JC awarded prizes to poets writing in English, aged 9-11, 12-14 and 15-17, at last night’s ceremony at Ben Franklin Place in Ottawa. The 18th Awesome Authors Contest which the Ottawa Public Library holds and which the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library (FOPLA) sponsor attracted well over 500 entries in the English poetry. English short story, French poetry and French short story categories.
When JC asked all of the writers and poets who had submitted their creative work to the contest to stand, the crowd applauded widely. She spoke of the W-O-W-S/U factors she considered in selecting the top six poems in English in each age category and of how impressed she was by the originality of the submissions. She even admitted she wished she had written some of the lines.
“It is an honour and a privilege to serve as a judge for this contest. I am so happy to see how ALIVE poetry is for the young writers in our community,” she stated.
The list of winning stories and poems are available from the Ottawa Public Library. These poems and stories will be published by FOPLA in an anthology, “Pot Pourri,” in October. FOPLA is running a contest for a new cover design for the publication and encourages all young artists to come forward with their concepts. Here’s the link to a photo of some of the winning poets: http://www.ottawapubliclibraryfriends.ca/media/pdf/Newsletter_Summer_2012.pdf
“I was thrilled with the number of students who were interested in
touching base with you and doing some follow up. We greatly appreciated
the format of Friday’s visit and have now completed the play and book as
a class read aloud and have begun practising dramatic readings of the
play in partners.It has been very helpful to many students who have had
to deal with Alzheimer’s in their family.” Sean Christy, teacher, Grade
4, Perth, Ontario
At 2:00 PM on Saturday, January 19, JC leads a workshop for young poets at the Ottawa Public Library’s Greenboro Branch, 363 Lorry Greenberg Drive.
“February brings the deadline for the OPL’s 2013 Awesome Authors Contest, which is open to short story and poetry submissions from writers aged 9-11,12-14 and 15-17.
“The workshop for 9-14 year-olds will share my 5-top tips about writing poetry that leaves readers with a WOW! Participating poets will also be able to share a poem they have written for feedback.”
Preregistration at the Branch is required.
“Ottawa Woman” celebrates the achievements of women in the region. JC is among a wonderful community of “Women on the Move” featured on the page dedicated to mini portraits (page 18, www.Ottawa-Woman.com).
Along with a photo, the paper highlights JC’s writings, with emphasis on “What My Grandma Means to Say,” the play, the Discussion Guide for teachers, available free from www.jcsulzenko.com, and the storybook, now also in e-book form.
“I am very pleased that “Ottawa Woman” included me in this month’s roster of women on the move. During the holiday season, the challenges that Alzheimer’s disease brings to the lives of families can be lost in all the celebrations. Yet Alzheimer’s causes changes not only to the person living with it but to the lives of those who care for and about them.
“Giving a gift of “What My Grandma Means to Say” is a good way to help families and the children in them build their understanding of dementia and develop their own strengths and strategies for handling relationships now in the shadow of such diseases.”
The book is available at Kaleidoscope Kids Books on Bank at Lansdowne Park, from the publisher (www.gsph.com) and from e-book retailers.
On November 24 at Glebe-St. James United Church in Ottawa, Rob Clipperton read the Dylan Thomas classic, “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” to a rapt audience that filled the sanctuary. The event netted $2000 which was donated to the Acquired Brain Injury Program at The Ottawa Hospital’s Rehabilitation Centre in honour of Allison Woyiwada. For the past four years, Allison served as musical director and co-producer of the event. At the 2012 performance, Allison was a member of the audience as she continues her recovery from brain surgery.
This year’s Welcome Winter featured music from Robert Palmai, Marya Woyiwada, Canterbury High School’s Vocum, and the Canterbury Trebles. The one-hour show was greeted with a standing ovation from everyone who chose to herald the holiday season with this program of fine words and music.
“The 2012 presentation completed the cycle of our commitment to bring this wonderful story to Ottawa audiences. Welcome Winter has benefited over the years from the support of many amazing artists, performers and good people at Glebe-St.James United Church to whom I remain most grateful. I hope another community group will take up the delightful challenge of sharing “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” with Ottawa families for many years to come.”
Daytime, a talk show on Channel 22 in Ottawa featured an interview with JC on Monday February 6. The show aired from 11AM-12 noon, at 5:00 PM and at 11: 00 PM. Here’s the link to the interview: http://www.rogerstv.com/page.aspx?lid=237&rid=4&gid=90689. The co-hosts explored with JC how the new video of a performance of the play “What My Grandma Means to Say” by high school students for elementary school-aged children enables both age groups to discuss Alzheimer’s disease. To screen the new video of the play, see below.
On Tuesday, January 17, at 1:00 p.m. (EST) Dr. Gordon Atherley from Toronto interviewed JC to learn how “What My Grandma Means to Say”, the play and the storybook, can enable family discussions about Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia. Here is the link to the broadcast on VoiceAmerica:
Dr. Atherley invited JC to come on his program after reading one of her articles in the national media about the importance of including children in family discussions when someone in that family is living with Alzheimer’s disease. So often, families find it very difficult to speak among themselves about what is happening to someone about whom they care. So often, the need of children to understand their place in such a situation is not given attention by health care providers.
The discussion was far-ranging and included the important perspective offered by Kristen Irvine, a professional personal care worker who is very involved in supporting her own grandmother who is living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Having education programs in schools that focus on Alzheimer’s and the use of “What My Grandma Means to Say” in training health care providers were some of the issues which arose during the discussion.
At the site for the program is an e-mail address for comments on the broadcast which Dr. Atherley welcomes.
JC participated in a panel on January 10 that focussed on marketing and promotion but gave her the chance to talk about how she came to write “What My Grandma Means to Say.” Here is the link to executive member Arlene Smith’s blog on what struck her about JC’s comments. www.scienceandstory.wordpress.com
JC joins Sharyn Heagle, President, Ottawa Branch of the Canadian Authors Association, Emily-Jane Hills Orford and Dave Mullington for a ‘get your hands dirty’ panel: The Do’s and Don’ts of Marketing your work.
After brief presentations from each panellist, Sharyn will broker a discussion among them about issues they have addressed — what works and what doesn’t — in promoting what they have written. A question and answer session with audience participation will follow.
A great way to get and share tips.
In the auditorium, Main Branch, Ottawa Public Library (See the CAA, Ottawa Branch, website for details.)
A time for reflection about 2011 and wishes from JC for a happy New Year, one filled with poetry, creativity, hope and good health.
JC was pleased to accept the invitation Lawrence Grant, Executive Director of The Glebe Centre, extended on behalf of the organization’s Board of Directors, to give a dramatic reading of the play on November 28.
JC confirmed to the Board how the Glebe Centre partnered on “What My Grandma Means to Say” from when it was first being test-read in 2009, through the development of a Discussion Guide for teachers, the premiere of the play at the Ottawa International Writers Festival in 2009 and the publication of the storybook adaptation in the spring of 2011. She expressed her particular gratitude to Jen Dare, Pat Goyeche and Karen Joynt for their support throughout the evolution of the project. Most recently Abbotsford hosted a tea for healthcare professionals and for educators to demonstrate how the book and the play can enable families and children discuss Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia and can help them develop strategies to support someone they know who is living with such diseases.
Members of the Board were touched by the play and posed a number of questions after the presentation. One Board member asked whether JC had thought of writing about what happens as Alzheimer’s disease progresses, with a focus on the end of life. JC had not considered that but would.
She advised the board that junior students at her recent reading at Hopewell Avenue Public School had encouraged her to write about other diseases. When JC asked which ones they thought she should target, here were some of their suggestions: diabetes, cancer and ALS. The fact that these children between the ages of 8 and 12 already have such illnesses on their radar screens proved to JC how important it is for families to include children in conversations when such situations affect the life of a family.
A full house turned out for the fourth annual reading of “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” by Dylan Thomas at Glebe-St. James United Church on Saturday, November 26! Many members of the audience spoke to JC after the performance with wonderful comments and pleas that the tradition of presenting this unique story to herald the holiday season continue for many years to come.
Rob Clipperton returned as the gifted storyteller. At this performance, Rob was surrounded by student actors and singers of the Hopewell Avenue Public School Junior Choir. Dressed in PJs and slippers, these students from Grades 4,5 and 6 had speaking parts from the story and sang seasonal songs that picked up on the themes of “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.” The program began with an evocative organ solo by Robert Palmai, Minister of Music at Glebe-St. James which Marya Woyiwada, Soprano, followed with an aria from Die Fledermaus. Canterbury High School’s Vocum, women in the vocal music program at Arts Canterbury, who were directed by James Caswell, left the audience spellbound with their music.
JC thanked the talented performers and musicians for lending their presence to the show, Glebe-St. James United Church for hosting Welcome Winter, volunteers who assisted at the event and Compact Music for advance ticket sales.
Net proceeds (over $ 2300) from the one-hour of performance, presented by JC and Allison W0yiwada, benefit Reach Canada (www.reach.ca) this year.
Just noted: Please go to http://server14a.pressmart.net/capitalparent/index.aspx to find JC’s article, “Children have a place in the Alzheimer’s picture.”
JC presented “What My Grandma Means to Say” over 100 students from grades 3 and 4 at Bayview Public School in Ottawa on November 9,2011. After reading from the book and explaining how she adapted the play into story form, JC welcomed questions that covered aspects of Alzheimer’s disease as well as the process of writing she uses. Student participation was great and the questions very thoughtful. She enjoyed her first visit to the school thoroughly.
On November 10, JC returned to Hopewell Avenue Public School and met 200 students from grades 3-7 who were crammed into the Library. This enthusiastic group was interested in talking about writing. Several students encouraged JC to write a series which could address other diseases. When she asked which ones, they came up with a strong list: diabetes, cancer, ALS and polio were raised. JC explained to the students how she had launched her first book for children, “Annabella and The TyCoon” in their library thirteen years ago and that the book raised over $2000 for the music program at the school. She also told them that the poem which she wrote which has gone through the most number of drafts was based on an experience she had leading a workshop for Hopewell students during with she met Alice Erwin, an amazing young woman who touched her deeply. “Beholder” is probably my favourite poem,” JC admitted. When asked which of her six books for children she likes the best, she suggested that the question was rather like asking a mother which of her children she likes best. Impossible to answer.
Check out this brand-new website for Grandparents that profiles “What My Grandma Means to Say” and reprints JC’s article from City Parent (Toronto). http://thegrandparentsguide.com/tag/alzheimers/
It’s great that talking with kids about Alzheimer’s is featured there. Hope that families who could use the book learn about it this way.
In a special supplement on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, the Vancouver Province gave my article today a place of prominence. Check it out: http://www.theprovince.com/health/Essay+Children+need+brought+into+Alzheimer+conversation/5472978/story.html
Here’s the link to the special ’roundtable’ event which was presented with Mother Tongue Books as part of this autumn’s edition of the Ottawa International Writers Festival. http://www.writersfestival.org/events/what-my-grandma-means-to-say-with-jc-sulzenko.
The downpour-afternoon did not dampen enthusiasm for this topic. The conversation was wide-ranging. It went beyond a focus on how families develop ways in which to support each other and the person they know who is living with dementia. The importance of music and visual art for people living with Alzheimer’s, new treatments and research, and personal experiences also were raised.
Thanks to Laura and Evelyn at the bookstore and to Caitlin Brydges from The Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County for their contributions to the event.
The Festival will also sponsor JC’s visits to a number of area schools in early November.
“What My Grandma Means to Say” in performance October 5 and 6 in Prince Edward County Elementary Schools
Here is the link to an excellent article from Prince Edward Collegiate Institute writers about “What My Grandma Means to Say,” the play, which was performed for 8-12 year-olds at three County elementary schools on October 5. The troup travelled to three more schools on October 6.
With the guidance of PECI head of drama and native studies, Matt Sheahan, students from that high school take on the roles of Jake, Grandma, Jake`s mother and the nurse for the ten-minute play, which kick-starts a discussion about Alzheimer`s disease.
This initiative represents an innovative community partnership between the school and the Alzheimer Society of Prince Edward County. It gives effect to JC`s vision to have senior students perform for younger ones so that both groups can grow their understanding about dementia and develop strategies to support someone they know who may be living with it. http://countylive.ca/blog/?p=18033&cpage=1#comment-28719
For PECI website coverage, go to http://edu.hpedsb.on.ca/peci/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=664:drama-presentation&catid=38:news&Itemid=225
Rabbi Bulka interviewed JC for an hour-long segment of his Sunday night talk show. Here’s the link to listen in on their conversation about “What My Grandma Means to Say”. On the target page, select the September 18 show.
JC’s Article in Fall Issue of Healthwise Ottawa in Time for World Alzheimer’s Day, September 21, 2011
A three-page feature on “What My Grandma Means to Say” appears in the fall issue of Healthwise Ottawa, “Your local guide to improved health and well-being.” The story traces how “What My Grandma Means to Say” developed from a play into a storybook for children and families in which someone is living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia and overtook JC’s writing life.
September 12:High Tea for health care professionals and educators in Ottawa about “What My Grandma Means to Say”
On Monday, September 12 from 4:00-5:30 p.m., the Glebe Centre hosted a sumptuous High Tea to introduce area educators and health care professionals to “What My Grandma Means to Say,” the storybook and the play for children and families about Alzheimer’s disease. Those attending the event had the opportunity to see first hand how “What My Grandma Means to Say” (in both drama and storybook forms) enables children and families in which someone is living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia to discuss how to handle the challenges such conditions pose. Over forty professionals attended the tea at which representatives of The Glebe Centre and the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County spoke about the use of the material in their work and at which JC Sulzenko gave a dramatic reading of the play.
Here are some of what Resource Links writes for schools and libraries about the book in a recent on-line issue : “Through the first person narrative, Sulzenko draws us into Jake’s inner journey. This book would serve as an excellent stepping-off point for discussions about dementia as a health issue that affects families.”
On Monday, June 13, the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County (www.alzheimer-ottawa-rc.org ) held its annual event in appreciation of the efforts of all its volunteers. JC gave a brief introduction to the play and the storybook. She then presented “What My Grandma Means to Say,” the play, to volunteers, Board members and staff of ASORC. (In the photo, taken by Debbie Seto: left to right – Kelly Lumley-Leger, JC and Caitlin Brydges.) Afterwards, she had an opportunity to chat with many guests and received a very positive response to the reading. Among those honoured that afternoon were people who had volunteered with the organization for over twenty years. JC salutes all the volunteers who assist families and persons living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
JC wrote poems for a loonie or toonie as part of the ARC Poetry Factory at ArtsPark in Hintonburg on May 29. To read the story in the Ottawa West EMC, go to:http://www.emcottawawest.ca/20110602/news/Residents+turn+out+in+support+of+ArtsPark. And see this about a poem for the foodies twosome:http://www.foodieprints.com/item/3735?pending=1#pending. And this link to Pearl’s photos:http://www.flickr.com/photos/pearlpirie/5771522555/in/pool-20543830@N00
JC appeared on Rogers TV for an interview about “What My Grandma Means to Say,” the storybook just launched at the Ottawa International Writers Festival. JC divulged first-hand what drove her to write about Jake and his grandmother, how the story emerged first as a play, and how it evolved in storybook form.
JC is a member of the Ottawa CAA poetry circle, Licence to Quill, which launched its first chapbook, Tangled Strands, at Collected Works last Sunday. The subtitle, “Combing the Muse,” says it all: every poem has something to say about hair ! Contributing poets are: Carol A. Stephen, Lesley Strutt, JC Sulzenko, Rona Shaffran, Laura Etherden, Donald Officer, Elise Hynes. JC’s poems,”Joy Waiting” and “En route,” appear in the collection. Copies of Tangled Strands are available at Collected Works, 1242 Wellington at Holland, in Ottawa or from JC.
Here’s another chance to meet JC and buy a signed copy of What My Grandma Means to Say. JC will be at Collected Works Bookstore 1242 Wellington at Holland on Sunday, June 5, from 1:30-2:30 PM to talk about and sign copies of What My Grandma Means to Say. Come by and chat with JC.
On May 25, JC drove to beautiful Brockville on the St. Lawrence River and spoke at the Wedgewood Authors Series about her experience with What My Grandma Means to Say. She described how she came to write the one-act, ten-minute play for children and how that experience led her to writing the storybook adaptation of the play. She also explained how the play and book are valuable educational tools for families and children. She gave interviews for local media through Series organizer Doreen Barnes and met representatives from the Alzheimer Society of Leeds-Grenville and from public libraries in the area. The Alzheimer Society has purchased copies of What My Grandma Means to Say for each library in the region. “Making copies available at libraries and in schools is exactly the kind of response I hoped the book would receive, ” JC commented. “I am most grateful for the interest shown by the Alzheimer Society in the book and the play.”
The Ottawa International Writers Festival Spring Edition www.writersfestival.org featured the launch of “What My Grandma Means to Say” at Collected Works Bookstore on Sunday, May 1. JC spoke of how she came first to write the one-act play about eleven year-old Jake and his grandmother who is living with Alzheimer’s disease and then of the journey that led her to capture Jake’s whole story in the book and to seek funding for a video production of the play for use in schools and by community groups. Check out interviews in The Orleans Star http://www.orleansstar.ca/News/Local/2011-05-04/article-2477816/Explaining-Alzheimer%26rsquo%3Bs-in-a-storybook/1?action=sendToFriend, Metroland’s Ottawa This Week http://www.yourottawaregion.com/news/article/999686–children-s-book-sheds-light-on-mystery-of-alzheimer-s and on Nightcap on EZ ROCK (99.7 FM) at http://www.ezrock.com/NightCap.aspx.
My article, Children Need to Know, on talking with kids about Alzheimer’s is on page A 19 of the March 28 National Post.
“What My Grandma Means to Say” explores how relationships change when someone in the family is living with Alzheimer’s disease. Videographer Kate Morgan and sound guru Hollis Morgan of Constant Sound Studio caught JC’s reading at a branch of the Ottawa Public Library on video, which is now posted on YouTube.
Get a taste of how the play led to the storybook and hear how the book captures the story of Jake and his grandma. Listen to JC talk about writing. She also explains why it’s important that children, who are often are drawn into the role of caregivers, gain the chance to understand what is happening when a health issue affects someone they love, so that they can develop their own strategies for supporting that person and their family.
At the happy launch of the CD on March 20, JC was thrilled to read “Seasoning” and “Hummingbird Rest” from Fat poems Tall poems Long poems Small. “Hummingbird Rest,” with original background music by Claude Naubert, is the only poem on “Dancing Kites,” which features performances by 17 other Canadian artists. The Ottawa group, Grammas for Ambuyas, compiled the CD to raise funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Copies can be ordered from www.indiepool.com/GTA111. Artists who donated their work to the project include Charlotte Diamond, Raffi, Valdy and Connie Kalder. Ted Harrison provided artwork for the CD’s cover.
JC was delighted to share the stage with performers Maggie G. and Razzmatazz at the launch. She also performed a new work, “A garden and a tree and a giant and me.”
On Friday, February 11, JC read new and favourite poems for elementary school-aged children. She set the scene with poetry from “Fat poems Tall poems Long poems Small,” illustrated by thirteen Ottawa artists. Students from two classes at Hopewell Public School had the chance to hear several new works and works in progress and shared their comments with JC in a ‘writers’ circle.’ ” I always enjoy test-reading my work with children and listen carefully to their feedback. Whenever I can, I take into account in my writing what I have learned from these sessions.”
An exciting month for JC. She welcomed the opportunity from the Ottawa Public Library to give a dramatic reading of her play for children about dementia, What my grandma means to say, at two branches. On January 11, she met 75 grades 3,4 and 5 students from Jockvale Public School at the Ruth E. Dickinson Branch, and on January 12 the St. Laurent Branch arranged for her to visit Queen Elizabeth Public School, where all the students from grades 4, 5 and 6 had the chance to hear her perform her play and to ask questions and comment after her presentation. JC also gave both groups of students a ‘sneak’ preview of the prototype of the book adapted from her play. For children in grades 4-6 and their families, this 46-page, illustrated book tells the whole story about eleven year-old Jake, his mother and grandma in Jake’s own words. Written to encourage families to discuss the challenges that face them all when someone dear to them is living with Alzheimer’s disease, the book includes frequently asked questions and answers, as well as sources of more information. The storybook will be published by General Store Publishing House (www.gsph.com). Download an order form and send or fax it to GSPH if you want a copy for you or someone about whom you care.
JC was quoted in Ottawa This Week’s coverage of the Ottawa Public Library’s Awesome Authors Contest: see http://www.yourottawaregion.com/news/article/926529–last-chance-to-become-an-awesome-author
- The storybook adaptation of my play, What my grandma means to say, has been illustrated beautifully by Gary Frederick (www.gdfpro.com), and is now with the publisher’s designer. This book about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias is written for children in grades 4-6 and their families. It lets Jake share his own story from the time he first notices how his grandma is changing from awesome traveller, bird watcher, and brownie-baker to someone who doesn’t remember his name or where she lives. After she moves to a long-term care residence, the story follows Jake and his family as they adjust to how different their lives together have become.
JC, together with Allison Woyiwada, produces the third annual reading of the Dylan Thomas classic, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, featuring Rob Clipperton, with Ciana Van Dusen and Scott Olson.
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On Saturday, October 23, at 7:30 p.m. at Glebe-St. James United Church, JC joins a panel of local celebrities in Would I lie to you? a benefit organized by the “Ladies’ Killing Circle”, during which “audience members test their deductive powers against panelists, who may or may not be lying through their collective teeth. Highlights of the evening include wine and refreshments, readings, discussion and much more whodunit fun. The Ladies’ Killing Circle is a group of Ottawa crime writers whose seven anthologies of short stories include Menopause is Murder, When Boomers go Bad, and Going Out with a Bang.“
Chairing the panel is the indomitable Mary Jane Maffini, who pens three award-winning mystery series. Proceeds from the evening will go to the Doug Davidson Building Fund and People, and Words and Change Literacy Organization. Tickets: $35. per person. Call 613-236-0617 for information.
JC served as a judge of the English poetry submissions to the 2011 Awesome Authors Contest. The awards ceremony on March 29 was wonderful! JC congratulated all the poets who entred the contest and looks forward to the 2011 pot pourri anthology which will publish the winning poems.
On October 9, the OPL hosted the launch of that year’s pot-pourri 2010, the anthology of winning stories and poems from writers 9-11, 12- 14 and 15-17. JC wrote the foreword to the 178-page book. “You have to read these winning entries for yourself to believe just how talented these young writers are. pot-pourri 2010 is an outstanding collection of stories and poems in English and in French. It makes a fine gift for emerging writers and thoughtful readers of any age,” JC commented on the back jacket. To order copies ($12.95 each), please go to: http://www.ottawapubliclibraryfriends.ca/index_e.html; or contact the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library at 613 580 2424, extension #14383.
JC was thrilled to receive the Order of Friendship Award from the Ottawa Public Library at the June 14, 2010 meeting of its Board. The award recognizes JC’s work as a judge for the OPL’s Awesome Authors Contest for over 6 years. As chair of the Board, Councillor Jan Harder explained in her citation, “The OPL Order of Friendship is awarded to individuals, groups or institutions in recognition of outstanding volunteer contributions to the Ottawa Public Library. The individuals we are honouring this evening certainly have gone above and beyond in their volunteer efforts for the OPL.
“The Awesome Authors’ contest has been a cornerstone of children’s and teens services at the Ottawa Public Library since amalgamation. This bilingual program promotes the importance of writing for young people from ages 9 through 17.
“Each year our judges make their way through hundreds of short stories and poems to weigh their merits and award prizes and honorable mentions. The judges tell us each year that the task is enjoyable, if daunting, and they are continually amazed by the quality of the prize-winning entries. In the past four years these judges have looked at over 1400 entries.
“In addition, the judges take the time to attend our awards ceremony to personally hand out the prizes and give the audience a glimpse into why the winning entries deserved merit — teaching all present what makes a good poem or short story.”
JC has focused in recent years on the English poetry submissions from local, emerging writers and co-edited Pot Pourri, the annual anthology of winning poems and short stories published by the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library (FOPLA.)
In accepting this award, JC expressed thanks for the honour and for having been given the opportunity to be involved in the OPL’s excellent annual contest.”It’s both a challenge and a privilege to read the submissions: a privilege, because of the creativity demonstrated by these young poets; and a challenge to choose the winning entries from among so many original submissions. I look forward every year to the surprises between the lines.!”