Charles Simic Tribute Poetry Contest (For Teens and Adults)



The Poetry Society of New Hampshire is accepting tribute poems in honor of Charles Simic.

Tribute poetry is broadly defined as work speaking to the incredible poetic legacy of Charles Simic. Contest poems should connect in some way to Charles Simic, whether through content or form. Possibilities include poems which borrow a line, title, or image from Simic or poems which describe Simic as a poet, teacher, friend, or colleague. Include a brief statement of no more than 150 words explaining the contest poem's connection to Charles Simic.

The judge is Alexandria Peary, Poet Laureate of New Hampshire. This contest is open to everyone with a separate category for teens (13-19). You do not have to be a resident of New Hampshire or the USA: everyone is welcome.

Winners, as well other submissions, of the contest will be published in the fall/winter issue of The Poets' Touchstone.

The first-place teen poem will win a 250 dollar prize from the state laureate and be published in Under the Madness Magazine as well as the fall/winter issue of The Poets Touchstone.

All contest submissions will be read anonymously and identifying information should not appear in the submission. Submissions are open now until July 30th.

More Info Here:

Essay on Creative Emptiness at WBUR Cognoscenti to Celebrate National Poetry Month


I've published a piece at WBUR's Cognoscenti on mindful writing to celebrate National Poetry Month. It's about how I handle creative emptiness and also about how poetry started in my life because of a medication and birth defects.

You can find the article here.

Online Talk on Mindful Writing (April 14, 2023) for New Hampshire Humanities


I'll be giving a Mindful Writing presentation for NH Humanities on April 14, 2023,  5 PM EST. This talk is sponsored by NH Humanities and is online & free to the public. 

This Very Moment is Perfect for Writing

Mindful writing is the nonjudgmental observation of the ever-changing present to gain a healthy perspective on our internalized critics, better manage our preconceptions, and enjoy access to continuously arising wording and ideas. Mindfulness at the desk leads to increased self-confidence in our creativity and stronger connection with others. This session provides an overview of mindful writing as well as hands-on practice with techniques easily replicated later at home.

Registration required:

Upcoming Poetry Reading at NHTI (Concord, NH)

I'll be giving a poetry reading at NHTI in Concord on April 12, 2023. This event is open to the public.


Celebrate April 2023 National Poetry Month with NH Public Radio


April is National Poetry Month and New Hampshire Public Radio wants to hear from you. Is there a poem that reminds you of a special place here in the Granite State? Maybe you associate a poem with the memory of a place you’ve visited, a spot you often return to, or a hidden gem here in New Hampshire.

Email NHPR a poem, by a poet other than yourself, that evokes the spirit of your special place in New Hampshire to, and tell NHPR what it means to you. We’ll share your poems and reflections with State Poet Laureate Alexandria Peary and they may be read on the air or posted online. If you have a photo of that place, please include it.

Please keep your explanations to 200 words or less. If you are under 18, please indicate in your response. The deadline for submissions is Sunday, April 23.

Teen Poetry Contest to Celebrate National Poetry Month


Beginnings NHPR All Things Considered Program, January 19, 2023



Here's the recording from NHPR All Things Considered "Beginnings," January 19, 2023. Check out three gorgeous poems by New Hampshire residents on the theme of beginnings. Thank you to everyone who sent work in! I was honored to read your poems and wish we had time to read everyone's work. Keep writing in the New Year!


About the Programming:

This month, I'm teaming up with Julia Furukawa, Host of NHPR All Things Considered, to ring in the new year with your poetry. Send us your original poem on the theme of "Beginnings."


Beginnings can be wonderful but also daunting. This situation is especially true when we consider starting a new piece of writing.

We often heap onto a new writing moment a lot of "extra" thoughts. We might pile on second guesses about our ability. We start worrying about what others will think about us. As a result, we give up the wonderful freedom and creativity we all have in the present moment.

To help listeners jumpstart poems around the theme of "Beginnings," I offered a few tips and prompts on the radio on Wednesday, December 21. (You can find them below.)

As the Zen master Shunryu Suzuki said, "In the beginner's mind, there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few." Through a mindful writing perspective, we have many strategies for razing preconceptions and capturing fresh thinking. 

Let this month become a reboot for your writing.


For a beginner's mind for your poetry this month:

1. Try Moment Tracking. This is a strategy I use in my mindful writing classes.

Ask yourself, "What am I thinking right now about beginnings?" Jot down whatever comes to mind without fixing it. Ask yourself again, "What am I thinking right now about beginnings?" Jot down whatever comes to mind this time, without critiquing it. And a third time. 

Like a hummingbird, dip into your mind, see what arises, and jot it down, without correcting.

Practice this quick method 2-3 times a day. After a week, reread your notes. Select one or more details or phrases for your poem.

2. Keep paper and pen near your bed: Capture first thoughts at the start of consciousness, without fixing whatever arises. Try not to type your first thoughts onto your cell phone (distracting). Use old fashioned paper and pen.

The beginning of a new day of life, in synch with the topic of beginning.

3. Start your poem on beginnings mid-stream: The first line should either begin with an ellipsis (...) or in the middle of a sentence. This method suggests the ongoing nature of creativity. 

Newness comes from perceiving the ongoing.

4. Structured prompt: Personify "beginning." If Beginning were alive:

  • What kind of room or house would it prefer?
  • What sort or landscape or cityscape is its natural habitat?
  • If it were an insect, bird, or animal, what would it be?
  • If it had a best friend, who would that be?
  • If it used a human gesture or way of talking, what would that be?
Jot down responses. Pick the one or two with the most creative energy for you. Build a poem by telling a story around your response.

Charles Simic Tribute Poetry Contest (For Teens and Adults)

  POETRY CONTEST FOR TEENS AND ADULTS The Poetry Society of New Hampshire is accepting tribute poems in honor of Charles Simic. Tribute poet...