Tuesday, June 16, 2015

2015 Anne Dittrick Sonnet Writing Contest Winners

This year marked our 18th season for the Anne Dittrick Sonnet Contest. 

After receiving 93 adult and student sonnets, our judging panel of professional poets and Shakespeare Scholars voted the following sonnets as our winners:

Adult/Post-Secondary Winner

Michael Harty

Michael Harty has had a long career as a psychologist and psychoanalyst, a briefer career as a poet, and generally finds that the two facilitate each other. He is fond of the sonnet form, which combines lyricism with structure. His poetry has appeared in a number of periodicals, including The Lyric, Measure, Comstock Review, I-70 Review, and Texas Poetry Calendar, and in 2014 he published a chapbook, The Statue Game. He lives with his wife Jean in the suburbs of Kansas City.

Response to Sonnet 19

When glorious morning yields to afternoon
And thence to evening, should we then be grieved?
If clouds turn gray that seemed to once festoon
The east with strands of gold, are we bereaved?

When dewy blossoms dry, the grounded lark
Goes songless to her forested retreat,
And shadows lengthen with advancing dark,
Is Nature's face less comely, time less sweet?

I hold the evening equal to the morn --
The shaded colors lovely as the bright,
The new-fledged leaf not finer than the worn,
The glow of sunset fair as dawn's new light –

For fading beauty's beauty nonetheless,
And all the sweeter for its passingness.

High School Winner

Mary Johnson, Millard North High School

Mary will be a sophomore this August at Millard North High School. In her spare time she likes to play violin and read. Mary started violin lessons when she was four. She is a member of the Youth Symphony with the Omaha Area Youth Orchestras. Mary was introduced to Shakespeare in 9th grade English class, where they read Romeo and Juliet. It was that unit that introduced her to sonnet-writing, which she enjoys immensely. When Mary wrote Gemstones of Night, she was watching the rain out her bedroom window at midnight. The starlight reflected on the rain, making it glitter as it ran into the gutter. This gave her the idea for the sonnet.

Gemstones of Night

When the proud sun departs the azure sky

The shimm’ring opal moon comes out to shine
Her handmaids, glitt’ring diamonds ‘hind her fly
As constellations, stars in wild line

Their gentle light encompasses the world
Enveloped in night’s spreading sapphire cloak
Illuminating leaves by moonlight pearled
Made emerald, crystalline upon an oak

In contrast to that silv’ry light so bold
A far off planet sparkles ruby red
The richest lord decked out in wealth and gold
Has no jeweled crown so glam’rous for his head

‘Tis true that human kind, while rather bright
Can craft no gems as fine as those of night

Middle School Winner

Dayton Linhardt, Gretna Middle School

Dayton Linhardt is 14 years old and has lived in Gretna, NE., since birth. This fall he will be a freshman attending Gretna High School. Dayton enjoys creative writing and making people laugh, and he does just that with his quirky sense of humor. In addition, Dayton has a passion for music and will be joining the clarinet section of the GHS Varsity Marching Band in the upcoming school year. Dayton is looking forward to a full summer attending numerous band camps, being part of a missions team traveling to Nashville, TN., enjoying the outdoors, and eating Taco Bell whenever possible.

Fiery Love: Taco Bell

I like to eat tacos in my freetime.
I really like to eat at Taco Bell.
When I can’t have it, sometimes I do cry.
When I can’t have my tacos, I’m in Hell.

Green apple and cherry are the slushies.
Fountain drinks and free water are my life.
Strawberry lemonade and ice-cold tea.
You find the sauce and napkins by the knives.

Crunchy and spicy cinnamon twisties,
Cinnabon delights and the churros too,
Why their food is so good is a myst’ry.
Sometimes Taco Bell makes me have to poo.

Taco Bell will 4ever be my life,
I wish that I could make it my own wife.

Thank you to everyone who submitted sonnets!

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