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Within the Mind of a Poet by Liam Cambridge

Written By: Kenny S June 11, 2011 No Comment

In the midst of April, National Poetry Month, the youth of Youth First Texas began sharpening their pencils and preparing for the Poetry Contest. Each youth was asked to submit at least three poems. Along with each submission, they were asked to place only the title of the poem on the paper, and on a separate cover page there would be the contact information of the contributor. In doing so, the nature of the judging would remain unbiased and completely fair. The judging of the poems was carried out in two rounds. The first round was conducted by Youth First Texas volunteers: Kenny Schreiber, Andrew Phifer, and Melanie Pruit, a.k.a. Aunt Melanie. Each poem was read by each judge and rated on a scale of 1-5; later, the scores were compared and tabulated. The highest scoring poems were then handed to Michael Helsem for the final judgment. Michael is a former editor/publisher of a local literary journal (Amoeba), a leading figure on the Dallas Poetry Scene for 20+ years, and an extensively published poet and essayist (usually on the nature of poetry). He is also Youth First Texas volunteer, and Aunt Mel’s husband! The poems were read, rated, and then the winners were announced at our weekly Big Group Meeting.

The first place winner was Giancarlo Mossi for “Solely Is Not Solo.” He won a Kindle 3G wireless reading device. When asked how he felt about winning, he responded, ” It feels great! After some time of not feeling well, it feels good to have something amazing to look forward to.” The 2nd place winner was Chey Posey for “Conviction.” He won a $50.00 gift certificate to Half-Price Books. The two honorable mentions were awarded to Felix “Fabian” A. Cantu-Cruz for “Song of Storms”, and Virginia Hunt for “Trapped.” The two honorable mentions each won $25.00 gift certificates to Half-Price Books.

The winners’ poems are guaranteed a spot in the upcoming edition of the annual Queer Subtext Literary Anthology, which is made in an assembly-line fashion every summer, at Youth First Texas, in a big book-making party! Thank you to all who have contributed to this very successful poetry contest! We hope to see you next April!

Editor’s note: We’d like to thank Liam Cambridge for contributing this blog entry in addition to participating in this year’s contest. Thanks!


Remember, every 2nd and 4th Saturday is Open Mic, so bring your poetry, songs or just your selves to rock out with Aunt Melanie and everyone else!