Monday, November 9, 2009

Next Contest at the Rondeau Roundup: A Triolet Challenge

The first two contests at the Rondeau Roundup have been rondeau contests, so it's time to mix it up a bit with another form.

The next contest at the Rondeau Roundup is a Triolet Challenge!

Not familiar with the form? It's an eight-line poem with a strict rhyme scheme:

explanation courtesy

The features of the Triolet are:

* 8 lines.
* Two rhymes.
* 5 of the 8 lines are repeated or refrain lines.
* First line repeats at the 4th and 7th lines.
* Second line repeats at the 8th line.
* Rhyme scheme (where an upper-case letter indicates the appearance of an identical line, while a lower-case letter indicates a rhyme with each line designated by the same lower-case or upper-case letter):

a - Rhymes with 1st line.
A - Identical to 1st line.
a - Rhymes with 1st line.
b - Rhymes with 2nd line.
A - Identical to 1st line.
B - Identical to 2nd line.

Here's another explanation, courtesy

For this contest, I'll accept two(*2*) triolets per entrant, since the form is only eight lines long. For this contest, there is no theme, but only triolets can win. No other form will be accepted. There is no entry fee.

First prize: $25 gift certificate from
Up to five More than Honorable Mentions will also be chosen to appear on the Rondeau Roundup Blog.

Contest opens December 1, 2009 and closes December 28, 2009. Winners will be notified by January 15, 2010.

Send your triolets to
rondeauroundup(at) (replace (at) with @)

in the body of an e-mail message.
No attachments, please. If entering two triolets, put both in the same e-mail.

Here's a sample triolet by your Rondeau mistress to give you an idea of what the form can do:

Triolet for Janis

A Today I need your Texas wail,
B your ragged voice of pain and hurt;
a I need to walk your lonely trail.
A Today I need your Texas wail
a to buoy me up when I grow frail,
b to pick me up from ash and dirt.
A Today I need your Texas wail,
B that ragged voice of pain and hurt.

Allison Joseph

(rhyme scheme marked next to poem for illustrative purposes; you need not include it with your submission)

Autumn Rondeau Contest: More than Honorable Mentions!

Apologies for the delay in getting the Autumn Rondeau Contest More than Honorable Mentions up on the blog! Here they are--you will agree they were worth the wait:

Oak Tree Chronicle

Oak leaves hang on, blithely outride
the wind, swaying dun-colored, dried.
Acorns scatter in jazzy rounds
of random drumming on the ground,
the squirrels’ come-and-get-it guide.

Though almost in tatters beside
birches gorgeous in gold as brides
papery yellows swirling down,
oak leaves hang on.

School kids shuffle kicking sky high
red mauve confetti as they glide
laugh and leap into crackling sounds.
Hickory, maple, jumbled mounds
raked and vacuumed, dumped, nullified.
Oak leaves hang on.

Charlotte Mandel

Bio: Charlotte Mandel's seventh book of poetry ROCK VEIN SKY (Midmarch Arts Press) was listed as a Best Poetry Book Read for Fall 2008 by Monserrat Review. Previous titles include two poem-novellas of feminist biblical revision, The Life of Mary, and The Marriages of Jacob. She recently retired from teaching poetry writing for several years at Barnard College Center for Research on Women. Visit her at Charlotte Mandel.

Fall Rondeau

It’s fall. I’m knitting pairs of winter socks
and trying not to see the veeing flocks
fleeing South. Traitors. It’s not cold
yet. The locals have just begun to fold
away the lawn chairs, to pull up the docks.

Instead of raking, or taking rambling walks
I sit outside, stitch and purl the sumac’s
flaming red, the elm’s glowing gold.
It’s fall I’m knitting

into these socks. My Southern blood balks
at the Midwestern winter coming. It stalks
my every thought. And yet, each sock that’s rolled
off my needles staves off winter’s toehold.
It’s fall. I’m knitting.

Heidi Czerwiec

Bio: Heidi Czerwiec is assistant professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of North Dakota, where she is the Director of the annual UND Writers Conference. She is the author of Hiking the Maze (Finishing Line Press, 2009), the recipient of a 2009 Bush Foundation/Dakota Creative Connections artist grant, and has poems and translations published or forthcoming in Measure, Nimrod, Evansville Review, Southern Indiana Review, Hunger Mountain, and International Poetry Review.

Rondeau: Autumn Leaves

These autumn leaves -- they burn citrine
As pumpkins glow. The stiff rake leans
Upon the apple tree, its fruit
Decayed and brown along the roots.
We dress warm, groom the backyard clean --

We make three heaps, breathe the pristine
Air. The sky: fat, a nectarine --
Now blackens to a crown of soot.
These autumn leaves --

It's all we care for, all we've seen
All day. Our mother says fifteen
Minutes and to wipe off our boots
Before coming in. But we hoot
Like imps; burst, like a time machine,
These autumn leaves.

William Soule

Bio: William Soule is a young poet currently living in Utah. His works have appeared in Read This Magazine, elimae, Tattoo Highway, and the delinquent, among others — he is also a former One Night Stanzas Featured Poet. He runs the webzine Clearfield Review, and works as a Literature Gallery Director for artist-networking site deviantART.

Texan's Lament

I miss the hues of death, the flaming trees,
the rotting sweetness carried by the breeze.
Escaping winter meant I made a trade -
I had to give up seeing summer fade -
surrendering fall to avoid the freeze.

I even miss the mold that made me sneeze -
the microbes in the air that made me wheeze.
Perhaps up north is where I should have stayed.
I miss the hues of death.

The faded green leaves here do not appease
my need for change, a turning climate's tease.
This was my choice - can't say I was betrayed;
and yet each year I find myself dismayed
when autumn does not visit me with ease.
I miss the hues of death.

Dorla Moorehouse

Bio: Dorla Moorehouse is a writer, dancer, and bookseller living in Austin, Texas. When not pursuing one of these three careers, she serves as the poetry editor of Gloomcupboard. You can find out more about her work at her blog, Dorla's Poetry and Prose.

A Distant Line of Hills

The air is clear, and leaves, undone,
drift in zigzags – russet, crimson.
Wild purple phlox and goldenrod
in rearview mirrors wave and nod,
like summer’s parting guests. And on

the complicated road we run
we take a deeper breath. The sun
ignites a sumac’s velvet pods.
The air is clear

and apple-crisp; light is honey
on tree-trunks in the afternoon.
We didn’t know, and find it odd:
behind the slowly molting woods
lies a long and low horizon.
The air is clear.

David Eye

Bio: David Eye earned a midlife MFA at Syracuse University in 2008. This followed a 17-year career in the theatre, and four years in the military, so he may be the only poet who has spent time in both the U.S. Army and Cats. While at SU, he garnered awards for his work as a writing instructor, and interned at BOA Editions, Ltd. His poems have appeared in Waccamaw Journal, Stone Canoe, roger, and Critical Encounters with Texts, a university reader. This fall, David is teaching English composition at St. John's University and will be conducting workshops at Manhattan College. He is completing his first book of poems, mostly during the hour-and-a-half commute from Harlem to Staten Island.