Posts Tagged ‘Poetry Contest’

Super Sunday Indeed

February 2, 2009

Bones sinking like stones, all of us are done for.


Don’t Panic

A trip down memory lane for me today as I returned to St. Jerome’s once again for the SJ Carnival. I was a little disappointed that the annual football game was scrapped to due a lack of faculty/staff/alumni attendance. But I did get some fun ball hockey in.  Being back at SJU reminded me of the above song.  Dave and I played it at many coffeehouses over our 4 years as students.

As I have been there all day, and the Super Bowl is tonight, this will be a short post.

When I was chatting with Emily during the last podcast I was chatting off-air with her about my connection to the world of design.  I came to appreciate the work of designers through an interest in sports uniforms.  I will probably do a larger post about some of my favourites in the future, but for the moment I want to mention a blog that I have followed for over a year. Uniwatch is the place to find information about uniforms and logos, from the past, present, and future.  Anything I know about graphic design probably comes from reading posts and comments on that blog. The site founder Paul Lukas has parlayed a love of sports aesthetics and his writing career into a job with ESPN as their uniform guru. If you like sports I’d recommend poking around a bit to see if you like the jersey as much as the action.

Just a reminder that the deadline for the Poetry Contest is nearly upon us. I will be accepting late entries this week as I am a generous guy. Details are here.

Don’t Forget to Write

January 11, 2009

I met my old lover on the street last night, she seemed so glad to see me I just smiled, and we talked about some old times and we drank ourselves some beer, still crazy after all these years.

Paul Simon

Still Crazy After All These Years

It’s hard to believe that Paul Simon is so old now.  He once sang about being 21 years old, and was still a young man when he wrote the song quoted above.  I have included it because it is a clue to the topic of Monday’s podcast. You’ll just have to listen to find out. Mr. Simon has always been a hero of mine. His songwriting is unsurpassed. I consider him the model for how to make great music. I don’t directly copy his style, but I look at his willingness to expand his musical vision and embrace other ideas to improve his own songwriting.  He is also capable of capturing a feeling, a mood, or a scene in his lyrics in an authentic and dynamic way.  Hearing a Paul Simon penned song means genuinely stepping into the experience of another person to live their life for a few moments.  He maintains a thread of wit and satire in many of his songs, from the social commentary of A Most Peculiar Man and Keep the Customer Satisfied to the pop culture critique of A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert Macnamara’d Into Submission) or the bitter You Don’t Know Where Your Interest Lies.  Although his career has waned in recent years he is a songwriter and performer who will continue to influence others as long as the radio keeps playing Sound of Silence and Cecilia.

With the snow falling again here in Hamilton, for perhaps the twentieth time this year, I am using this post to remind you of an important event. Namely the first ever The Alder Fork From Worst to First Poetry Contest. All the gory details can be found here. In the spirit of providing you with inspiration I am including the following poem. It is called Letters and tells the tale of two lovers separated by war.  It is from a collection of poems about life in Canada. Enjoy.


You begged me to stay here
To forget my heroic dreams
Because love was more important
But I didn’t believe you
I was a man
I had a mission
I had honour
I am proud and I believe
That I cannot fail
And now I have
Not only my nation
Not only my comrades
Not only my self
But most painfully you
As we stood alone
Counting the hours
While you cried and insisted
I promised
That I was a man
Who would return to you
Because I was wise
And I was strong
And my faith and my pride
Would carry me far
But it did not
And for that I am sorry

I begged you to stay
To give up on your dreams
For our love was important
Enough to forget pride
I was a girl
I had no secrets
I was innocent but not naïve
I did not suffer
And now I have
Not only for loss
Not only for love
Not only for me
But for you
I can see all your life
No longer before you
I once cried and insisted
I now sit alone
You didn’t come back to me
I was your life
But you followed your dream
You stayed with your faith
But it took all your strength
Stole it away from you
Left you with nothing
I should’ve tried harder
And for that I am sorry

From First to Worst (The Alder Fork Poetry Contest)

January 3, 2009

Shortness of breath is a problem for an athlete.
Shortness of life is a problem for a human.
Timidity snakes the wisest teacher
and makes his work impossible.
Satisfaction is elusive
and knowledge hides in the cupboard
afraid of the damage it can do.
In the simplest of minds
anything is possible.
But you don’t run away
even when there is a chance.
While others think and contemplate
you comprehend.
It’s a rare gift.
It’s an unusual find.
And you should be proud.

Peter Snow

Call to the Poets

Yes I wrote that poem in a very short period of time. But that shows you that anyone can be a poet! Today I am announcing the first ever The Alder Fork From First to Worst Poetry Contest.  This is just an opportunity for you aspiring writers, and those who do it for fun or to relieve stress to reach a wider audience.  Anyone is eligible to enter and may enter up to three poems for consideration.  Poems can be on any topic or idea, the sky’s the limit. They will be judged by a panel assembled and headed by me.  We will be looking for originality, creativity, and a super secret criteria involving imagery, word use, sub text, and a bunch of other mumbo jumbo.  This isn’t some kind of scam, all submitted materials will remain your property and will only be reprinted (if selected) on The Alder Fork Blog and Podcast. All uses will be discussed with the winners prior to occurring.

Why am I doing this?

I just want to give writers a chance to have their writing be read by more than just their friends and family.  I have the means to reach a fair number of people and I like to us it to share the work of under appreciated people.

What do you get for winning?

The top three entrants will be printed in a special edition of the blog and will be read aloud on the podcast.  I will provide short bios of each writer and information about how more of their work can be found.

The Grand Prize winner will be given the opportunity to present a poem a week for 3 months on the blog (including the chance to discuss the meaning and process of writing), and be interviewed on the podcast, if possible.

How do you enter?

Well to enter you need to assemble your 1-3 poems in a word document (preferably) in the following format:

All text in 12pt. font (unless you need to use larger for a specific stylistic purpose but please don’t do the whole thing in a ridiculously large or difficult to read font)

1st page: Your Name, Email, Title of Poem(s) in their order, Brief description of you and your writing (250 words). This will not be used in judging.

Subsequent pages:Your poems, Title in bold followed by text.

Attach that file to an email and send it to

Each received poem will be given an assigned number and then copy/pasted to a separate document without any connection to the author’s identity (for the sake of fairness).  Each judge will then receive a copy of all the poems which they will judge and return to me. Once I determine the winning poems I will reconnect them to their authors for the announcement.  As I said the contest is completely free, but you can only enter a maximum of three poems.

The contest is open until Groundhog Day, February 2nd, and the winners will be announced by the end of February right here on the blog and on the first February edition of the podcast.

Good luck and good writing!