Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Announcing the Paul Laurence Dunbar Rondeau Award

In honor of African-American History Month and in memory of a great American poet, the Rondeau Roundup Blog proudly announces the


This award is given to the best rondeau on the subject of African-American history, life or culture submitted for consideration to the Rondeau Roundup Blog starting February 9th (the anniversary of Dunbar's death) and continuing until Friday, February 26th, 2010. The author of the winning rondeau will receive a $50 gift certificate and publication of his/her rondeau on the Rondeau Roundup. Up to five More Than Honorable Mentions may also be selected for publication on the Rondeau Roundup Blog.

Rules of Entry:

Writers of any race or cultural background may enter, but the subject of the rondeau must relate to African-American history, life, or culture.

Only one rondeau may be entered per poet. No entry fee, but entrants are encouraged to make voluntary donations to the United Negro College Fund.

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

"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."

Example of the form: "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 African-American history, life or culture to

rondeauroundup(at) (replace (at) with @) from February 9, 2010 to February 26, 2010.

The title of the winning rondeau will be announced on the Rondeau Roundup Blog on February 28, 2010, with publication of the winning poem and the More than Honorable Mention poems to follow in early March 2010.

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