Prompt: An Updated Myth

Write a poem that modernizes a classical myth. Rewrite the old myth in modern terms. For instance, Sisyphus is doomed to push a car up a hill forever. You may make yourself the classical figure if you like. (From The Mind’s Eye by Kevin Clark) Don’t forget: Poetry Society of Michigan is looking for poems that have turned out well from these prompts for a reading. Send to

Elizabeth Kerlikowske

Here’s a clever example from the pages of Third Wednesday Magazine. (by permission from the editors).

Prompt: An Ekphrastic Poem

ekerlEkphrastic poetry: sounds complicated. It’s not. Ekphrastic art pays homage to another art form. In the case of poetry, we write a poem, taking our inspiration from a work of art. Use a painting or a photograph.

Do not spend any time describing the work of art. Enter it. Become part of it. Use details but let your imagination run amok in the art work. There is no right answer but your answer. – Elizabeth Kerlikowske

Below is an example from The Ekphrastic Review by one of our PSM members.

Poetry Society of Michigan 2020 Contest Winners

Category 1: Margo LaGatutta Memorial Award
Judge: Daniel Edward Moore

1st Rust Belt Randy K. Schwartz, Ann Arbor, MI
2nd All Night the Rain Kristin Brace, Ada, MI
3rd November Jack D. Ferguson, Auburn Hills, MI
HM Rock, Paper, Scissors Ellen Lord, Charlevoix, MI

Category 2: Chancellor’s Prize
Judge: Laurence W. Thomas

1st Window Patricia Barnes, Wyandotte, MI
2nd Good Fencing Lorraine Jeffery, Orem, UT
3rd The Poet Goes Prospecting Randy K. Schwartz, Ann Arbor, MI
HM The Staunch Listener Inge Logenburg Kyler, Eaton Rapids, MI

Category 3: Founder’s Prize
Judge: Dennis Hinrichsen

1st Midland Nancy Cook, St. Paul, MN
2nd Water, Water Everywhere… Patricia Barnes, Wyandotte, MI
3rd Jack Pine Savage Ellen Lord, Charlevoix, MI
HM October, Southeast Michigan Dawn McDuffie, Detroit, MI

Category 4: Barbara Sykes Memorial Humor Poem
Judge: Elizabeth Kerlikowske

1st Poem in Which the Poem Works Very Hard… Kristin Brace, Ada, MI
2nd I Explain to My Great Grandpa Lorraine Jeffery, Orem, UT
3rd Sounding the Alarm Lynne Fernandez, Farmington Hills, MI
HM Transformation Marilyn Churchill, Ann Arbor, MI

Category 5: George Dila Memorial Prose Poem
Judge: Phillip Sterling

1st A Man and His Game David James, Linden, MI
2nd pang Diana Hart, Kalamazoo, MI
3rd Dear Therapist, Patricia Barnes, Wyandotte, MI
HM Velvet Ear Jill Doster Marcusse, Grand Rapids, MI

Category 6: Nature
Judge: Jerrold Narland

1st Lucky 13 Terry Jude Miller, Richmond, TX
2nd Backyard Nature Sue Yurick, Rockford, MI
3rd Winter Snowfall Cynthia Weber Nankee, Canton, MI
HM Lost Mountain Lori Goff, Walled Lake, MI

Category 7: Love
Judge: Diane DeCillis

1st Alien Lover Dawn McDuffie, Detroit, MI
2nd Redolent Diana Dinverno, Troy, MI
3rd Autumn Garden Jack D. Ferguson, Auburn Hills, MI
HM Falling Christian Belz, Berkley, MI

Category 8: Pandemic
Judge: Terry Jude Miller

1st Counting Marie Davids, Ferndale, MI
2nd Maybe Eric Greene, Royal Oak, MI
3rd Languor Garrett Stack, Rockford, MI
HM Monthursday, Frisunday, April? Carla Dodd, Waterford, MI

Poetry Reading Features Dunya Mikhail

Our Ann Arbor affiliate Crazy Wisdom Poetry Circle’s monthly readings with open mic. have moved to virtual space on Zoom for the time-being.

September’s Program

DunyaMilkhailDunya Mikhail is an Iraqi-American whose five books of poems address themes of war, exile, and loss. She has received Guggenheim and Kresge fellowships, the Arab American Book Award, and the U.N. Human Rights Award. She currently teaches Arabic language and literature at Oakland University. Her reading will be bilingual.

7:00 PM – 8:45 PM  •  Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Email for Zoom link.
The link will be sent via email the day of the event.

The reading will be followed by an open mic.
Participants are invited to read a poem of their own or a favorite.