SCANSION

. . . about the Poets

A total of 900 poems written by 219 poets from 44 states, samples by seven non-competing guest poets laureate from 6 states, and poetry from poets in three foreign countries comprised the entries in the 2011 National Annual Senior Poets Laureate Poetry Competition for American poets age 50 and older.

The seven “Guest Senior Poets Laureate” filled the slots of the six states from which no entries were received in order that all fifty states were represented in this final edition of GOLDEN WORDS produced by the team of Wanda Sue Parrott, contest administrator/ text editor and Albert L. Baker, webmaster/graphic designer-publisher.

Of the winners, several succeeded themselves, at the suggestion of the editor (who believes poetry should be fun as well as the highest form of literary expression).

Each biographical sketch contains details that distinguish the non-competing poets and their poems from the laureate-level entries that vied for the National SPL Award of $500 and Runner Up Award of $100.

One non-competitive poem was by a non-citizen who has consistently served as symbolic diplomatic representative of poetry as an ambassadorial tool of international good will. Details appear elsewhere.

Aside from the honorary slots, there were 45 Senior Poets Laureate Awards given (44 states and one international), plus 19 Honor Scroll Awards for poems that passed Round One but did not proceed to the finals from which one National Senior Poet Laureate and one Runner Up were selected.

GRASS ROOTS TO GLASS TOWER POETS OF AMERICA

In the event only one poet entered from a specific state, the judges selected the best of that poet’s entries to receive the state poet laureate award, a certificate and entry into the final rounds from which the national award winners were chosen. This approach creates a fair cross-section of American poets, from newcomers to seasoned contestants who combine word artistry with compositional craftsmanship. Thus, a range of “grass roots to glass tower” poems represents America’s poets past fifty.

Total for Senior Poets Laureate awards and Honor Scroll awards in the 2011 competition was 69. Six of these were honorary only since they represented slots filled by guest senior poets, all of whom played important parts in the past, as well as present, production of this contest.

Additional awards included one International Diploet Award, as noted above; six Golden Pen Awards, chosen by the contest administrator; two Scribe’s Scroll Awards appointed by Amy Kitchener, symbolic CEO of Amy Kitchener’s Angels Without Wings Fdn., sponsor of the annual Senior Poets Laureate poetry contest. Grand total of 2011 awards was 78.

BREAKDOWN OF POETS BY GENDER

Breakdown of entrants (219) by gender was 148 female poets and 71 male poets, with women leading by slightly more than 2 to 1 at the entry level. The gender gap changed at the conclusion of Round 1 judging. From this round were chosen 40 female and 11 male winners of Senior Poet Laureate awards, creating a ratio of approximately 3 – 2, so women definitely took the SPL lead this year.

The pattern of women leading the men at the outset has been a consistent feature of the SPL competition throughout its 19 years of life; however, as contestants come to the final round, the male poets usually sprint ahead, almost but not quite catching up with the female poets.

Therefore, with all elements of gender combined when all the 78 awards are tallied from the various contests that comprise this book, breakdown of poets by gender is 58 females and 20 males, ending the event with a ratio of about three women to every man named as an award-winner.

Until this year, the poetic gender gap was maintained at a fairly even 1 to 1 ratio for male-female National-level Senior Poet Laureate title holders; however, the scale tilted slightly toward the females this year, since both the National Senior Poet Laureate and National Runner Up awards went to women.

Since 1993, the contest has named 10 males and 14 females as National Senior Poets Laureate and Runners Up, a number reduced to 13 females because Regina Murray Brault of Burlington, Vermont won the national SPL award twice! Thus, it is an almost-equal-opportunity contest in which ladies repeatedly outnumber men at the outset of each contest.

AGE GROUPS of the WINNING POETS

Of these still-active, enthusiastic poets, the youngest 2011 SPL entrant was 50 and the eldest recently turned 97. Age groups of the 219 poets whose poems competed in the 2011 contest were:

50-59

31

60-69

72

70-79

62

80-89

43

90+

4

Unknown

7

Total

219

2011 Grand Total Number of Winners:

Regional Senior Poet Laureate Awards: 51
Honor Scroll Awards: 19
Diploemat Award: 1
Golden Pen Awards: 6
     Living Poets: Anne Thomas, Bruce Hamilton, Thomas Fair
     Deceased Poets: Augusta K. Black, Bill Kiene, Helen E. Rilling



OCCUPATIONS OF THE POETS

Unlike professions of past centuries, which included mostly male poets who were often venerated as being divinely endowed, or at least regarded with great respect for mental acumen and spiritual vision, today's job market does not even include the word “Poet” in help-wanted classified ads. Only one entrant in the 2011 contest listed Poet as an occupation, although all 219 entrants write poetry.

A cross-section of work performed by this year's entrants is represented in the occupations of the poets who won this year's top awards. More members of the educational field entered than representatives of any other field of endeavor. In the past, librarians were high on the list, but the electronic revolution has impacted the library profession to such a degree we had only four librarians listed in 2011.

Healthcare workers took second place, with poets of the 2011 contest ranging from surgeons and chiropractors to scientific researchers, lab technicians, nurses, psychologists and case workers. The past contests drew few entries from members of the legal profession, but that statistic has gradually changed as legal and para-legal poets enter the arena.

Here are the 2011 Senior Poets Laureate contest entrants’ principal and secondary occupations. They are selected so one type of job describes each poet who entered, although a number of poets listed secondary occupations that supported their writing habits over their long, productive lives. The career fields are listed in alphabetical order:

Advertising:

1

Arts:

12

Business:

41

CIA careerist:

1

Education:

64

Engineering:

3

Financial:
(included under Business)

0

Flight attendant:

1

Hair styling

1

Healthcare

24

Homemaking:

7

Insurance:

4

Jewelrymaking:

2

Law enforcement:

3

               

Legal:

3

Library:

3

Military:

4

Musician:

2

Photo:

2

Politics:

2

Public relations:

2

Publishing/writing:

25

Real estate:

2

Religion:

3

Restaurant owner:

1

Science:

2

Sewing:

2

Sports (champ. boxer)

1

Ticket sales:

1

BIRTH SIGNS OF THE POETS

All signs of the zodiac were represented. At the request of a few poets who objected to having their astrological signs revealed for personal reasons, such facts are missing from their biographical sketches; however, under cloak of anonymity, the signs of 209 of the 219 entrants appear here for the enjoyment of those who enjoy reading which months of the zodiac calendar produced the most and least contestants in this year’s Senior Poets Laureate Poetry Competition for American poets age 50 and older. They are listed in chronological order, starting with the first month of the Astrological New Year, Aries, which starts on the first day of spring. Scorpio won!

Aries:

21

Taurus:     

16

Gemini:

14

Cancer:

18

Leo:

17

    

Virgo:

17

Libra:

12

Scorpio:

24

Sagittarius:

12

Capricorn:

22

    

Aquarius:

17

Pisces:

19

Unknown:

10

  

Total:

219

To read . . . Scansion continued. . . about the Contest click CONTEST
To read . . .Scansion continued . . . about SPL's History click HISTORY
To read . . .Scansion continued . . . about the 2010 Facts click FAQs
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