Sunday, November 05, 2006

Poets Laureate Confessional

I have to be honest that when I started the first annual "I Want to Be Poet Laureate" contest, it was meant to be this sort of tongue-in-cheek joke. I thought that a few friends might send in a limmerick about Arizona, or a silly three liner about New Jersey (thanks, Rob E!).

But now it's a real contest. I forgot how earnest and serious poets can be. It's been a true pleasure to get some poetry by people who take it very, very seriously. So seriously that they would never use the word "very" twice in a row like that.

And in response to my public challenge, even William Carlos Williams sent in a poem. I was suprised that he chose "The Red Wheelbarrow" since in later life he came to reject all that the Imagist movement stood for, but I suppose he's had lots of time to think about it, being dead and all. I suppose he really understands now how much depends on a red wheel barrow that is slicked with water and beside some chickens. White chickens. (Note to WCW: My wheelbarrow is blue, actually, but I know what you were going for.)

All that to say, keep the contributions coming. I've received well over thirty poems now, but that means there are some states with only a few poems. Remember, the deadline is November 15th, a scant ten days away.

And hey-- if you posted a poem but didn't give me a way to contact you (i.e. an e-mail address) you can still rectify this monstrous error by sending me an e-mail (matt.mikalatos (at)

Gracias, everyone. Stay strong and every state of the union shall have a poet laureate.