Calling All Bad Poets!

By which we mean: calling all poets! Because, let's face it even the best poets have some cringe-worthy verse hidden away in the archives.

Maybe it was a birthday poem written to your mom when you were seven. Maybe it was your most earnest expression of adolescent angst. Or maybe it was an awkward early effort in a more flourishing poetic life. Whatever the origin, the time has come to put forward those bad poems with pride. In the spirit of Steve Almond's new DIY book—Bad Poetry—we'll be choosing half a dozen of the most egregious poems for honorary citation. The idea here isn't simply self-mockery, but a chance to understand how the very worst of our poetry can teach us something about the truth.

We invite you to enter the first ever Bad Poetry contest! Winners will be selected by Steve Almond and will have their work read and celebrated by Steve in his Bad Poetry session on Saturday, May 14, at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. The winners will each be awarded a signed copy of Steve's new book, Bad Poetry.

To enter the first Massachusetts Bad Poetry Contest , send one copy of your worst poem by email to You may include the poem in the body of your email or in an attached document. All submitted poems must be your own, original work. All winners will be notified electronically, so please include your name and preferred email along with your submission.

Note: in this contest there are no fees. The decision of the judge, Steve Almond, will be final. Winners will be notified in advance of the session so that you can attend and prepare yourself.

And, by the way, Steve will also be appearing on the main performance stage on Saturday where he will be reading some of his good poetry!


Dan Baker said…
What a great idea! Love it.
January said…
It is pretty cool. We are very excited about the contest, perfect for National Poetry Month!

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