P. O. Box 1821, Monterey, CA 93942-1821 USA
A. L. Baker Webmaster
Vera-Jane Goodin Schultz Co-Administrator
Wanda Sue Parrott, Founder/Editor
Website:     Phone (831) 899-5887
Volume IX, Number 3
News Letter
September 2010
of the World's most unique Literary Society
where we turn Scribblers into Scribes and Meeting the Muse is a way of life


Racing like thoroughbred thunderhooves against deadline, the panel of judges in final rounds of the 18th Annual National Senior Poets Laureate Poetry Competition agonized over eight entries vying for the top slot; winner would claim $500 and the 2010 National Senior Poet Laureate award-winner’s title. The clock was ticking. Nerves were fraying. All poems were literary bluebloods. But only one could win!

If comparing the contest’s final stretch to the Kentucky Derby is overly dramatic in a metaphoric way, think again, because this year’s competition was a race of elegant champions.

Three of the eight finalists were former winners of the National Senior Poet Laureate title, three finalists were prior State Senior Poet Laureate title winners, and two were like dark horses that suddenly appeared for the first time on the senior poets’ track and sprinted to the lead.

Well, not exactly the lead, because as they rounded the clubhouse turn and came into the home stretch, the eight candidates were neck to neck. In non-racing terms, this means they were coming down to the wire even. Out here in the Monterey Bay area of California, far from other judges, I could practically hear a mutual outcry of groans from Vera-Jane Goodin Schultz, her guest-panelist husband John Schultz, and Lee Ann Russell, in Missouri; Bill Kiene, tie-breaker judge in Iowa; and final-rounds judges Yvonne Nunn and Gary D. Swaim, Ph.D., in Texas, and Dewell H. Byrd in Oregon.

Fortunately, instead of having to declare all eight finalists as tie-breakers that forced another round of judging to ensue, a set of scores arrived on my desk which placed two candidates slightly ahead of the others. One led by a nose, and the other by the nostrils. They were so close, the Runner Up Award that we discontinued a few years ago was reinstated and a $100 award added.

Our 2010 National Senior Poet Laureate, and winner of the $500 award, is Regina Murray Brault, 72, retired housewife, Burlington, Vermont, whose win makes this a precedent-setting year. She also won the 1996 National Senior Poet Laureate Award.

2010 National Senior Poet Laureate Runner Up is neuropsychologist Edward C. Robson, 58, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a first-time winner, whose capture of the $100 purse causes us to hope we see more of his fine work in the future.

This year’s competition drew1053 entries from 45 states and three foreign countries, a reflection on the widespread interest in, and quality production of, poetry by seniors. The entrants in this year’s contest ranged from age 50 through 97.

First Senior Poet Laureate Contest co-founded and co-sponsored by Wanda Sue Parrott and Vera-Jane Goodin Schultz in Springfield, Missouri, was in 1993. It drew 85 entries from the 4-state corner of the Ozarks Mountains: Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas. This year, entries came from 250 poets living in 45 states and three foreign countries.

Thanks to all poets who entered. Details about next year’s competition will be posted on our web site and included in the December edition of The Diploemat which will be sent to everyone on our e-mail list. If you would like to be added to the list, please e-mail me at

May the muse be with you, Wanda Sue Parrott, Editor