The Poetry Project in St. Mark’s Church has been founded in 1966 by, amongst others, the translator and poet Paul Blackburn. It has functioned as an essential venue for innovative and new poetry since more than five years. During its existence it has presented poetry to a wide variety of audiences, ranging from established poetry publishers to poets who were just beginning their careers. Many of those who have received poetry reading sessions there have become established poets of their own. Others simply found it inspiring to deliver their poetry to an appreciative audience.
The poetry reading sessions have also served as platforms for important political discussions. Several prominent American politicians have delivered their poetry at one of the church’s poetry reading sessions, including former president Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Clinton. While no one can say that the political context was particularly relevant to the poems delivered, nevertheless it surely added some weight to the speeches of both Clintons. Similarly, during the last national election campaign, many of the major candidates made their first public appearances at a poetry workshop organized by the poetry project.
With regard to politics, the US poet John Berry wrote that poetry can serve as a potent weapon in the battle against racism and social injustice. He referred to such issues as the “white plague” in his book, Days of Being Wild. Writing workshops have allowed various poets to express their views on social issues in a safe and supportive environment, in front of other writers and readers. Poets participating in poetry workshops can be likened to a writers’ salon where new ideas and concepts are shared and discussed. In the case of writers, these new concepts and ideas may well form the basis for future work.
Joaquim De Los Rios, a poet who lives and works in New York City, is one of the most highly recognized and respected poets of our times. A former poetry editor of The New York Times, he received numerous awards for his poetry. In 2021, he was made a recipient of theasso del Merced International Poetry Prize. Through the efforts of the Associated Press, De Los Rios received the world prize for his work in Spanish, which he dedicated to “the voiceless.”
Poets have also won several poetry prizes throughout history. These include the Manneristic Pottery Prize, the Ig Nobel Prize, the Nobel Prize, and the Kitsap Prize for Poetry. There are literally hundreds of poetry prizes awarded annually. One of the most common elements among all of these awards is that all of them recognize the importance of poetry to society. Poets have the opportunity to share their personal thoughts and feelings about art, humanity, and the human experience through poetry competitions. This is the same type of opportunity that writers have, but they do not always get the chance to earn the money that they need to support themselves while they work on their poems.
One of the best ways for aspiring poets to learn about the different poetry prize competitions is to read poetry prize winning poems. Reading other people’s poetry is a great way for poets to find new authors and admire their work. If you are looking to support yourself with your poetry, it may be time to look for a poetry competition in your area. Once you have a few competition sample to look over, you can determine which competition will be best for your needs and start preparing your poetry for the competition.