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Poetry to move you

“A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.
(From left) Radwan Matar and Sholley Poweel won Airdrie Public Library's 2019 Poetry in Motion Contest in the Youth and Open categories, respectively. APL's Second Annual Poetry Contest runs June 1-30. Photo Submitted/For Airdrie City View

“A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.” – Robert Frost

This quote, by one of America’s most popular and critically respected poets, provides a clue into the minds of those who write poetry.

Frost once described the act of writing poetry as the moment when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.

Good poetry takes the rigid structure and rules of language and transforms words into a personal and often communal experience of nuance, absurdity and emotion.

From the ancient Mesopotamian poem the Epic of Gilgamesh to Shakespeare’s clever sonnets to the great poets of the world’s religions and even to the silly rhymes of Dr. Seuss, humanity has chronicled much of its journey through poetry.

In deference to the enduring influence of poetry, we at Airdrie Public Library (APL) are excited to announce APL’s Second Annual Poetry Contest.

Held in partnership with City of Airdrie Community Development, the Poetry in Motion contest runs from July 1 to 30.

There are two categories, Open or Youth (13-17 years of age). The winner in each will receive an iPad courtesy of the City, and ­– here’s the "In Motion" part – selected poems will be displayed on Airdrie ICE buses in the fall in honour of Alberta Culture Days.

This year’s judge is award-winning Calgary poet Vivian Hansen, who has published non-fiction, fiction and poetry in numerous Canadian journals. Hansen also teaches creative writing at Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary, as well as the Alexandra Writers Centre.

Entry forms and complete contest rules are available at Entrants can submit up to three poems as a PDF – each no longer than 11 lines, including the title – between for the duration of the contest.

Contestants must hold a valid Airdrie Public Library card.

Poems will be judged blind, and winners will be announced on Sept. 1.

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