she chose to do fieldwork on Afro-American folklore. She was said to have made an entrance when she entered a party, and in the photos, I’ve seen of her, she’s often wearing a hat. She definitely had a way with words, so I used some of her lines within the poem. Though she won some acclaim in her life, she did not earn wealth, and she died in poverty. Alice Walker is credited with “rediscovering” Hurston and paid to have a grave stone placed on Hurston’s unmarked grave.
Once again Merril, thanks so much for participating in our contest and sharing your heart with us. Without further ado, everyone we give you:
When the right poem is born it is all feeling. Taste and touch and nourishment. All heart and aching and lifting. Poetry is a revolution with a profound sense of strength. When the right poem arrives I notice it instantly. It is all moving like earthquakes so powerful that it breaks down mental barriers and knocks ignorance off Richer Scales. The right poem is not merely the ability to paint pictures with words. The right poem is a full manifestation of the heart. A complete contextualizing of the soul. The right poem is my entire body into words. Every piece of flesh, every tingling nerve. A spiritual essence poured out on the page.
I am so excited that Colleen has given me the keys to the house once again and I’d like to take this time to thank her for allowing me to host my first contest on her blog.
Additionally, I’d like to thank each of you for your support of our Poetry Contest, those of you who entered and those of you who wanted to enter but did not have the opportunity to do so. Know that, with your support, we’d like to host this contest at least once a year so no worries, there will be other chances! Finally, thank you to everyone who shared the original post across social media, reblogged, etc. We could not have done this without you.
As we stated, depending on the number of entries, we will have some runner ups. While there can only be One Grand Prize Winner, today…
First, I want to thank everyone who supported this contest. Whether you re-blogged or shared this across social media or participated, thank you.
I want to give a special thanks to Colleen Chesebro for allowing me space on her blog to host this and for promoting it in her weekly poetry features.
As you all know I have just released a new book and am just getting in from travel. It has therefore been a challenge to promote this contest and the book simultaneously. While I did not time the contest well, I am excited to have had the opportunity to do it and look forward to reviewing the entries and announcing our grand prize winner.
The contest is now officially over. I would extend it but honestly, it is not a good time. There are some family things to take care of and more travel in the near future. However, this is the first of many. My hope is to do this at least once a year, introducing to you more and more talented artists.
Hi, everybody! I am excited to share with you Yecheilyah’s First Annual POETRY Contest, right here on my blog. Read the instructions below, because you are going to love this!!
“It’s no secret I love poetry. In fact, my entrance into Indie Publishing began this way, with a collection of poems. I have been performing since High School and writing them since middle school. I’ve traveled to perform, entered contests, and have been filmed. Remember that you can listen to my poems and follow me on my new Soundcloud page HERE.”
“I have wanted to do this for a long time and Renaissance: The Nora White Story is the perfect excuse. In my upcoming release poetry plays a significant role. Nora meets such famous poets as Langston Hughes and even gets to recite a poem of her own. For this, to celebrate the release of book one in the…