Write an inaugural ode, suitable for reading aloud on January 20, 2009. It must consist of sixteen lines broken into four quatrains, rhyme scheme optional. The ode must include one line lifted from a poem in The Best American Poetry 2008 or from the book's foreword or introduction, and it must also include at least three of the following words: honor, integrity, faith, hope, change, power.
The contest will be judged by a former Best American Poetry guest editor whose name will be revealed when the winner is announced.
The winning poet's name will be announced on the Best American Poetry website and The Best American Poetry blog. The winning poem will be posted on the website. The winner of the contest will receive a cloth bound copy of The Best American Poetry 2008, autographed by the series editor and several contributors, as well as other books, courtesy of Scribner. The winner will also receive a broadside of the winning poem created by artist Jenny Grassl.
NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS CONTEST.
HOW TO ENTER:
Your poem must be typed in Times New Roman 12 pt. The line from The Best American Poetry 2008 should appear in the poem as well as at the bottom of the page with its source noted. Send your poem as a Word attachment to an e-mail to
Write "Poetry Contest" in the subject line, and include the title of your poem along with your name, address, e-mail address, and telephone number in the body of the e-mail. The title of your poem should be in the body of the e-mail and on the attachment with your poem. Do not put your name or other identifying information on the attachment. Any submission that reveals the poet's identity on the attachment will be disqualified. The deadline for entry is midnight, eastern standard time, December 5, 2008.
Any U.S. resident age eighteen or over can enter, except employees of Scribner, the Best American Poetry website manager and designer, the contest Judge(s), and faculty of The New School Writing Program, or any member of their immediate family. Entries that are lost, late, misdirected, garbled, or incompletely received, for any reason, including by reason of hardware, software, browser, or network failure, malfunction, congestion, or incompatibility at the website or elsewhere, will not be eligible. The contest sponsor in its sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify any person tampering with the entry process, the operation of the website, or otherwise in violation of the rules. It further reserves the right to cancel, terminate, or modify the contest not capable of completion as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, force majeure, or technical failures of any sort.
The winner will be notified by email or telephone. If the winner cannot be reached or does not respond within three (3) days, an alternate winner may be selected, at the sole discretion of the Judge(s).
Subject to all federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Void outside the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, and where prohibited.
The Prize is not transferable. There will be no substitutions of the prizes except by the Sponsor and at the Sponsor's discretion.
All entries become the property of the Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned.
Except where prohibited: (i) acceptance of the Prize constitutes consent to use winner's name, likeness, and winning entry for editorial, advertising, and publicity purposes, without further compensation; (ii) winner may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility and copyright transfer/liability/publicity/permission release. Affidavits and releases must be returned within thirty (30) days of attempted notification or an alternate winner may be chosen.
This contest is entirely the work of the Best American Poetry web site and blog management and has no relation to the campaign organization and transition team of President-elect Barack Obama or to any project thereof.
Copyright © 2008 David Lehman