Here we are...

...a group of Baby Boomers of sundry religious,
political and cultural orientations, who have been
meeting at the Voorheesville Public Library since 1991
to read and discuss each other's poems.

We include old fathers and young grandmothers,
artists and musicians, and run-of-the-mill eccentrics.
Writers are welcome to stop in and stay if they like us.

Some of Us

Some of Us
Dennis Sullivan, Beverly Osborne, Tom Corrado, Edie Abrams, Art Willis, Alan Casline (all seated); Paul Amidon, Mike Burke, Tim Verhaegen, Mark O'Brien, Barbara Vink, Philomena Moriarty

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Final Instructions

Dear Participants in the First Annual Smith’s Tavern Poet Laureate Contest,

Ya’ all set! Only four days left depending on how you count them.

Let us remind everyone that we plan to start promptly at noon on Sunday. The tavern will be open at 11:30 for everyone to get in and get settled. We mention for your edification: only soft drinks until noon for those with an interest in something hardy. Some food will be available that early as well..

At several places in the Tavern three sheets will be posted with the order of reading for the three rounds. Please look at where you are situated for each round so you are ready to follow the poet before you without delay. We will not rush in any way but plan to maintain a certain rhythm. Edie Abrams will announce each poet.

When you arrive, look for Edie and please give her four copies of each of your three poems of 25, 35, and 45 lines or fewer for the three rounds. Title does not count as a line. Edie will make ready the poems for the judges. Plus she will have name tags for every participant.

Contestants are advised that there will be NO commentary on the poems read. When you go to the “podium” to recite, simply read the title of the poem and begin reading. The podium will be a music stand at the head of the room in case you wish to use it to hold your sheet or book containing the poem you are reading. There will also be a mic which you may use if you wish. There is no requirement to do so; use or no-use will not affect your score. There will be a small table for a cup of water next to the music stand if you wish to have water while you read. And it may be hard to remember now but we ask that all applause, if you wish to applaud, be held off until the end of each round.

By the bye, there will be a short 10-minute “bathroom break” after the first round in addition to the already-announced 40-minute break after the second. We hope all contestants—when called to order by our little school bell after each round—will assemble without delay. Remember, if you miss your turn, you miss the round and will receive no score for that round. So we urge you to be prompt for each round and watch your turn within it.

After the third round is completed, official scorekeeper Georgia Gray will tally the scores. As soon as they are done (perhaps 10 minutes), the winners will be announced in the bar proper—if you are not familiar with the tavern you will quickly see where’s what—and Honorable Mention, Second Place, and Laureate presented with the cash prizes of $25, $50, and $100 respectively by tavern owners, Jon McClelland and John Mellen.. The score sheets will be made available to the contestants so everyone who wishes can see how each poem fared with each of the judges.

There will be at least one newspaper at the “award ceremony” to take photos of the Laureate with the judges and owners of the tavern.. Area television stations have been notified of the event and may appear as well. We hope the picture-taking will not cause undue uneasiness for anyone.

The name of the Laureate will be engraved on a “trophy” which will be kept in the tavern. The titular honor lasts one year. Finally, our friend Elliott Horvath has made available copies of his creative poster/placard announcing the contest for any participant who would like one.

We wish all of you the very best. Bring your best work, present it with love and care. The three of us will be available to help you in any way we can with “housekeeping” needs.

We remain respectfully,

Edie Abrams
Michael Burke
Dennis Sullivan
(Contest Hosts)

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