For the past few weeks, I've been reading through the submissions for the 2011 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize. We have received more submissions than ever, which is wonderful. There is so much there to appreciate, and I couldn't be happier about the large number of poets who have found their way to Ruminate. It speaks highly of our readers, and also of the devoted staff who care so much about the magazine. The poems submitted range from structured praise poems to free-verse musings on the mundane. This year, we're lucky enough to have the fabulous poet Naomi Shihab Nye as the poetry contest's finalist judge. As I read along through the submissions, I am interested to notice what types of thing draw me in and reveal something unique to me, and then to ponder what she will find in these poems. Of course, the best way to learn another poet's sensibilities is to read their poems. If they place a particular emphasis on strong imagery or language, or if they are playful in structure and sound, you can probably expect them to be drawn to the same in other poems. Naturally, this isn't universally the case, but still, I look forward to seeing what poems our esteemed judge chooses for the poetry contest, and seeing how they reflect her own aesthetic. You may learn more about Naomi Shihab Nye and read some of her poems here.
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