90th Annual Poets' Dinner Contest
CONTEST DEADLINE: Saturday, January 30, 2016
Luncheon / Awards Presentation:
Saturday, April 2, 2016, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
611 Gregory Ln., Pleasant Hill, CA
Guest Speaker: David Swanger
To view or download the WINNERS LIST, click here.
Congratulations to Grand Prize Winner STAN MORNER and all the winners!
with Judith Chibante Neal, Event Chair
INA COOLBRITH CIRCLE
SATURDAY, APRIL 23
at 2 p.m.
at the Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church,
49 Knox Drive, Lafayette
Program Chairs Judith Chibante Neal
and Stan Morner will host:
2016 POETS’ DINNER CONTEST WINNERS
reading their poems in the company of
distinguished guest poet and honorary ICC member
Al Young’s many books include novels, collections of poetry, essays, memoirs and anthologies.
His work has appeared in Paris Review, The New York Times, Rolling Stone,
and both the Norton and Oxford anthologies of African American Literature,
and he has taught poetry, fiction writing, and American literature
at Stanford, U.C. Berkeley, and many other colleges and universities.
A former two-term Poet Laureate of California, his honors include
Fulbright, Guggenheim, National Endowment for the Arts, and Wallace Stegner fellowships.
He will be reading Saturday from his recent poetry.
Program design/production by David Alpaugh
CONGRATULATIONS to the 89th GRAND PRIZE WINNER:
ROY MASH, San Rafael, CA
for his poem "To the Floater in My Left Eye"
plus CHEERS & CONGRATS to all the WINNERS!
Click HERE to view the 2015 WINNERS LIST.
GRATEFUL THANKS TO
Speaker: Ellen Bass
Event/Contest Co-Chairs: Jan Dederick & John Rowe
Arrangements Committee, Volunteers, Readers
who contributed to the organization, creativity, and success of this event.
Cheers to all Poets/ Family Members/ Friends for attending!
Check out the 4/11/15 event photos on facebook.
Scenes from the 88th Annual Event on 3/8/14
Annual Migration for the Love of Poetry
Year after year, beginning on March 15, 1927,
they have arrived at the Poets' Dinner. They've
come from all over: Eureka to Santa Barbara, from
Downieville to the east, and even at times from out
of state. "They" are folks with an addiction to poetry
who look for others with a like affliction.
They come to the awards program to hear a guest
speaker tell of a particular take on poetry. They have
entered their poems, sent them anonymously to the
Contest Chair, and they come to find out whether
any of their poems are read aloud in that designated
area following the banquet and the speaker. Authors
identified, applause is instantaneous and spirited,
and the prizes are meted out.
The contest is no-fee, but the contestant must
be present at the awards to show authorship. That
opportunity to meet other contestants is an admitted
bounty, because it brings possible help where all
arrangements are done gratis. Prizes, both cash and
books, are funded by donations. And, yes, there
is expected impartiality from judges in far places,
where the contestants are less likely to be known.
What keeps the Poets' Dinner on the burner?
According to Minnie Faegre Knox, one of the
triumvirate that launched it, the Poets' Dinner is
fueled by "tradition, friendship, and the love of poetry."
Dorothy V. Benson, Berkeley CA
Connie Post, frequent winner over the years, receives a prize from Natica Angilly at the 81st Annual Poets' Dinner in 2007 (left photo)
and most recently she took home three prizes at the 87th in 2013! (photos courtesy of Connie Post & Deborah Grossman)
“I have been coming to the Poets' Dinner for twenty years (never missed a one) and each time there is such a wonderful array of poets who have become friends. I always particularly like the surprise of the announcements. It adds a sense of suspense I enjoy. I love the sense of community that is ever present. Also, there is a sense of history. It’s a day for poets to get together and talk, eat, have fun and cheer for each other. When you are notified that you won a poetry award at home via e-mail or mail, you are alone when you read the news and that news is later shared with friends, etc., in one way. But, there is a special element to earning a prize at the Poets' Dinner, where you get to rise in a room of your peers and be acknowledged for your poetry. It does add a unique sense of accomplishment to the day. I love the little slips you get to write your entries on, the table decorations and shaking the hand of the award presenter. So many great things about it.”
- Connie Post, first & former Poet Laureate of Livermore, CA
75th Poets' Dinner Anthology
Courtesy of a Berkeley Arts Commission grant,
a Poets' Dinner anthology entitled Remembering is available.
It celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Poets' Dinner and features
Grand and First Prize winners from the preceding 25 years.
Purchase it for $6 at the book table at the 3/23/13 event,
or contact John Rowe at (510) 527-9905 or firstname.lastname@example.org
to make arrangements for mail order.