The Poetry Society of Virginia's annual contest deadline is January 19th (Edgar Allan Poe's birthday). Once again I will be throwing together a batch of entries to see what kind of luck I have with the PSV.
I was a member for years but recently let my membership expire, more because of lack of funds than anything, though I do have a few beefs and annoyance at some certain folks who hold the group back.
It's a very gray, very white organization- is that not being very politic? At (now 58) I had been one of the younger members. Until this year, most of the judges for contests have been members (thus guaranteeing the 'quality' of the winners- or you could argue that 'blandness' would be a better word). The poems were good- but BORING.
(That being said, except for last year I have consistently won and placed in the categories, though I got big nothing last year- I seriously question whether or not my entries got there- some were prize winners for other national contests)
A big effort was made to have 'outside' (non-member) judges this year, though some of those picked are still the School of Quietude folks that will make no appreciable difference in the results, I have great reservations about what will really happen.
I want to be a member- and will be when I enter the contest and pay the fee- I want to support the PSV and see it as a viable voice for poetry in Virginia, but I don't really know if that's possible.
Three years ago, I helped get money to start the Slam Richmond effort- PSV sponsor prizes through the various writing programs for universities in Virginia (sometimes a continuation of the SQ poets), they carry on the tradition of poets and poetry, but I can't say there's much else going on that gives me hope for the future
and before you tell me to put my time and effort where my complaints are- I was a member, vice-president, poetry in the schools chair, and exec comm member for years-