SIDNEY LANIER POETRY COMPETITION
The Sidney Lanier Poetry Competition, sponsored by the Lanier Library, is open to poets from both North and South Carolina whose works have not been published in book form. Please check in December 2013 for information about the 2014 contest. The application will be updated at that time.
The fifth annual Sidney Lanier Poetry Competition awards were presented at the Lanier Library on April 27, 2013.
Prizes amounting to $1,150 were awarded as follows: in the adult competition, 1st, Lee Stockdale of Tryon for "The Barn"; 2nd, Richard Danforth of Columbus for "Deadbolt"; 3rd. Lynn Paul Elwell of Durham of "Do You Remember?", Chelsea Regoni of Campobello won all three prizes in the student competition, 1st. "Fourth Grade Gym Class", 2nd, "Camp 14", and 3rd, "The Year You Taught Religion". Prizes in the humor category went to 1st, Lynn Paul Elwell of Durham for "Insanity Plea", 2nd John Steele of Black Mountain for "Lament for Cat, My Cat", and 3rd, Tom Hooker of Hendersonville for "Eponimosity".
The following entries in the adult competition were awarded an Honorable Mention: Richard Danforth of Columbus for "Breaking Fast" and for "Work for Food"; Aly Goodwin of Spartanburg for "Field Pilgrim"; Suzanna Linton of Florence for "Red Bank"; Monica Jones of Tryon for "Softly Sleeping"; Lynn Paul Elwell of Durham for "Snowglobe"; Sherry Champion of Landrum for "Horsefly"; and Janet Atkins of Greenville for "Retrospective on an Empty Nest". In the humor category poems receiving honorable mentions were "Sonnet for the Class of 2014" by Bill Dalton of Beaufort, SC, and "Ode to Eflexor" by John Steele of Black Mountain.
In the student competition the following awards were given for Honorably Mentioned poems: Nicholas DeSoiza of Greer for "The Child in the Corner", Katelyn McCall of Landrum for "On Drowning", Canon Blackwell of Simpsonville for "Vater, otoc, agus athair", and Chelsea Regoni for "Geese, Dolphins, and the Death of a Mate" and "A Playlist for the March of We".
by Lee Stockwell
"Fourth Grade Gym Class"
by Chelsea Regoni
Consider a group of children herded
beneath the shelter of cameras. Consider
them whipped until baseball diamonds
hide blades of late November's grass. A mound
of dirt. Consider the boy named Andrew
and six children are herded behind painted
lines. They are the legs of caterpillars
waiting to be fed the dew running across
the seams of fallen baseballs. Few children
guard diamonds and a plate named home.
Many shape themselves into the field
back there in order to avoid the impact
of strike one, two, three. They made
it all up and were umpires to a game
they never wanted to play. Consider the
girl who picked up a club and tasted
the freeze of air as sphere came
rushing in and her arms swung like see-
saws. Consider the leather as it rushed toward her,
smoothing tension into the children's breathing
and the club was lost to the feet of caterpillar
after the impact of wood against cow skin and
the tips of feet pounding against the earth.
She pressed herself into the air and
flew across diamonds before her knees
and chin tasted filth, the quiet of winning
for the first time. Later, she will spiral the
victory around her tongue, push it against
her teeth. She will think of Andrew and how
he crouched like a field of lions, waiting
for her to hush herself into submission. She
will consider her arms as they reached toward Andrew.
Consider her lips as they pushed into his feet.