Appalachian writers breathe words. Like meditation. They might gaze out the window, past that liminal space, and describe simple raindrops, circular, solid, and sparkling atop thick green leaves after a summer shower, each one a separate little universe, a micro-microcosm disturbed, perhaps, by a lone redbird landing abruptly on a limb or a bold, white butterfly puncturing a drop with its proboscis to quench its thirst. Or, perhaps, an artist notes something a little darker – humanity, for example – consumers walking along sidewalks, hunched like dollar signs over their phones, their individual numb, faded faces illuminated like flickering prayers to Ginsberg’s Moloch.
These scenes and situations are a plentiful fountain for creators, via pen, pencil, brush, or tool. Our creative focus here, though, is poetry. Our previous post, “George Scarbrough: Poet in the Vale,” emphasized the wordsmith’s stunning descriptions of the Appalachian landscape and his ability to tie this landscape to personal experiences, whether good or bad, in traditional verse often confined by format. Scarbrough describes word usage and creativity thusly:
Words give us the only order we have: the only form – social, political, religious, et cetera – we know anything about. There are no systems outside language. . .. The only world I have ever known is a world of words, a world I can make disappear by repeating words over and over until all meaning escapes them. That is, I have only a verbal version of things, and as its creator I have the power of its destruction.1)Mackin, Randy. 2011. George Scarbrough, Appalachian Poet. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 60
My friend insists that art imitates life. I tell him No. That art imitates nothing. Art is. Is itself. A moment of evanescence caught from the midst of the grim, bloody mess life is. A sudden scintillate light on a leaf, under which a battle to the death is closed. What shines on the leaf is art; what happens underneath is life . . .. The artist catches this over and above the ordinary and preserves it for us in words, in paint, in metal, in whatever his medium is.2)Mackin, Randy. 2011. George Scarbrough, Appalachian Poet. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 69
Appalachia Bare aims to elevate persons whose talents exceed expectations. We wish to provide a venue for creative Appalachians, born or transplanted. From time to time, we will sponsor contests in particular genres.
That being said, Appalachia Bare is excited to announce:
The George Scarbrough Poetry Contest
The George Scarbrough Poetry Contest 2021 is now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted poetry to the contest.
Read the following rules and information and submit your best work. We look forward to your submissions!
- Submit no more than three poems regarding a topic related to Appalachia: landscape, event, person, etc.
- Each poem should not exceed 100 lines.
- At this time, we accept submissions only by email.
Write “poetry contest” in the subject line and submit via email here: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please also include a cover letter with your name, contact information, and a brief bio.
- Deadline for Submissions is December 2, 2021
- Appalachia Bare staff are not eligible for this contest.
$100.00 – This recipient will receive, via the United States Postal Service, a $100.00 pre-paid VISA card and a certificate award. The first-place poem will be featured as such in Appalachia Bare.
$50.00 – This recipient will receive, via the United States Postal Service, a $50.00 pre-paid VISA card and a certificate award. The second-place poem will be featured as such in Appalachia Bare.
$25.00 – This recipient will receive, via the United States Postal Service, a $25.00 pre-paid VISA card and a certificate award. The third-place poem will be featured as such in Appalachia Bare.
One Honorable Mention
This recipient will receive, via the United States Postal Service, a certificate award. The Honorable Mention poem will be featured as such in Appalachia Bare.
- Please be sure to include a cover letter with your submission which contains name, address, phone number, email, and a short bio. If we don’t have your address, we can’t send your award. And that would make us sad.
- Winners will be announced December 9, 2021.
- Appalachia Bare reserves the right to extend the deadline and/or change the announcement date.
By submitting, the writer admits this is his or her or their personal and original work. Appalachia Bare claims first publishing rights that return to the writer after being published. Appalachia Bare is not responsible for any lost submissions. Appalachia Bare reserves the right not to accept hate speech or violently explicit content.
**Featured image by Ri Butov on Pixabay