Friday, June 28, 2019

Why Write a Poem? June 2019 Challenge Winners

The Poor Poet
Painting by Carl Spitzweg, 1839

The June Poetry Challenge was to write a poem explaining why or for whom you write poetry. Second place goes to Elaine Sorrentino whose poem starts in an original way:


After condolences
have been accepted
and teary-eyed guests devoured  
the last ├ęclair,
planted kisses, extended goodbyes,
my two boys will close the door,
expel a lengthy breath,
loosen their ties,
kick up their feet,
and pick up my orphaned computer
to discover my secrets
in verse.
How pleased they’ll be
learning I dared
to color outside the lines 
their mother, the rule-follower.

~ Elaine Sorrentino

The winning poem is a miniature by Tim Philippart:

Function and Dysfunction

Some people pay
for the highs,
get counseling for lows,
I get both for free 
when I pretend I am Ferlinghetti.

~ Tim Philippart

Anyone who feels that writing is an aid to their mental health can identify with this pithy summary of the healing benefits of writing. Maybe I will hide out at Panera tomorrow, drink hazelnut coffee and pretend I’m Jane Kenyon, or take my notebook to the wetlands and pretend I’m Mary Oliver.

These poets retain copyright on their poems.

In 2015, Tim Philippart sold his gymnasium equipment sales and service business. He started writing poetry, short fiction, non-fiction and ghost blogs. Since then, over 60 of his pieces have seen daylight in publications like Gravel, Magnolia Review, Saltfront, Chicago Literati, and Third Wednesday. Chances are, if you are reading this bio, you are about to encounter something Tim wrote. Feel free to email him ( with questions or comments.  

Elaine Sorrentino is Communications Director at South Shore Conservatory in Hingham, MA, where she creates promotional and first-person content for press and for a blog called SSC Musings. Her poetry has been published in Minerva RisingWillawaw Journal, The Writers NewsletterHaiku Universe, and Failed Haiku She won the August 2018 Wilda Morris poetry challenge. Her non-fiction piece, “It’s All About Attitude,” took grand prize in the Write a DearReader Contest at reader advisory blog, 

© Wilda Morris