This month, I decided to announce two co-winners and two runner-ups. The first co-winner is Peter Boet, a civil engineer from Grand Haven, Michigan, for his poem, “Clue.”
Here’s Peter on the making of his poem:
After scanning the article a couple times, the words that stuck out for me were “revolver” and “dining room” because they reminded me of the board game Clue. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to find Professor Plum or Colonel Mustard, although I think I did check. I was searching for Mr. Green when I stumbled upon Mrs. White hanging out near the lower left hand corner. Thankfully, most of the article had to do with games and winning so I was able to tie them together.
The second co-winner is Stephanie Cheng, a third-year med student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, for her poem, “The Walrus Makes a Toast.”
Here’s Stephanie on the making of her poem:
I find myself checking the site between patients during slow clinic days. One of my favorites was “Adventures in the Batsuit” (both the original and the retooled). The allusion to Batman makes the poem so rich, providing a whole backstory on which to comment. So when I saw the words “oyster” and “steam(er)” in the newspaper text, I immediately thought of Lewis Carroll’s “The Walrus and the Carpenter” and the rest of the poem fell into place from there. Because I don’t get to write a lot of non-medical stuff these days and am subsequently full of literary rust, it felt delightfully perverse to use someone else’s words and twist them to tell my own story.”
I find it fascinating that the two best poems in this month’s contest were both references to pop culture, and both poets had a similar approach to making their poems: they found a few words that recalled a strong association, and then they filled a poem in around them. That’s often the method that yields my best poems, too.
Congratulations, Peter, Stephanie, Brandon, and Charles! Y’all will get your free books next September.
And a big round of applause to everyone else who entered the contest. It’s a ton of fun reading all your submissions.
If you haven’t entered yet, have no fear: there are two more contests coming up: one starting this Wednesday, October 1st, and one in November.