Friday, October 13, 2006

The Annual "I Want To Be Poet Laureate" Poetry Contest-- tell your friends

Because the following states do not have poets laureate, I have decided that it is our right, nay, our duty, to create poets laureate of our own: Arizona, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

By the power invested in me by my Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing, I have decided to hold a poetry contest. The winner of the contest will receive the following:

1) An official document from moi, declaring you the poet laureate of the State division which you have won. Your term will last one year.

2) A letter sent to the governor of the State on official BHR letterhead, inviting them to give you money, accolades and public recognition, and perhaps even a ticker-tape parade.

3) TWO blog entries here at the BHR, one including your poem and one with a profile of yourself.

4) The everlasting respect of your friends, the envy of other would-be laureates and something to put on your resume.

5) If the poems are good enough, funny enough, endearing enough or plentious enough, maybe we'll throw together a little chapbook or something. No guarantees.

Here are the rules:

1) All entries must be received by midnight November 15th, one month and two days from today. That's right, it's a tight deadline. This is because poetry is a harsh mistress. Stop your whining and start your writing. Decisions shall be handed down and winners heralded from on high by December 1st.

2) You need not live in or have ever visited the State to which you are applying as laureate. You need not like the State. You need not know the State flower.

3) No porn or cursing, please. This is a family establishment.

4) To enter, merely paste your poem into the comments section of the State to which you are applying to rule as First and Enduring Poet Laureate (or send an e-mail to Matt.Mikalatos(at) with the subject "poetry contest" and the name of the State you would like to represent). Be sure to include your name and an email address where you can be reached.

Here are the entry locations for each state:
New Jersey
New Mexico

Now, hop to it! May the muses give you wing'ed pens.



  1. Anonymous11:12 PM

    This is so funny. I am going to write a poem right now.

  2. So uh...what exactly is a "Poet Laureate"?

  3. So, does it have to be a new poem, or can we submit one that has been published elsewhere? And just one poem, right?

  4. Laura--

    It's a long history, but basically its common usage in the US is for someone who is the "official" representative of poetry for a country, state or even city, since the 1930's or so.

  5. Katie--

    Sure, previously published poems are fine, so long as your contract with that publication doesn't mine you putting it up on my blog here.

    Just one poem? Well, I don't know. How about one per state category. That sounds good to me.

  6. I meant "doesn't mind". I think we would all be disturbed if publications "mine" you.