Thumbs Up for David Rivard

I met poet David Rivard a couple of months back, when he gave a reading during the Lesley University low-residency MFA program’s winter residency. He’s a great poet and a great guy (as the writer friend with whom I attended the reading–a neighbor of Rivard and his family–attests). So I was really pleased to see Robert Pinsky’s glowing review of Rivard’s new book, Sugartown, in the Washington Post. If Rivard is reading near you, go hear him!

Arranging a Poetry Collection

If you’re a poet, short story writer, or essayist, you’ve probably spent some time (and maybe a lot of time) thinking about ways to structure a collection. In the April Writer’s Digest, Paola Corso offers some tips on how poets can go about this. And the article is available online, too.

Attention, Ohio Poets!

Starting next week you can submit poetry for the Akron Art Museum’s New Words 2006 Poetry Competition, open to (adult) poets currently residing in Ohio. Submit only previously unpublished work beginning January 2, 2006 (postmark deadline is February 24, 2006). The top three winners will receive cash prizes ($125, $100, and $75, respectively). The top eight finalists will be invited to participate in a reading to be held Sunday, April 30, in Akron. For full details/submission guidelines, click here.

War Poetry

No, I’m not talking about the British World War One poets–this time. That’s a subject I’ve been known to focus on.

Today, however, I suggest you check out Dana Goodyear’s Talk of the Town piece in the current New Yorker. Goodyear profiles Brian Turner, 38, a former Army sergeant whose book of poems, Here, Bullet, was recently released by Alice James Books. The book, about a year Turner spent deployed in Iraq, won the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award. It’s Turner’s debut collection.

Opportunities for aspiring doctor-poets

This may be a real niche population–medical students who are also poets–but for this group there are two no-cost contests coming up with December 31 deadlines.

First, the William Carlos Williams Poetry Competition, sponsored by the Human Values in Medicine Program of the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine (NEOUCOM), is open to students attending schools of medicine or osteopathy in the United States and Canada. The contest’s final judge is John Stone, M.D., poet and essayist from Emory University School of Medicine. The top three poems will be considered for publication in the Journal of Medical Humanities and will be awarded $300, $200, and $100, respectively. The three winners will also be invited to read their poems at NEOUCOM in April (expenses paid). For more information about this contest (including submission instructions), visit the NEOUCOM website.

And second, “medical undergraduates currently enrolled in accredited U.S. medical schools” may submit poetry for the Baylor College of Medicine’s annual Michael E. DeBakey Medical Student Poetry Award. This competition awards the top winner a cash prize of $1,000; the second- and third-prize winner receive $500 and $300, respectively. Note that “All winning poems become the property of the Michael E. DeBakey Medical Student Poetry Award program.” The first-prize poem will also be submitted for possible publication in “a major medical periodical.” For more information, click here.