Saturday, April 26, 2014

I Took First Prize

By Catherine Giordano

Forgive me. I have to show off. I took first place in The Maitland Poetry contest on Friday. There were three judges and the poems were judged without the poet's name attached to insure it was a fair contest.

It was only a small contest—only 20 poems were entered. But some of the best poets from the Central Florida area were in contest. To top it off—there was a cash prize. So now I can say I have actually earned money from my poetry.  (Not counting the money I have earned from the sale of my poetry books.) 

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This poem, “Safe Harbor,” has a long history. It became about two years ago as a prose piece written to a prompt a writing workshop. It felt poetical so I transformed it into a poem.  Every few months, I’d go back to it and revise it.  It’s been revised about four or five times.

I almost didn’t enter the contest.  A friend reminded me about the contest the day before the deadline.  On the final day, I tweaked the poem again, and I submitted it via the internet.

The theme was “Explore Your World.” I thought this poem about sleeping on a sailboat—“Anchor your sailboat in the crook of a cove” it begins. But like many poems, it veers off in an unintended direction. It turns into a poem about the place of the earth in the universe and it’s about the earth being our mother. It ends “Sleep in the womb of the world.”

The poem may have won the contest, but the poem continues to be a work in progress.  I thought of another revision last night.  

I've gotten great reviews for my first book of poetry, The Poetry Connection.  Check them out at