Home Arts & Entertainment Local poetry contest nearly closed to entries, but there’s still time

Local poetry contest nearly closed to entries, but there’s still time


By Sean P. Mulhall

The 46th annual Dyer-Ives Poetry contest is accepting entries through Friday. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three poems in each of the three divisions. Prizes range from $50 to $150. Judges include two GRCC adjunct professors, and a GVSU professor of poetry.

“Online, poetry fills every semester, all summer long,” said Grand Rapids Community College professor, and one of last year’s winners, Katie Kalisz. “A lot of students take it because, they’re thirsting for it. They have an interest because there’s something mysterious about poetry. I think it’s very much alive.”

The three divisions include Kent County K-8 students, Kent County high school and undergraduate students, including Grand Valley State University and Kent County residents attending school outside the county, and Kent County adults and graduate students.

The Dyer-Ives Foundation was started in 1961 and began the poetry contest seven years later. According to Kalisz, the foundation has recently started to sunset.

“A sun-setting foundation is one that is starting to phase out,” said Kailsz. “The co-founders have been looking for someone to take over, but so far have been having trouble.”

A new Poet Laureate for Grand Rapids was announced this past weekend, but who will fund the laureate is the big question. “[The Poet Laureate] was looking for a new home, because the humanities council in Grand Rapids is no longer, and they were the ones that funded the Poet Laureate,” said Kalisz. “Dyer-Ives is the natural place to go, but it’s sunsetting.” With Dyer-Ives’ future so uncertain, the Kent District Public Library will serve as the temporary home until something more permanent is decided.

Students with an interest in poetry still have a few days to submit their work. To submit up to three poems send an email to dyerivespoetry@gmail.com  with a name, address, phone number, and email. Make sure that documents are compatible with requirements listed on the Dyer-Ives website. Follow this link for more details: dyer-ives.org/node/26.