Ten-by-Ten Poem Contest
Sponsored by Eighty Six the Poet
I want strong images, imaginative descriptions and, please, no weak syllables. You get one-hundred. Make them count. I want to be surprised, moved, impressed and humbled. Hook me with your first line and slam the door with your last.
“I’m not a poet. I can’t do this.” Nonsense. If you write other styles, this will be good for you. You should approach every piece of writing, whether a business proposal or whimsical story, as if every word counts and you have a precise space to fill.
“I can’t do this. I’m not a writer.” Also foolish. Everyone uses words and most of you can count to ten. Someone will win this thing but no one will lose. You might learn something about yourself. My wife is writing a ten-by-ten and English isn’t even her first language. You can do this.
I wrote a post on writing ten-by-tens on my blog if you need some help. Also you’ll find a section with a few of my own. http://eightysixthepoet.blogspot.com/2012/03/how-to-write-ten-by-ten-poem.html
I want volume and variety. Give me writers of all backgrounds and poems of shocking range. Make it impossible for me to pick the best one. Entries will be judged on originality, creativity and best use of the form. If every line is not ten syllables, I won’t disqualify you, but please be precise.
I’ll leave you with an excerpt from my Cathartes Aura Series, which is written entirely in ten-by-ten form.
Translucent, the hawk banks through the blue sky.
The sun glows in its feathers, cream and gold,
Each quill back-lit. Turning broad smooth circles.
Wings flat across its back. Eyes like bullets.
Until it stops. Dead still. Time paused. Airborne
With weight and wings just right in the current
To be frozen in space as the trees weave
And the white clouds float on by. Target locked,
It descends: one hundred yards, fifty yards,
Fifteen and none. Claws pierce squealing rabbit.
From Cathartes Aura on the Road from Nowhere
Chapter Five, Verse Two
3rd Place: An ebook copy of “Cathartes Aura and the Apocalypse Zoo”
1st Place: Your poem will be published at the end of my next ebook. Also, ebook copies of “Cathartes Aura and the Apocalypse Zoo”, “Cathartes Aura on the Road from Nowhere”, and “Inside the Skull of David Priest” plus the “Cathartes Aura for Life” package, which includes everything Cathartes I will ever create. When I finish CA3, it’s yours. When I write all ten, they’re yours. When I get it in print, it’s yours. If I can ever get artists together for the illustrated coffee-table version, it’s yours. And I’ll get you tickets to the movie. No timeline for this package.
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