With over 100 poems collected during the month of January from enthusiastic Santa Clara County resident writers, the submission period for Poetry on the Move has now ended. It’s time to begin the judging process. From what I’ve seen, I know it won’t be easy. But I’m looking forward to spending time with the collected poems, to enjoy the craft, sentiment, and varied expressions around “Invention,” the contest’s theme. Each poem in itself is an invention of the imagination and a tribute to what it means to live here in our county.
The contest is “blind,” meaning that the poems have been separated from their author’s identity. Each poem will be read and considered in light of the contest guidelines by a select series of readers who will help determine the finalists to be passed on to the outside judge, poet Jennifer K. Sweeney, winner of the James Laughlin award. She will select the five winning poems that will appear in VTA light rail and buses in April this year, National Poetry Month.
I can’t wait! But no, it’s not an easy task, and I want to take this moment before the reading and weighing and deciding begins to thank each and every poet who took the time to consider our life together in the Silicon Valley, who picked up a pen or sat at a keyboard and gave the effort I know each poem represents. Thank you for making my task difficult!
Winners will be announced by April 1. We are all fools for poetry!
Santa Clara County Poet Laureate