Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Here are the FAQs for the "I want to be poet laureate" contest:

What is a poet laureate?
I could give you a long explanation, but instead I’ll give you the wikipedia entry on poets laureate.

Is this a joke?
Are you laughing?

Can I submit previously published poems?
So long as you are not contractually obligated to give them exclusive rights, sure.

Can I submit more than one poem?
How about one per state. That means you can submit a maximum of ten poems.

Can I submit someone else’s poem?
Nope. Especially if you put your name on it.

Do I have to give you my contact information?
Only if you want to win. If I don't have your contact information, I can't get ahold of you. If I can't get ahold of you, I can't send you your victory junk. I won't be able to e-mail you for your address. I will just have to address the envelope to: "Winner of the Poet Laureate Contest." This will make me bitter and confuse the post office. So... no contact information = you are not the poet we seek.

Will I be the "official" poet laureate?
Well, that depends on how you look at it. None of these states currently have “official” programs to select poets laureate… but you will be the “only” poet laureate for that state. And I will print you up a nice certificate. That seems awfully official to me. I mean, all I got for graduating college was a certificate and a square hat.

I don’t want to submit my poem in the comments section because I figure you have creepy stalker-types on your site. Can I send my poem via e-mail?
Hey, pretty soon you might be poet laureate, so you should get used to being treated like royalty. So send your poems via e-mail to Matt.Mikalatos(at)gmail.com.

I have an extremely poetic sensibility and must send my poems only by snail mail, written by hand. What should I do?
No problem. E-mail me at Matt.Mikalatos(at)gmail.com and I’ll reply with my address.

May I send my entry using my psychic powers?

Can I send bribes or lots of money to guarantee my spot as a poet laureate?
If you have lots of money you are clearly not a poet. Go away, this contest is not for you.

Do the poems have to be about one of the ten States represented in the competition?
No. They can be about anything you like (always remembering not to include porn, gore or gratuitious violence, cursing or poems about golf).

Can I use the word "Y" (where Y = some word that is potentially offensive but is not "on the list" of offensive words)?
Of course you can use that word. But you may not use it in the poems you submit to this contest.

What's the catch?
No catch, so long as you want to enter a poetry contest that pays nothing, gives silly prizes and a letter of introduction from a nobody blogger to a government official.

How frequently are these Frequently Asked Questions being asked?
More often than I ever realized was possible. I thought that three of my friends would send in some silly limmericks, and then you guys had to get all serious and turn this into an actual contest. Now I get questions all the time. Questions, questions, questions! Stop writing questions and start writing poems! Or write your questions in the form of a poem.

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