Monday, June 23, 2014

Robert Furrow, Man of Many Categories: Military, Retired, Published, World-travelled, Octogenarian, South Dakota Returnee

Poet: Robert Furrow
Poem: Little Man
Award: 2011, Honorable Mention

"I am 87 years old, and wrote some poems while attending New Underwood High School, but let my interest drop after that.  I graduated in 1944, then enlisted in the Navy.  I liked it so I stayed for 30 years, then worked another 20 years in Civil Service for the Navy.
About 1975 I got interested in poetry again, as well as lyric writing. Several entries to a Nashville contest got nowhere.
Then while I was living in Pennsylvania, a friend got me started posting poems on line, at Prose-n-Poetry.

I built quite a collection and got some very nice critiques from other poets. Then in 2002, Prose-n-Poetry decided to publish an anthology, called "Tides of the Heart, the Best of Prose-n-Poetry." They selected four of my poems, and I even got a little royalty money from that.
That was the year I moved to Spearfish, and joined the Spearfish Writers Group. One of our exercises was to write a short story.  My story kept getting longer and longer so I finally turned it into a book.  I published it in 2009, under the title "The Accidental Executioner."  I call it a murder-mystery-romance novel.

When I found I could get a book published I decided to collect all my other works and put them in a book. In 2012 I published "Lyrics, Limericks and Poems."  Little Man is included in the book. As a matter of interest, I submitted Little Man to Cowboy Poetry and they rejected it. They said, not because it was a bad poem, but it didn't fit their guidelines."

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Few Words From Our Award Winners

In case any of the writers are curious about their fellow authors who will be represented in the anthology with them, I thought I might post some of the biographical information that is coming in. I'll start with our very first 1st place winner followed by the first person to respond to the request for info, who happens to be the 3rd place winner of this year.

Poet: Bill Donovan
Poem: Palmistry
Award: 2002, 1st Place 

"I was born eastern South Dakota, graduated from Northern State University, Aberdeen, SD. I taught on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation at Eagle Butte, SD for 33 years, retiring in 1996 at which time I moved to my present home right outside of Rapid City.  I have been very content with retirement and recommend it highly.

About Poem: The setting for ""Palmistry"" is Progresso, Mexico.  Other than that it is self-explanatory.

About the contest: I was very pleased to receive a 1st place prize. There was some money attached to that and I remember thinking I must use it for something special which I am sure I did but don't remember what!"

Poet: Bradley Soule
Poem: The Graves at Hiawatha Asylum
Award: 2014, 3rd Place

"In terms of a bio, I was born and raised in Vermont but have now made South Dakota my home. My wife Jennifer was born and raised here. We retired and returned after careers in psychiatry (me) and college teaching (my wife). Poetry has long been a part of our lives and we now devote full time to this.

In terms of the asylum, we have both written on this topic. We were living in Canton when we learned of it and were impelled to study it by our respective professional backgrounds. We undertook consultation with the Indian Studies department at USD to assure that our work would offend no one. Both of us have worked for the federal government in mental health, which (we feel) gave us our own legitimate interests in a federal insane asylum that had operated in what had become our home town. Our scholarly work (prose) was published in the South Dakota Medical Journal and Indian Country Today."

Denise's Note: Throughout the years there have been a few winners who I knew outside of the poetry world through friends, family or other activities in town. The majority, however, have been like Bradley Soule, someone I knew nothing about other than the poem written. Bill was somewhere in between. He's one of those people you think you know because of the familiarity of seeing each other at multiple poetry readings. When a regular stops coming, eventually someone asks "Remember so and so? Whatever happened to that guy? I haven't seen whatshername in a long time; does she still live around here?" Turns out with Bill we could have answered that question easily. He's one of the few people with the same phone number that he gave for contact info back in 2002.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

eBook Timeline

My first attempt to change the appearance of this blog did not go quite as planned. I have not given up--a priority to post content has merely postponed the effort.

eBook Update:
I have enjoyed reading the material that has been filtering in. It's been great learning about the various authors and reading the poems, some for the first time. There really have been some excellent poems come through our contest.

Tentative Timeline:

June 7-15         send a request-for-info reminder to authors who have expressed interest in project
June 25             assume all material received is what we have to work with
June 26-July 1   scan poems we weren't able to find electronic copies of, scan posters
July 1-31           take care of all editing, basic design, layout and naming.
July 1-Aug 31    learn everything about epublishing possible. format and publish book