Poets at work! Star Tribune illustration by L.K. Hanson

Poets at work! Star Tribune illustration by L.K. Hanson


What a brave and wonderful move, opening up a contest to unpublished poets. Brave because -- well, we know how many people secretly write poetry: All of us. And wonderful because -- well, there just aren't enough venues for poets.

But here come Common Good Books and Garrison Keillor with the first annual (which means if you don't win this year, there's always next year) Common Good Amateur Love Poem Contest. ("Amateur" meaning you cannot have published a book of poetry.)

Submit your poem (limit of 14 lines, or 200 words) by email to info@commongoodbooks.com.  One poem per person, so pour everything you have into it. (In 200 words.)

Poems should focus on love or praise.

The finalists will be announced April 1, and the finalists will be displayed at the store for you to vote on. The winner will be announced at 1 p.m. on April 21 at a big Poetry Month event at Weyerhaeuser Chapel at Macalester College, hosted by Keillor. "You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll rhyme," says the press release, and we can only imagine.

Sharpen thy quill pen.Don thy puffy-sleeved shirt. Bare thy soul.

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