Saturday, October 20, 2012

THE LYRIC College Poetry Contest


The Lyric College Poetry Contest

Directed toward undergraduate enrolled full time in an American or Canadian college or university

$500 First Prize
$100 Second Prize
$50 Third Prize

Poems must be original and unpublished, 39 lines or less, written in English in traditional forms, preferably with regular scansion and rhyme. Please send up to 6 poems per student.

Winners will be announced and published in the Winter issue of The Lyric.
Entries must be postmarked not later than December 1, 2012 and sent to:

    The Lyric College Contest
    c/o Tanya Cimonetti
    1393 Spear Street
    South Burlington, VT 05403
The following information must appear on each poem:
    Student's name and complete address
    College's name and complete address
Contestants should retain copies of all poems.
See the complete details about The Lyric College Poetry Contest.

2011 College Poetry Contest Winners

We are gratified by the number and quality of college contest submissions
this year, heartening evidence that traditional poetry writing skills are being
nurtured at (some) colleges and universities.  You will find the winner on page 17 of this issue, written by Erin Jones of West Chester University of Pennsylvania.  We were unable to decide for Second Prize between “Catharsis,” by Angela Masterson Jones of Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida (last year’s winner), and “Lost in Translation (XOXO, Medea)" by Meghan Gallucci of Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut.  So we awarded two second prizes of $100 to both. There was one honorable mention, “The Darkness of Hallow’s Eve,” by Laura O’Leary from the University of Evansville in Evansville, Indiana. The Second Prizes and Honorable Mention poems will be published on our website:  We are so grateful to Tanya Cimonetti for her
careful and insightful work coordinating this aspect of The Lyric.

Always and ever, we are grateful to The Lyric Foundation, which has allowed
this small journal to flourish over many decades, in turn allowing the voices of traditional poets to be heard during the many years when the “establishment” or the fashion has been unfriendly to rhymed and/or metered verse.  Now, as many print journals are giving way to online journals, we are grateful just to be in print! 

We have long known that poetry is powerful.  The study of how our minds work helps us understand why this is so. Since we carry our evolution with us in the structures of our brains, the parts of our minds which preceded language still actively receive and process our life experiences and memories.  When we read a poem, it spreads out beneath the surface of our minds, touching places unlit by our rational thought processes and encompassing complexity with a minimum of words.  As Hannah Guthrie aptly noted, “…poetry can reach places that are not so accessible to prose.”  We hope you open all the doors and windows in your own psyche and let poetry blow through.




My world is small (you must get close to see).
You touch me every day, the thinning film
of fingerprints –innate biology
of you –who gathers prayers in coffee cups.
And next you measure life within the skin
of milky tea, or check for signs of dust
between the blinds, the dampened leaves a tin
of weathered horoscopes.  The world resides
inside this ancient room and lights collect
the fallen moths, as you collect the woe
inside a jar.  I watch your hand reject
the handle as you venture toward the door,
and hear the sounds that haunt you as you pray –
the whispered fears from cracks where secrets play.

--Erin Jones



Didn’t you get pleasure?  Didn’t you plot
while I cried? Hid inside? Wanted to die?
begged the sea to swallow me?  Knead a knot
and suffocate by my own veil? Or try?
I was all you strived to be, strong, unmarred.
For everything that has gone wrong, you’ll see.
when you writhe, wonder why, bite down hard;
it’s your own selfishness that marks you as guilty.
You cheat, dead fool?  The gods will have their way.
Fate’s not your design, you have no reign of sky.
Before my flight, I have a bit to say:
You, sore for gold. Who stitched that dress, but I?
I swear, in this, I am not mistaken –
You will never by missed by me, Jason.

--Meghan Gallucci


I can dream of kittens if I want to
on a hillside by a farmhouse in the sun.
With tails stiff as flagpoles they will scamper
to meet my uplift, arch-backed on the run.
I can dream of kittens if I want to
on afternoons that unfurl like a field
of sunflowers facing off the hours
of innocence with kittens at my heel.
Lazing in our jungled grass, with blue eyes
peeking through soft spaces between breath,
in steady purrs and furry press, paws kneading,
there’ll be no need for weaning, chores or death.
I can dream of kittens if I want to,
kittens I will name with what I know.
If the color’s right, I’ll call one Pumpkin,
and if the color’s wrong, another Poe.
At twilight the old matriarch will join us.
She’ll flop onto her side as a buffet.
I’ll press my face as close as she will let me
then listen to their murmurings and lay
beside her as she calls in trills and eye blinks
that nudge them to her nipples, pink and pert.
While I wonder what a kitten wonders,
I think they never think about dessert.
Her milk is rich and sweet as nature meant it.
The kittens prove this with their slurp and sway.
If propinquity’s to be their province,
they do it in a most familiar way.
When they’re done, I’ll zip them in my jacket,
with heads poked in or out, just like a kid.
I can dream of kittens if I want to.
Can’t you tell, by this, last night I did?

--Angela Masterson Jones


Upon the night a certain darkness falls,
despite the glows of yellow crooked grins
that line the red brick porches and the walls
with endless, silent laughter on their chins.
The sudden blackness sweeps the earth in silence,
a flooding ink that saturates all sight
creating expectations for a violence
that grow with each slight flickering of light.
A rustling tree, a fleeting silhouette,
or fallen twigs’ popping snaps! And cracks!
momentarily make little ghouls forget
about the caramel apples in their sacks.
No darkness is as blessed or as cursed
as the darkness of October thirty-first.
Laura O’Leary

1 comment: