Vote for your favorite 2011 Spring Poetry Runoff poems

Thanks to a gorgeous stream of entries, WIZ’s 2011 Spring Poetry Runoff Celebration ran even deeper into the season than did last year’s.  And indeed, this year’s Runoff has been an inspiring show of green and fertile language, above and beyond what I had hoped. In fact, I’ve been wowed, not just by the craftsmanship of the poems that came in but also by the wide range of styles.  Many thanks to those who joined the dance in whatever way they did!

Now, Dear WIZ Readers and Poets Participating in the Contest, it’s time to have a little more fun and play at being poetry judges for the next six days–part of the informal nature of this contest.  But rather than limit each judge (that’s you) to just one vote, we’re asking each voter to choose her or his 3 favorite poems of the 25 contest-eligible entries.   The poll opens today and runs until 10:00 p.m. (Utah time) Saturday, May 14.

While readers and participants choose the winner(s) of the Spring Poetry Runoff Contest Popular Vote Award, WIZ admin will be choosing the winner of the Spring Poetry Runoff Admin Award.   Winners of both awards will be announced in a post on or shortly after Monday, May 16 and will receive their choices of Mark Bennion’s Psalm and Selah: A Poetic Journey Through The Book Of Mormon (Bentley Enterprises 2009), A Metaphorical God: Poems (Persea 2008) by Kimberly Johnson, or The Clearing (Texas Tech University Press 2007) by Philip White.

Rules for voting:

1.  Each voter should select his or her 3 favorite poems of the 25 eligible.
2.  Each voter can vote only one time–no multiple-vote-ballot-box-stuffing shenanigans, please.
3.  Voters are encouraged to read every poem before voting.  Click here to read all of the eligible poems. Please note: Because there are 25 poems total, you’ll need to click on “Previous Entries” twice in order to read them all. The full text of longer poems won’t display on the list pages, so right clicking and opening each poem in a new tab or window is a good approach.
4.  Participating poets and WIZ readers may encourage friends and family members to read and vote.
5.  All participating poets are encouraged to vote whether their poems were published in the contest category or in the non-contest category.

Instructions for voting:

Click on the small square box next to the name of the poem that you wish to choose.  A green or black check mark will appear in that box.  If you accidentally check mark the wrong box or change your mind, simply click on the box again and the check mark will disappear.  After you have check-marked your 3 favorite poems (you will see 3 check marks on the page), click on the “Vote” box at the bottom of the page.   Clicking on that box will end your voting session, so be sure you’ve finished voting before you click “Vote.”  To see the tally of votes so far, click “View Results.”

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26 thoughts on “Vote for your favorite 2011 Spring Poetry Runoff poems”

  1. Yep. This year’s list is 4 poems longer than last year’s. I expect to agonize over them this time around.

  2. Shoot, better remove that comment before it skews results, sorry! I reread this and I have correctly voted now. Blush.

    [Editor: Done!]

  3. Not to worry, Sarah. This is a pretty laid-back process, meant to be fun.

    Jonathon appears to have thought your comment fun, so you’re ok.

  4. Look at that, folks! Sean Watson riding “Provo” is waaaay out in the lead by 12 votes with Jonathon Penny’s “Thorns and Thistles and Briars (An Easter Poem),” Steve Peck on “Bobcat,” and David Passey’s “March Morning in New York City” neck-and-neck-and-neck for a distant second place.

    What a surprising race this is, and everybody just out of the gate! Sean Watson’s driving “Provo” hard for an aggressive lead, but at this point, it’s still anybody’s race.

    This is exciting … already!

  5. Aaaannd, Sean W’s maintaining a strong lead ahead of the pack. I can see that he has quite the cheering section! Jonathon Penny has pulled “Thorns and Thistles and Briars” into a solid second place, but he–or anybody else–has quite a gap to close in order to overtake “Provo.” At this point, Steve Peck’s three entries are tied with each other and Jonathon’s “Sprung Rhythm” for third place! That’s interesting. No telling what’s going to happen there.

    And it’s only the opening of day 2 of the competition, with 33 judges having made their choices. That’s more than a third of the total amount that decided last year’s Runoff outcome.

    Participants: Feel free to email friends, relatives, post links on your blogs, Twitter, text–whatever you think might give you an edge. The more the merrier in the Most Popular Poem contest.

    In case folks can’t tell, I’m really caught up in this.

  6. Whooaa! At the beginning of the 3rd lap, Sean Watson’s “Provo” appears to be running a Secretariat-style race, widening his lead by a truly spectacular margin.

    But many other very fine poems remain in the running. With four days to go, their authors could be holding back, waiting for right moments to make their moves. That’s an old racing trick, folks–and it works when you bid on Internet auction sites, too.

    This race isn’t over yet–not by a long shot. With so many skilled writers, such fine verses, and so much time left in the race, I’m betting somebody–maybe more than one somebodies–whips up some speed and closes the gap.

    I don’t know how I’ll stand four more days of this tension.

  7. Implying that WIZ had better brace for a rash of interminable recounts, Jonathon? ;-)

    Here we are at the beginning of the fourth go-’round, and look at that! Jonathon’s “Thorns and Thistles and Briars” has in fact picked up speed (have picked up speed?) to narrow “Provo’s” lead slightly but has regained and is keeping a firm rein on a solid second place position, with his other entry, “Sprung Rhythm,” running a close third. In an exciting move, Carla Martin-Wood’s “Homecoming” has driven from behind and is now tied for fourth with Peck’s “Her Father’s Critique.”

    But can anyone catch “Provo”? Sean has been running away with the contest ever since the gates opened. Is there a dark horse on the track, a writer who has not yet sprung his or her winning strategy? Someone holding in reserve the raw fan base energy that Sean appears to have who hasn’t given it its head?

    Plenty of time yet to find out. And still plenty of time to marshal your resources, contestants! Just … keep it clean.

  8. With the clock ticking and less than two days left in the contest, Sean Watson’s foudroyant “Provo” maintains a seemingly unbreakable iron grip on the lead and appears to have settled in. The stretch of ground between “Provo” and the rest of the pack is wide enough to put in a corn maze. Meanwhile, Jonathon’s bristling and brilliant “Thorns and Thistles and Briars” has staked out second and is the only poem to put any pressure at all on “Provo” at this point. Jonathon’s frolicsome sonnet “Sprung Rhythm (A Pagan Hymn)” holds its own at a confident third position.

    But what’s this? Judith Curtis appears to be making her move with “Wet Spring in Phoenix.” Apparently, that clever, imagistic dainty ain’t so dainty after all, folks! “Wet Spring in Phoenix” has put on a surprising burst of speed, claiming fourth place and turning up the heat on “Sprung Rhythm.” Furthermore, Judith’s eye-opening “Conversion” has likewise rocketed from behind to lock in fifth place right behind “Wet Spring.”

    The field is shifting–a least a tad–hinting, perhaps, that something big might be in the wind, and I’m jazzed to see that all poems are in the race with votes. Each one is deserving of its own cheering section, and I’m happy to see that folks are paying attention, showing interest and support for their favorite poems and/or poets.

  9. First off, Tom, one man’s piece of fluff is another man’s strands of silk.

    Second, let’s not confuse the Most Popular Poem Contest with The Robert Frost Poetry Award. The Most Popular Poem Contest really is all about who can rake in the most votes from the 4Fs–Friends, Family members, Fans, and Followers. It’s a just-for-fun, WIZ Spring Poetry Runoff, see-how-many-show-up-to-play frolic.

    The Admin Award, for which all of the poems listed above are also in the running, will be announced early next week. The Admin Award Contest will be judged by an exclusive panel of experienced writers. Well, ok–it’ll be just me and the outcome will be subject to my appraisal, backed by my lengthy experience as a writer, an editor, and a student of literature. That contest will be judged on the basis of literary merit.

    Bottom line: The whole idea is to have fun. Can you not get into the humour of the game, Tom Jones?

  10. I go on record on behalf of my wife and children that they would like to vote, but can’t, since our home network shares the ip address all around. Of course, they may not have voted for me . . .

  11. Got any libraries around or a coffee shop where there are computers? Laundromat that’s connected?

    And I’ll see what I can do as admin. If I find a way to help you out with this, I’ll email you.

  12. Don’t worry about it. For all the reasons you pointed out, this is just fun. Period. Besides, if my 342 children voted, someone might cry. ;)

  13. Ok, but I need to know anyway, for everyone’s sake. And so I look cool and like I’m totally in control. :D

  14. Ok, so I’ve checked into the everybody at home shares the same IP address prob, hoping I could find something that would help anyone visiting the site who might be in the same situation, and there doesn’t seem to be a way around it.

    Just have to play with the number of mitts and bats that we’ve got.

  15. Gentlemen: Discussion of the meaning and literary value of any given poem can be a truly invigorating experience. However, this post is not the place for such a discussion. If it turns out that you both would like to talk over the poem, please take it off-blog.

    Now somebody pass me the popcorn. Wha’d’ I miss? Wow–Judith’s “Conversion” and “Wet Spring in Phoenix” are gaining ground on the leaders, and Judith’s third poem, “Desert Maiden,” has moved up to just aft her other two! Maaaan–when did that happen? You guys with the big cowboy hats–down in front!

  16. Here it is Saturday morning and we’re coming down to the wire now with slightly less than 12 hours left in the race. Dashing “Provo’s” sinewy stride has slowed a bit but the poem retains its majestic lead. Penny’s pretty pair “Thorns and Thistles and Briars” and “Sprung Rhythm” hold praise-worthy grips on second and third place, although Judith’s “Conversion” and “Wet Spring in Phoenix” are coming up on “Sprung Rhythm’s” flanks, both poems with fire in their eyes. Her curvy and sybaritic “Desert Maiden” is chasing after its sisters, that poem having seized its sixth place position with a passion.

    The knot of contenders in the middle of the race has tied, untied, and retied. Steve Peck’s sheathed blade “Her Father’s Critique” leads that pack by a one-vote nose, but his heady “String Theory” and warm lament “Bobcat” are right behind. Carla Martin-Wood’s flashy “Homecoming” appears to have settled in with Peck’s pack, and Nathan’s romantic quatrain poem “Frosty Kisses” is right in there alongside them holding its own–with a lilting stride. Barry Carter’s mysterious and full-hearted “Owl” hovers with that bunch.

    The remainder of the field is likewise filled some of the finest verse-flesh WIZ has seen in the two years it has hosted the Runoff. Is one of them biding time, waiting to rev to full horsepower?

    Twelve hours is a stretch of time with a lot of maneuvering room. Nope–this race isn’t run yet. Stay tuned.

  17. The poll is now closed. Look for the formal announcement of winners of both the Most Popular Poem Award and the Admin Award early next week. Thanks, all, for participating.

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