Poetry contest announced

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The poetry-friendly Village of Great Neck Plaza is offering yet another outlet for poets to shine and for residents to enjoy.

Sponsored by the village and Long Island Traditions, a poetry contest for Nassau and Suffolk County writers is the first-ever for the village, according to organizers.

Initiated as an appropriate lead up to poetry month, which is celebrated in April, event organizer Carolyn Raphael said she is excited about the ongoing contest and encourages poets of all kinds to postmark up to three entries each by Jan. 4.

“We thought this might be mostly for people who had written before,” said Raphael, the poetry director for the Great Neck Plaza, but apparently that’s not the case. After spreading the word regarding the competition during the past few weeks, Raphael said she has encountered interested writers of all kinds.

“There are many people eager to write,” she said. “We are trying to encourage people who haven’t been published.”

According to event rules, residents 18 years of age and older may submit up to three unpublished poems for a non-refundable $15 fee. The poems may be on any subject, in any style, to a maximum of 30 lines per poem.

Contest judging will be conducted by Susan Astor, an award-winning poet and teacher and author of two books, “Dame” and “Spider Lies.” Astor was named 2008 Poet of the Year by the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association.

“She can definitely look at something and tell you if it has merit,” said Raphael, who is “excited” to have Astor and village officials onboard.

First prize will receive $150 and the opportunity for a 20-minute reading at a Great Neck Plaza Village Hall awards ceremony on April 10 at 2 p.m. Second prize will be $75 and a 10-minute reading. Third place gets $50 and a 5-minute reading. Only one monetary prize will be awarded per poet. There will be two honorable mention awards handed out.

The top five poetry contest winners will be posted on seven village signposts, the bulletin board in Great Neck Plaza and in the waiting room of the Great Neck LIRR train station building as part of the Poems for the Passerby initiative which began earlier this year in the village. The ongoing project displays different poems each month on sign posts throughout Great Neck Plaza.

Winners will be announced March 4 on the Great Neck Plaza website at www.greatneckplaza.com.

According to event organizers, one poem per page must be single-spaced and typed by entrants. A title is required and there should be two copies sent: one anonymous and one with the poet’s name and address written below the poem. There should also be a cover sheet listing the poems, the poet’s name and address, phone number, and e-mail address.

A $15 fee, made payable to Long Island Traditions, is required for all entries. For further details, e-mail craphael6@yahoo.com.

Contest entries fees should be mailed to:

The Village of Great Neck Plaza

2 Gussack Plaza

P.O. Box 440

Great Neck N.Y. 11022-0440

Attn:. Poetry Contest

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