Last year, love was all you needed to enter the Common Good Books annual poetry competition. This year, love is not required---but you do need to revive the lost art of letter-writing.
The theme of this year's competition is "Dear You," and the bookstore is looking for poems in the form of letters--and they don't have to be nice ones, either. (Just poetic.) (And to real, living people.)
Proprietor Garrison Keillor has upped the prize money to $5,000, which will be divided into three $1,000 grand prizes and four $500 prizes for "poems of merit." This surely makes the bookstore's competition one of the most lucrative in the country for a single poem. Last year's competition, with prizes of $4,000, drew more than 1,000 entries.
Here are the rules for this year's competition:
1) The contest it open to anyone living within the United States.
2) Entries must be a single poem, in the form of a letter to a real, living person.
3) Entries must be original work, previously unpublished, and the author must have full rights to the material.
4) Only one entry per person.
5) Entries must be mailed to Common Good Books, 38 S. Snelling Av., St. Paul, MN 55105 and postmarked no later than April 4, 2015.
Winners will be announced at noon on Sunday, April 19, at a celebration at Macalester College's Weyerhaeuser Chapel.