November 26th, 2005

Egrets Reading

Word Wizardry

I still remain addicted to word puzzle poetry.

"Word puzzle poetry" is a term that I've made up to describe poetry written in response to a magazine's or contest's challenge to write a poem using pre-specified words.

For example, every issue of Eclectica Magazine contains a "Word Poem" feature where readers are asked to write a poem using four words selected at the editor's whim. The words for the January/February 2006 issue are:

orphanage, eggshell, vile, summon

Believe it or not, I have managed to write a two stanza mainstream cinquain sequence using these words. Whether or not the editor will publish it is still up in the air at this time.

SP Quill Magazine has a similiar feature called their "Word Wizard Competition", which is sort of the Eclectica competition on steroids. In SP Quill's Word Wizard competition, ten words are given in a particular print issue of the journal. The challenge is to write a poem using all ten words and submit it to the Word Wizard editor before the deadline for the next issue. There is no "entry fee" for this competition, but you do need to enter via snail mail.

Anyway, I entered this Word Wizard competition for the first time and found out this weekend that I won! I ended up with $10, a certificate and a purple ribbon for my poem, "Reaching for Normal", which uses the following mandatory list of words:

drizzle, gingham, leftovers, winner, sway, wiggle, daydream, dirt, backward, ginger

My word wizard poem is not a short short poem though -- it took me 16 lines to do it!

I can't post the poem here until after it is published in the next issue of SP Quill, but when I can, I promise I will if there's enough interest in seeing what I did with these words.