Blog Posts

New Sponsors for 2021 PSM Poetry Contest

PSM IS DELIGHTED TO ADD 4 NEW SPONSORS THIS YEAR

The Detroit Writers’ Guild (DWG) is sponsoring a new category, “Music,” in honor of Faruq Z. Bey, a visionary of Detroit’s modern jazz scene, saxophonist, flutist, composer and poet. The Detroit Writers’ Guild was founded in 1983 for black authors in the Detroit Public School system. Today, the DWG has grown and now invites a diversity of community writers in the Detroit area to impact literary arts in all of its extraordinary forms and mediums. The DWG non-profit 501(c)(3) organization is led by M.L. Liebler as president. http://www.dwguild.org.

An endowed category recently added to the PSM Contest is “Women and Science” sponsored by Dr. Kathleen Decker. Poems should focus on the accomplishments and struggles of these women or even yourself. Lucile E. Thompson Decker was born in Grand Rapids in 1927. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Michigan State University in 1948, a Master’s degree in Chemistry from MSU and a PhD in Chemistry from MSU. Lucille and Kathleen were the first mother/daughter members of the American Chemical Society. She managed to raise two children while pursuing a full-time scientific career when many women were still homemakers.

Denise Sedman was great friends with Patricia A. Kearny and was an admirer of her poetry. Kearney passed at age 67 in March of 1999 and had a book of poetry published posthumously called “Skirting the Pain.” She was very active in the poetry scene and would often sing at readings. Denise Sedman is sponsoring the “Love” category in her honor. Denise has been a supporter of the Detroit Writers’ Guild since its relaunch in 2017, and a long-standing member of the Poetry Society of Michigan. Her poems are often written in prose about human issues in day-to-day living. She is an award winning poet and short story writer.

Honorary Chancellor Eric Torgersen taught Writing for 38 years at CMU. He has published seven books and chapbooks of poetry, most recently In Which We See Our Selves: American Ghazals, Mayapple Press; two novellas, and Dear Friend: Rainer Maria Rilke and Paula Modersohn-Becker, Northwestern University Press. He is married to the quilt artist Ann Kowaleski. He is sponsoring the 2021 “Chancellor’s Prize.”

Poetry Prompt

Today I”m going to jot a poem down without a lot of thinking. I’m going to choose one word (probably something nature but for sure a noun) and use it as much as seems prudent in the poem. Then I’m going to the dictionary like Harryette Mullen and look up my noun. When I find out, I’m going to count 7-10 nouns away in either direction and find a substitute for the chosen noun. I’ll go back to my poem, substitute it and see if there are any interesting lines or phrases that work. Perhaps it changes everything for the better. Perhaps it’s stupid. You won’t know til you try.

Elizabeth Kerlikowske

Looking Glass / Steve Williams

Formed in the cauldron of life
out of limestone, soda, and sand,
at our best, we are pieces of glass.

Far more useful than diamonds
which flash in the light, are the windows
and lenses that clarify sight.

While mirrors are attractive, and at first
glance us please, they can distort
and may often deceive.

There’s no higher calling, than, when held
in good hands, you brighten the vision
and help understand.

So if you open a wall, magnify small, bring
something far up closer, you make good use
of the time you possess,

And so does the person who finds you,
who chooses to leave this world wiser,
and thus might forever be blessed.

Steve Williams / Munith, Michigan

The Parade / Radhika Iyer

The Parade

Shattering winter’s biting chill
is the songbird’s sonorous trill.

Piercing through it’s white landfill
is the ruby tulip, ready to kill.

Ransacking its icy rill
is the graceful swan’s orange bill.

Infecting its very spill
is the sun ray’s most treasured skill.

Niggling at its dreary shill
is the eternal hope’s cheery pill.

Generating a brand new will
is nature’s way to March uphill.

Radhika Iyer / Northville, Michigan