Four hundred twenty-three poets, from Rock Rapids to Montrose, from Decorah to Shenandoah, will find a sample of their writing endeavors in Lyrical Iowa 2009, the annual anthology of the IowaPoetry Association.
Local authors to be published in Lyrical Iowa 2009 are: Keneth Bolen, Montour; Wayne Alexander, Toledo; Joan Jessen Waske, Union.
Scheduled for release in October, this edition has been compiled from submissions by poets of all ages in the statewide contest earlier this year, from a Kanawha kindergartner's rhyme about his food likes and dislikes, to a 103-year-old's sonnet, being published posthumously, entitled "This, Too, Is Grace." Judges made choices from a total of more than 1400 adult and nearly 1,000 student entries to receive a total of $536 in cash prizes for sonnets, haiku, humorous verse, national/world events, indigenous to Iowa, poems for children and general categories. In addition to the top selections and honorable mentions, contestants vie for space in the book, a first publication experience for many. A special award is made to a first-time entrant. From some sixty that qualified, Janis Myers was the awardee, the second consecutive year it has gone to a Spencer resident.
Some school entries are chosen to go on to national competition. Three Iowa students who entered work in Iowa Poetry Association's 2008 contest were recognized with honorable mentions in this year's national competition: Lily Cutler, Clive, a 12th grader at Valley High School, received 3d HM; Tiffany Buban, Mystic, an 1 Ith grader at Centerville High School, a 5th HM, and Brittney Swenson, Audubon 12th grader, 6th HM.
This annual contest is unique in that there is no entry fee and submissions are limited to those who claim an Iowa residence. The Iowa Poetry Association is a not-for-profit organization whose sole aim is to encourage and improve the writing of quality poetry. Contests are open to members and non-members alike and neither membership nor book purchase is required for publication, although Lyrical Iowa may be ordered from the editor, Lucille Morgan Wilson, 2325 61st Street, Des Moines, IA 50322.
The editor may also be contacted for membership information or guidelines for the 2010 contest.