Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Autumn Rondeau Contest: No Entry Fee! (Deadline Extended!)

Thanks to those eagle-eyed readers of this blog who spotted the typo in the e-mail address for submissions.  Because of that typo, I'm extending the deadline. Thanks for your patience!

Autumn Rondeau Contest: No Entry Fee!

The Rondeau Roundup is looking forward to fall colors, warm sweaters, and mellow sips of cider by the fireplace. To welcome in Fall 2009, the Rondeau Roundup blog is having a contest for the best rondeau on the topic of AUTUMN submitted by October 2, 2009.

Contest Rules:

Only one rondeau may be submitted per person. No entry fee. Top five rondeaus will be published on the blog (therondeauroundup.blogspot.com). The first place rondeau will also receive a $35 gift certificate from Amazon.com

For this contest, I'm looking for rondeaus that follow the standard definition, as given on poets.org

"The rondeau’s form is not difficult to recognize: as it is known and practiced today, it is composed of fifteen lines, eight to ten syllables each, divided stanzaically into a quintet, a quatrain, and a sestet. The rentrement consists of the first few words or the entire first line of the first stanza, and it recurs as the last line of both the second and third stanzas. Two rhymes guide the music of the rondeau, whose rhyme scheme is as follows (R representing the refrain): aabba aabR aabbaR."

Examples of the form: "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae, "We Wear the Mask" by Paul Laurence Dunbar.

No other poetic form will be accepted for this contest. Non-rhyming rondeaus can be entered, but the blog moderator's preference is for rhymed and metered rondeaus.

To enter, send a single rondeau on the topic of AUTUMN to

rondeauroundup(at)gmail.com (replace (at) with @) by October 2, 2009.

Winners will be announced on the Rondeau Roundup Blog on October 15, 2009.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Love Rondeau Contest More-than-Honorable Mentions!

Here are the poems that were chosen as "More-than-Honorable Mentions" in the Rondeau Roundup's Love Rondeau Contest! Enjoy!

Spin Cycle

Love tumbles us through mundane life,
a rolling cylinder, we dive
into the dirty clothes we wash.
The scent of soap cuts clean across

daily bores of husband and wife—
a cotton kiss on pillows rife
with surprise in a rigid hive.
The wash, dry, fold, so far from posh.
Love tumbles us

into breaking, spinning alive
in cycles that turn us in strife,
foggy suds that leave us awash.
Each feeling we coddled and tossed
settles, fresh snap as you arrive
love tumbles us.

Tara Betts

Bio: Tara Betts is the author of Arc and Hue.  Tara is a Cave Canem fellow and a graduate of the New England College MFA Program.  She currently teaches at Rutgers University and leads community-based workshops with teens and other groups.  Tara's work has appeared in Essence, Black Renaissance Noire, Hanging Loose, Ninth Letter,Obsidian III, Callaloo, and Columbia Poetry ReviewGathering Ground, Bum Rush the Page, and both Spoken Word Revolution anthologies. She is also a poetry editor for The November 3rd Club, an online journal of political writing.

My, What Big Wishes I Had

I could not calculate my nature then,
too stunned by street and kitchen din.
Oh, the summer city bruised but did not
burn me, the night’s load of slushy heat caught
by sooty screens that let no breezes in.

That was before your autumn weather’s spin
undid me, its blue, lake-bitten wind,
chrome-dented light, and all its heart-cold plot.
I could not calculate my nature then.

No taffeta and locket, my old friend,
no sweet and butter-crumble, no bride, when
I thought nothing mattered but a love knot.
Loving you was always the long-shot,
a blind bet, underlay, the dividend
I could not calculate.

Susan Elbe

Bio: Susan Elbe is the author of Eden in the Rearview Mirror (Word Press) which received Honorable Mention for the Posner Book-Length Poetry Award, and a chapbook, Light Made from Nothing (Parallel Press). Her poems appear or are forthcoming in AscentBlackbirdDiodeOchoMARGIE, and North American Review. Her work has also been widely anthologized, including in A Fierce Brightness: Twenty-Five Years of Women's Poetry (Calyx Books), On Retirement: 75 Poems (University of Iowa Press), and Eating the Pure Light: Homage to Thomas McGrath (The Backwaters Press). She currently works as a Webmaster in Madison, Wisconsin. Her web site is www.susanelbe.com.

We Love As You Do

We love as you do, more or less:
The careless talk, the bland caress,
Selective ear, ironic brow,
Companion silences—and how
We waste our weekends, you can guess.

We do not hunger to transgress.
Although we’re still, with some success,
Denied a sanctioned marriage vow,
We love as you do.

We bicker, misconstrue, express
ambivalence when we undress.
Think mainly of yourself if now
We lobby leaders to allow
Our share of that dull happiness
We love as you do.

Buzz Mauro

Bio: Buzz Mauro received his MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Tampa Review,River StyxNOON,  Poet Lore, and other magazines, and is currently featured on www.barcelonareview.com. He can be reached at buzz.mauro@comcast.net.

Lost Love, in Memoriam

October leaves brush by the door.
I hardly recall what I wore
yesterday, yet fifteen years comes
back easily enough--a pet, some
unwanted but familiar chore

to break up the afternoon before
I accomplish too much. Before
I can savor autumn's sweet crumb,
October leaves.

Cider, gourds, dried corn are no more
than dreams, figments, epitaphs or
the palest ghost of bubblegum
on his desk. Lost, my hushed succumb
to kisses by the sycamore.
October leaves.

R. Elena Prieto

Bio: R. Elena Prieto is a graduate of the creative writing program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.  Prior to being published by Rondeau Roundup, her work has appeared in Compass Rose, both online and in print.

It Isn't What I Thought

It isn’t what I thought. It can’t compare
with the early days,
she said, so don’t despair
when snooze is all you do in bed, and lust,
if it exists, turns out to be a bust
because equipment fails or needs repair.

It’s natural. Attraction fades. Prepare
yourself for less romance with age and share
a deeper love. Don’t worry. You’ll adjust.

It isn’t what I thought:

He’s at his sexiest with silver hair,
my menopause is freeing. Our kids declare
us old and passionless as they combust
with hormones, assuming that the thrust
of us is talk, now, and sex is rare –
it isn’t.

Marybeth Rua-Larsen

Bio: Marybeth Rua-Larsen lives on the south coast of Massachusetts.  Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in:  Measure, 14 by 14, Soundzine, The Recusant, The Raintown Review, Two Review and The Worcester Review, among others. 


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Love Rondeau Contest Winner!

Rondeau with NASA Article

The coldest known object in space
is very unnatural: fallen from grace
the now-defunct hunk of metal
haunts the outer dark, starts to settle
into absolute zero’s embrace.

I once knew how that felt. Three days
at forty below, betrayed, a carapace
of ice, I felt unloved and brittle,
the coldest known object

in North Dakota. Beyond night’s black lace
above me something drifts close, grazes
the craft – the friction’s warmth little
but, like yours, enough – a subtle
nudge that now makes something else
the coldest known object.

Heidi Czerwiec

Heidi Czerwiec is assistant professor of English and creative writing at the University of North Dakota, where she directs the UND Writers Conference. She is the author of Hiking the Maze (Finishing Line, 2009) and the recipient of a Bush Foundation/Dakota Creative Connections grant, and has poetry and translations published or forthcoming in Measure, Connecticut Review, The Evansville Review, International Poetry Review, and Nimrod.