This unique contest is the first poetry contest sponsored by Chris Rice Cooper’s blog and will be judged by Helen Losse. Her blog focuses on featuring all types of artists and “consists of Photo Feature Stories on artists of all genres, human interest stories, guest blog posts, book reviews, and book excerpts.” Cooper is a newspaper writer, feature stories writer, poet, fiction writer, photographer, and painter. She has a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and is close to completing her Master’s in Creative Writing.
I wondered how and why this contest came to be, so I asked blogger and writer Chris Rice Cooper a few questions to find out. See my interview with Cooper and a link to the contest guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about your poetry contest. How/why did the idea for the contest originally come to be?
The PersonalLordSaviorJesusChrist Poetry Contest is sponsored by my blog at www.chrisricecooper.blogspot.com
This is the first poetry contest that my blog has done and I plan on doing another poetry contest (different subject matter) within the same year. The funds for the contest have been donated by anonymous sources.
I have been craving to write and read poetry that is focused on Jesus Christ as defined according to John 3:16 - that He is the Son Of God, that He died on the cross to give each individual a new identity in Him, that He resurrected from the dead, and that He is the door to Heaven.
It’s sort of like asking someone to write about the Pink Unicorn – the definition of the Pink Unicorn is very clear.
In order to participate in this contest you don't have to believe in the Pink Unicorn, and in fact you can hate the Pink Unicorn; as long as when you write the poem it is based upon the agreed definition of the Pink Unicorn.
This contest is not limited to Christians–in fact I want to hear all voices on this contest. I think it would be awesome to write a poem in Satan’s voice about Jesus; I think it would be awesome to have a person write to Jesus in anger in this contest. I want to hear from heterosexuals, gays, lesbians, transgender, drug addicts, atheists, prostitutes, immigrants, Jews, Scientologists, Muslims, Hindus, agnostics, all religions, and all people, especially those who feel marginalized. And of course from those who love Jesus Christ.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
COOPER: I do NOT want stuff that is Helen Steiner Rice, Hallmark Card, cliché, and even didactic- but rather literary poetry that any literary magazine would be looking for. The only thing is this specific type of literary poetry has to somehow relate to the PersonalLordSaviorJesusChrist as defined in the previous question.
Some poets who have written about Jesus Christ that I like are Ted Hughes, Mary Oliver, Patrick Donnelly (his chapbook Jesus Said is incredible), Madeline L'Engle, Christian Wiman.
I have to emphasize this - the contest will be based only on the poem. Helen Losse, who is judging the contest, will only receive the poem and the poem title.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send contest entries?
COOPER: They can send me the entries as well as their name, phone number, email address, address (including city, state, and country) and the name of their poem to firstname.lastname@example.org
COOPER: They can contact me via email at email@example.com
Or via my three Facebook pages at
Christal Ann Rice Cooper: https://www.facebook.com/christalann.ricecooper
Christal Cooper: https://www.facebook.com/christal.cooper.18
Christal Rice Cooper: https://www.facebook.com/christal.cooper
DEADLINE: October 6, 2017
ENTRY FEE: None
- First Prize: $300 cash
- Second Prize: $200 cash
- Third Prize: $100 cash
FORMS: Submit one entry containing one poem