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Award Winning Poems, Irvine Manuscript Day 1968

by University of California The Writing Center, Irvine

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Back in the 1960s, when we had beautiful things coming out of public schools and institutions. Before the GOP began slashing the infrastructure budgets and attacking public education. This is an example of the high quality of poems written by students.

The excellent, and winning First Prize poem in this collection is "The Projected Poems of Lyndon Johnson", which remains one of my favorites. The poet, Tom Wayman, has gone on to teach and continues to write excellent poetry. His writing philosophy, from his website, includes: "And yet, my poetic aim [aways] has been to provide an accurate depiction of our common everyday life. I have tried to combine this with a sense of humor and with a vision of a better possibility for people than what we have so far achieved. My hope is that the latter two aspects of my writing provide perspective on the balance of what I portray. As for spirituality, I long ago was a convert to the concept expressed by Robert Bly in his poem "Turning Away From Lies" (from The Light Around the Body, 1967): "The Kingdom of Heaven does not mean the next life / ...The two worlds are both in this world."
Overall, my intention is that the complexities revealed by my poems should be the complications of our everyday existence, rather than newly-created difficulties or mysteries generated by tricks of language or poetic form. Clarity, honesty, accuracy of statement have been my goals--subject to, naturally, the limits of human discourse found in every genre or means of communication. My aim is that my poems should be useful: to myself, and to others who share my community and world. I mean these poems to be a gift; I want my poetry to be a tender, humorous, enraged, piercing, but always accurate depiction of where we are--as individuals functioning in a society, and as members of a rawly self-conscious species now occupying the third planet from a nondescript star." http://www.library.utoronto.ca/canpoetry/wayman/write.htm

Third Prize is "The Quail" by James Den Boer. It starts off with "Parkman tells us that the Algonquin local gods, or manitous, sometimes "assume human proportions, but more frequently they take the form of stones, which, being broken, are found full of living blood and flesh." His latest book of poetry is "Stonework". http://www.swanscythe.com/books/stonework.html
  keylawk | Mar 2, 2014 |
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