Thursday, June 1, 2017

June 2017 Poetry Challenge

Portrait of a Man with a Dog by Cariani, circa 1520 - Courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

Jenene Ravesloot is a member of The Poets’ Club of Chicago, Illinois State Poetry Society, and Poets & Patrons. She has written five books of poetry, including her newest book Sliders. Her poems have been published in the Caravel Literary Arts Journal, After Hours Press, Connotation Press, Packingtown Review, The Miscreant, Exact Change Only Press, The Poetry Storehouse, and other journals online and in print. Ravesloot owns copyright to this poem.

In Jenene Ravesloot’s prose poem, the irritant which had bothered the narrator and the narrator’s friends was the barking of a neighbor’s dog. The dog obviously did not like to be left alone. When the dog’s owner returned home, the dog would be content and quit barking for a while. Everyone would be relieved. Eventually, though, the barking would resume again. But now. it seems that the complaints made to the owner of the dog, the landlord and even the police, things have changed. Now it is the absence of barking that concerns the narrator. The reader has to decide why the narrator isn’t at peace with the new situation.

Many things that irritate us are trivial. Sometimes we overreact. Sometimes we have not thought through the consequences of filing a complaint. Sometimes the resolution doesn’t satisfy us. I remember being irritated by my dad’s pronunciation of the word “rinse.” When he said the word, it sounded like “wrinsh,” a combination of “wrench” and “rich.” Now that he is dead, I would give almost anything to hear his voice – and would find his mispronunciation endearing.

What is a common, everyday thing that irritated or irritate you? Is there something that used to irritate you that you think about in a different way now? Maybe it is the behavior of someone else or of an animal. Perhaps it is rain, or summer heat. Or the sound of the commuter train passing or an airplane overhead. Whatever it is, it is a fit subject for a poem.

The June Challenge:

The June Challenge is to submit a poem about an irritant (as described above).

Title your poem unless it is haiku or another form that does not use titles. If you use a form, please identify the form when you submit your poem. Single-space and don’t use lines that are overly long (because the blog format doesn’t accommodate long lines). Please do not indent or center your poem on the page, put it in a box or against a special (even white) background.

You may submit a published poem if you retain copyright, but please include publication data. This applies to poems published in books, journals, newspapers, or on the Internet.

The deadline is June 15. Poems submitted after the deadline will not be considered. There is no charge to enter, so there are no monetary rewards; however winners are published on this blog. Please don’t stray too far from “family-friendly” language. No simultaneous submissions, please. You should know by the end of the month whether or not your poem will be published on this blog. Decision of the judge or judges is final.

Copyright on each poem is retained by the poet. If a previously unpublished poem wins and is published elsewhere later, please give credit to this blog.

How to Submit Your Poem:

Send one poem only to wildamorris[at]ameritech[dot]net (substitute the @ sign for “at” and a . for “dot”). Put “June Poetry Challenge Submission” in the subject line of your email. Include a brief bio which can be printed with your poem if you are a winner this month. Please put your name and bio under the poem in your email.

Submission of a poem gives permission for the poem to be posted on the blog if it is a winner, so be sure that you put your name (exactly as you would like it to appear if you do win) at the end of the poem. Poems may be pasted into an email or sent as an attachment (no pdf files, please). Please do not indent the poem or center it on the page. It helps if you submit the poem in the format used on the blog (Title and poem left-justified; title in bold (not all in capital letters); your name at the bottom of the poem). Also, please do not use multiple spaces instead of commas in the middle of lines. I have no problem with poets using that technique (I sometimes do it myself). However I have difficulty getting the blog to accept and maintain extra spaces.

Poems shorter than 40 lines are generally preferred but longer poems will be considered.

© Wilda Morris