The Hairbag Poet-Madness Round 2

Hi and welcome to my series The Hairbag Poet

As you all know I am participating in the Madness Poetry competition. Round 2 starts today and I am happy to report I will be participating. Round 1 was a close call! I was up against a wonderful challenger whose poem was so beautiful I would have voted for it myself, if she wasn’t up against me. So head on over here pour a cup of coffee or tea, relax, and read some fantastic poetry.

Madness Poetry
Ed DeCaria

And don’t forget to wish me luck!

The Hairbag Poet (a.k.a. Jean O’Connor)

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The Hairbag Poet: Madness Poetry 2019-Round 1

Madness Poetry
Ed DeCaria

The madness has begun! Today is Round 1 over at Madness Poetry.  My challenge word is Reliant! My poem is written, and by some miracle I was able to stay within the 500 character requirements (which was not easy).

So please head on over here, to read some really fun poetry, and vote for your favorite authlete.

Oh, and don’t forget to wish me luck!

The Hairbag Poet (a.k.a. Jean O’Connor)

The Hairbag Poet: Madness Poetry 2019

Hi and welcome to my Friday series The Hairbag Poet.

In the blogging world Fridays are known as Poetry Friday.  You can read about Poetry Friday here. I will plan on posting The Hairbag Poet each Friday.

You can read about the history of this series here

Friday’s poetry roundup can be found at Linda Baie’s site here.

The Thinkier Trophy

I’m so excited to announce that once again I will be competing in Ed DeCaria’s  2019 March Madness Poetry competition beginning March 3rd!  64 Authletes (Writer athletes) will be competing against each other for the title, and the grand prize: The Thinkier trophy pictured above.  Head over today and sign up to read, vote, and have fun!

The match up brackets mimic basketball’s March Madness brackets. The Authletes are provided a single vocabulary word (think SAT/GRE Vocab.) and must create a poem suitable for children, within a defined character limit (Not Easy!).

Ed has the voting divided into three sections: the authlete vote, the student vote, and the community vote. We as writers get to vote all throughout the competition, even if we lose, and this vote carries some extra weight. The student vote comes from schools that have signed up their classrooms to read, and vote on the poetry entries. The student vote also carries heavy weight considering the poems have to be kid friendly. The community vote consists of everyone else who chooses to sign up to read, and vote for their choice of best poem. The voting is open for two days, at which time everyone can vote, and comment on their favorite poems. The winner then proceeds to the next round. With each round the authletes are cut by 1/2 until only one winner is left standing.

This is my second year entering and I am so excited, and nervous. There is so much great talent participating. I will be writing under my proper name: Jean O’Connor

Wish me luck!

The Hairbag Poet

The Hairbag Poet-Madness Poetry

Hi and welcome to my series The Hairbag Poet

In the blogging world Fridays are known as Poetry Friday.  You can read about Poetry Friday here. I will plan on posting The Hairbag Poet each Friday.

You can read about the history of this series here.

So as some of you may know I have been participating in the 2018 March Madness Poetry competition hosted by Ed DeCaria over at madness poetry.com.  I wish I could remember how I stumbled across this competition and give that person credit, but unfortunately being the Hairbag Poet that I am, I can’t remember. It was sometime last year that I went to Ed’s site to check out what the madness was all about, and sign up to be notified when the 2018 competition would be open.

In the meantime I learned that the Madness Poetry competition is a writing challenge that starts with 64 authletes (writer athletes) competing against each other in bracket like matchup of skill (mimicked after the college Basketball brackets). In order to enter the competition you must submit an entry poem.  This year I was asked to write a poem about the Thinkier Trophy, and to my pleasant surprise, I received an email a few weeks later letting me know I had been selected to compete.

The Thinkier Trophy

After jumping up and down with excitement, I went onto the madness poetry site to check out the past competitions, and get a feel for the contest.  Since Ed re-launced the site in 2017 as a new site with less technical difficulties, you can only see the 2017 competitors, but if you go here, and dig around, you can read the other competition years dating back to its inception in 2012. As I started to read the past entries my excitement faded to anxiety.  The talent was intimidating; the writing top notch.

However, I’m not one to shy away from a challenge, and when the first day of the competition arrived, and I received my first word, I was ready.   My word: Bedevil. I spent all my free time (which isn’t much) thinking about my word, looking it up, perusing the thesaurus for inspiration, until finally a small idea seeded, and grew into a poem.  I was excited and nervous to put my work out there to be judged and voted on.  Would I suffer a humiliating loss? Would anyone like my work? Whatever my fate, I was happy I had written a poem with my assigned word prompt, and stayed within the 500 character limit (which was not easy to do!).

Then it was time to vote.  This is the coolest part.  Ed has the voting divided into three sections: the authlete vote, the student vote, and the community vote.  We as writers get to vote all throughout the competition, even if we lose, and this vote carries some extra weight.  The student vote comes from schools that have signed up their classrooms to read and vote on the poetry entries. The student vote also carries heavy weight considering the poems have to be kid friendly.  The community vote consists of everyone else who chooses to sign up to read, and vote for their choice of best poem. The voting is open for two days, at which time everyone can vote and comment on their favorite poems. The winner then proceeds to the next round. With each round the authletes are cut by 1/2 until only one winner is left standing.

After two nail bitingly, nervous days, I was elated to discover I had advanced to round 2.  It was a close match, and the writer I was up against had a very funny poem.  Humor is key to winning most times, but not all of the time, and my little mythology poem squeaked by for the win.

Round 2 had me up against another excellent writer. My word: incoming.  Again I stewed on my word, and let ideas simmer until I came across one I loved.  I wrote to my word, and kept to my 500 character count, but unfortunately for me, this was the end of the line.

The good news is I get to keep on reading and voting on all the new poems yet to be written.  It is exciting to open my computer and click on each entry and discover the creativity of each writer as they display their new works.  With each new poem, I learn a little more about rhyme and meter, form and style.  I am inspired to keep writing no matter what.

I cannot wait to see how this years Madness will end, and who will be honored with the Thinkier Trophy.  I also cannot wait for another chance at Madness next year.

Please continue to follow along at madnesspoetry.com to read, vote, and enjoy the immense talent, and amazing poems being created. If you know any teachers who might be interested, please share this post with them so they can incorporate this competition into their lesson plans for next year. It is a great way to introduce poetry to children of all ages, and set up for April’s National Poetry Month.

I hope you enjoy these posts. Thanks for stopping by and reading, and please feel free to post your own poetry in the comments if you feel inspired by the photographs. I always love reading other peoples perspective on “art”.

The Hairbag Poet