Poetry 99

The winning poets in the CN&R’s biggest poetry contest yet

My Tree

My Tree

Illustration by Betty O'Hare

Live poetry: Enjoy a free night of spoken word, as the Poetry 99 winners share their poetry live at Lyon Books, tonight, Oct. 20, 7 p.m.
Lyon Books 121 W. Fifth St. 891-3338

This is what we said by way of introduction to last year’s Poetry 99 contest: “Dang, Chico! What’s got you so inspired? We received well more than 400 poems from you …”

So, what are we to say this year since we received nearly 800 poems for consideration? We are at a loss, poets. Help us out with some words of amazement.

Our judge this year was writer and former Chico State English teacher Joanne Allred, who has authored two collections of poetry of her own—Whetstone (Flume Press) and Particulate (Bear Star Press). Allred had the biggest job in the history of judging the Poetry 99 contest, and she seemed to enjoy herself:

“It was wonderful to see such a diversity of voices in the entries in all categories,” she said. “Poetry writing is happening in Chico! For all the aspiring poets here I would encourage reading contemporary and classical poetry along with writing it. It’s important to understand the conversation one is joining when submitting poems for publication. And, yes, keep writing!”

Joanne Allred