Posts Tagged ‘Poetry Contest’

Fitting A Limerick On Twitter Ain’t Easy!

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

Oy! The contortions I had to go through to fit a meta-limerick about NPR’s poetry-tweet contest into a tweet!

I HATE the 140-character (including hashtag) limit! GRRR!

This limerick looked perfectly normal before I was forced to alter it to fit into a tweet: (It even had proper punctuation, spelling, and spacing.)

I’ve poetry news:Tweet ur verse
4 NPR glory;No purse
So dont curse.Just compoz
Ur poems,not proz
&remember that TwitterMeansTERSE


What NOT To Say To A Limerick Contest Judge (Limerick)

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

There are some things you should NEVER say to someone who’s judging a limerick (or other poetry) contest. So I was amused to read that Pat Myers (who presides over the weekly Washington Post Style Invitational contests) received this message from a limerick contest entrant:

First of all I truly despise poetry in any and all of it’s forms. Mainly because I am horrific at both interpreting and creating it. Now on to my entries:

In my opinion, if you’re going to say something that stupid, the least you can do is say it via limerick. Perhaps something like this:

You should know that I truly despise
Ev’ry verse form, no matter the guise.
I can NOT even glean
What my own poems mean.
Now hurry and send me a prize.

And speaking of limerick contests, last week’s Limerick-Off is running for a second week, due to the holiday weekend. So please keep your limericks coming and post them here:

Queasy About Quaterns

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Every once in a while I like to experiment with a new (to me) form. Today, it’s the quatern.

Writer’s Digest’s Poetic Asides Blog, which is holding a quatern contest, describes the form as follows:

Quatern Poetic Form Rules

1. This poem has 16 lines broken up into 4 quatrains (or 4-line stanzas).
2. Each line is comprised of eight syllables.
3. The first line is the refrain. In the second stanza, the refrain appears in the second line; in the third stanza, the third line; in the fourth stanza, the fourth (and final) line.
4. There are no rules for rhyming or iambics.

Here’s the quatern I submitted to WD’s contest:

Queasy About Quaterns
By Madeleine Begun Kane

As I attempt to write this verse,
I must confess I start to curse.
A quatern is what’s been assigned.
Already I am in a bind.

I feel confused and somewhat terse,
As I attempt to write this verse.
So please forgive me if I whine.
My limericks are where I shine.

I’d like to stop, but can’t refrain
From trying this quatern again.
As I attempt to write this verse,
I fear that it is getting worse.

I’m tempted to reject this form.
About its rules I feel lukewarm.
I’m getting ill. I need a nurse,
As I attempt to write this verse.

Dear Emily Dickinson, Please Forgive Me

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

As part of its National Poetry Month and Poem In Your Pocket Day “Envelope Project” celebrations, New York City is running an Emily Dickinson related poetry contest. Basically, it involves writing your own poems using Dickinson first lines.

Although I didn’t enter the contest (I wasn’t thrilled with its reprint permission form) I chose four Emily Dickinson first lines and wrote four short, whimsical, New York City-inspired poems. Here they are, with Dickinson’s words noted in italics:

I shall keep singing though I’m bad,
and those who hear me shout, “Egad!”
You’ll never see me on Broadway,
unless you mean my street display.


The Cricket sang.
My sleep is done.
I’d sooner hear an engine run.


I started Early–Took my Dog
unleashed — don’t fret —
Just franks and grog.


A Day! Help! Help! Another Day!
I wish sometimes they’d go away.
I much prefer the dark of night
So daylight please, go fly a kite.


A Limerick Loser’s Lament

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Congratulations to all the Washington Post Style Invitational limerick contest winners! (This is the contest I mentioned previously, where B-rhyme lines were provided.)

No, I didn’t win anything or earn an honorable mention. But I did write a limerick about losing:

A Loser Of A Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A contest was held by the Post,
But alas I’m unable to boast.
I submitted some verse —
Did not win, but won’t curse,
Though it seems that my entries are toast.

(Here’s my post about a previous WP Style Invitational limerick contest, where I managed to score an honorable mention.)

Happy National Punctuation Day — Two Days Late

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Somehow I managed to miss National Punctuation Day on Sept 24th. “Shame on me!”

Oh my — I just used an exclamation point! And I did it again!

As you can tell from my limerick, I’m not a big fan of the exclamation point, a/k/a the bang.

STOP YELLING!!!!!!!!!!!! (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Those points that are meant to exclaim
Often bug me. Yes, bangs seem quite lame.
I abuse them, at times,
When excited by rhymes!!!!
But usage that’s spare is my aim.

By the way, it isn’t too late to celebrate National Punctuation Day: is doing it with a punctuation-related haiku contest. (The deadline is September 30th.)

And speaking of contests, the Washington Post is hosting another limerick competition. (As I mentioned previously, I got an honorable mention in their last one.)

Anyway, the Washington Post’s latest limerick contest sounds like a lot of fun. Much like my Limerick-Offs, WP provides limerick lines. However, the WP contest is definitely harder than mine: I provide A-rhyme first lines, while the WP contest offers us B-rhyme lines.

The Washington Post contest deadline is October 4th. Good luck!

HuffPo’s Oddball Poetry Contest

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Jason Linkins, over at Huffington Post, challenges us to write poetry using an odd combination of words:

FUN FACT: Our blog software has four alternate suggestions for the word “tchotchkes,” which it does not recognize. They are:


I should very much like to see if anyone can write a bracing poem or epigram using these four words, in any context. Send your submissions to me, via email, with the subject line: “THE GREAT HUFFPO LATCHKEYS HOPSCOTCHES CROTCHLESS HOTCAKES LITERARY CONTEST IS AFOOT!” I will, in turn, nominate your offerings for prestigious literary awards, like the Man Booker Prize.

So I decided to have some fun with it, writing both a limerick and a more serious poem. First, my limerick:

As a crotchless young woman from Spain
Is savoring hotcakes on Main,
Who hopscotches by?
A buck-naked guy,
Twirling latchkeys and looking insane.

And now something more serious, using the same quartet of words:

Disconsolate youth,
Lacking latchkeys and adult supervision,
Run around crotchless, uncouth,
Subsisting on hotcakes,
While their absent father
Hopscotches through life.