New 'Lyrical Iowa' book
The 57th edition of Lyrical Iowa, the anthology of the Iowa Poetry Association, will be ready for distribution in late September. It will contain the work of poets from 77 of Iowa's 99 counties and includes writers of all ages, from a first grader to retirement home residents, compiled from 3,220 entries in the annual contest conducted by the non-profit association. Content and form of the poems is as varied as ages and occupations of the writers themselves says Editor Lucille Morgan Wilson.
Local poets included are: Barbara Kearney and Thia Li Rose, Storm Lake; Shantry Riedesel, 7th grader at Storm Lake Middle School; Catherine Dix Bonham, Aurelia.
Since entries were accepted in early 2002, the September 11th attack was still at the forefront of thought for poets as well as other Iowans. A number of the poems included in the National/World Events section reflect the reactions of horror and sadness. Others run the gamut from grief over a brother's suicide to playful rhymes written for the enjoyment of children. Some poke fun at our human foibles and encourage us to laugh at ourselves.
The 160-page perfect-bound book of more than 350 poems will have a full-color cover. Included are the winners of cash prizes totaling nearly $550.00. Twenty of the upper grade and high school poems published in Lyrical Iowa will be sent on to national competition next spring. From contest to print, the selection process takes several months and involves fifteen judges working independently in the various categories. IPA officers stress that poems are chosen on merit, with neither membership nor book purchase a requirement for entry in the contest or for potential publication. David Athey of Palm Beach, FL, director of the creative writing program at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, was this year's final judge for the General Adult section. Athey was formerly on the faculty of Buena Vista University, Storm Lake.
The Iowa Poetry Association is a 450-member organization whose sole aim is to encourage and improve the quality of poetry written by Iowans of all ages. Lyrical Iowa may be ordered from the editor, Lucille Morgan Wilson, 2325 61st Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50322, for $9 per copy, postpaid, until September 1. After that date an additional $1 per book must be remitted to cover extra postage. Entries for the 2003 contest will be accepted after January 1st. Rules may be obtained by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Wilson at the above address. There is no entry fee, and entrants need not be members.