Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Trio of Triolets Contest Update


Thanks to all the poets who sent entries for the Trio of Triolets Contest.

I received far more entries than I anticipated, and have a lot of reading to do.

Winners will be informed of their winning status on or before December 15, 2017.

In addition to winners featured on the blog, I’m planning to create a PDF anthology of triolets from this contest.  If your triolet is selected for the PDF anthology (tentatively titled Terrific Triolets), I will let you know by January 15, 2018. This downloadable anthology will be the first entirely triolet anthology published (please correct me if you know of another).

Best,
Allison Joseph, Editor
The Rondeau Roundup

Monday, September 18, 2017

Publication Award: Learning to Cope Poetry Prize

A publication award-winner  from one of our recent contests, the Learning to Cope Poetry Prize!

How Our New Immigration Policies are Like the Bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef

... as the algae provide the coral with 90% of its energy, after expelling the algae the coral begins to starve. –Wikipedia on coral bleaching

Starvation starts the day you spit them out,
those guests you harbored, off whose strength you fed
until the times turned hard. You had some doubts
but didn’t dare show weakness. So you led

with confidence. “We don’t need them,” you said.
You drove them off; you celebrate the rout
insisting it will make us strong. Instead,
starvation starts the day you spit them out.

Just listen to the garbage that you spout
to feed the hate, whip up the fear and dread.
It’s criminal, the lies you tell about
those guests you harbored, off whose strength you fed.

We all were glad enough to eat the bread
they baked and use their labor in our drought-
struck fields. Oh yes, it’s all good fellowship ahead
until the times turned hard. You had some doubts,

I think. I could be wrong. You always shout
the loudest when you’re anxious. That inbred
team of flunkies trembled at your pout
but didn’t dare show weakness. So you led—

at least, you call it leading. Better dead
than stranded in some borderland redoubt
the wrong side of the national watershed.
And when you close that border to the south—
starvation starts.

 Tiel Aisha Ansari

Friday, September 8, 2017

Finalist: Ballade (Not Ballad) Contest: Elizabeth Ehrlich

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Brighton Palace Ballade

A wounded conscript far from home
dangled, drugged in bloody grief,
woke to missing limb and bone
and gazed around in disbelief—
the jeweled hall and glittering gold-leaf,
a hospital commissioned from a vain
king’s palace for the War Relief.
No other vacant space remained.

Ten decades on, we tourists roam
the seaside town for pleasures brief
and smart, like the Palace, known
for its excess and art. Now our chief
goal is a good spot in which to leave
our car and start our tour before it rains.
We circle, stalk the street like thieves
but not a vacant space remains.

To us it's just a lovely hunk of stone, 
but once, a soldier lay beneath
the ornate frescoes, gilded domes,
with bitterness between his teeth
for this hard mess, though with relief
to be alive. So many tossed in pain
in their brave beds— call it reprieve—
that not a vacant space remained.

The earth is full of dead men. See
his words within a picture frame:
War is like leaves falling off a tree
and not a vacant space remains.

Elizabeth Ehrlich

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Finalist: Ballade (Not Ballad) Contest: Susan McLean

Ballade of Useful Advice

Some lessons in life are clear from the start:
if you pray for a snow day, it never snows;
toys and families fall apart;
umbrellas don’t help when a stiff wind blows;
a wart starts small, yet it always grows.
As Mom advised me when I was a tyke,
every “free gift” has its quid pro quos,
and you never forget how to fall off a bike.

It isn’t shrewd to reveal you’re smart,
for an envious friend makes the worst of foes.
What doesn’t make sense, if you call it art,
will impress your teachers and win at shows.
From puberty on, you’ll observe that those
who desire you are seldom the ones you like.
You’ll give one yes to a dozen noes,
but you never forget how to fall off a bike.

It’s not the rejection that breaks your heart,
but the way that happiness comes, then goes.
The path to contentment is not on a chart.
The banker reaps what the saver sows.
When visiting Paris, you never suppose
that the government workers will go on strike
and every sight in the town will close.
But you never forget how to fall off a bike.

The truest wisdom, as anyone knows,
you learn before studying Intro to Psych:
you’ll have time to relax when you decompose,
and you never forget how to fall off a bike.

Susan McLean


Susan McLean is an English professor at Southwest Minnesota State University. Her poems have appeared often in Light, Lighten Up Online, Measure, Mezzo Cammin, and elsewhere.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Winner of the Ballade (Not Ballad) Contest: Jennifer Perrine

Happy to share the winner of the Ballade (Not Ballad) Contest "Greed|Charity" by Jennifer Perrine!

Greed | Charity

In purgatory, penitents are bound,
immobile, laid with faces pressed
down, gazes fixed upon the ground
as they contemplate every excess.
We thrill to imagine their holy distress,
take pleasure in the sufferings
Dante conjured, horrors meant to impress
us, sate our love for earthly things.

We enter the fire a crude compound,
sizzle until we incandesce,
until we’re nothing but a mound
of gold, stripped of the dross of worldliness.
Origen’s metaphor doesn’t hold unless
we ignore our end: coin clutched in the purse strings
of God. Still, we ask the divine to assess
us, sate our love for earthly things.

Whatever peace we may have found
through our acquiring, our largesse—
how our generosity astounds—
harbors the low rumble of pain we repress,
afterimage of the dispossessed
we try to shake, but our senses cling
to the hoardings, petty thefts that possess
us, sate our love for earthly things.

We don’t trick, manipulate—simply say yes
when offered our due share as conquerors, kings,
and with grace, tip our crowns as we beg, bless
us, sate our love for earthly things.

Jennifer Perrine is the author of three books of poetry: No Confession, No Mass (2015), In the Human Zoo (2011), and The Body Is No Machine (2007). Find out more about her at .
 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Guidelines: A Trio of Triolets Contest


A TRIO OF TRIOLETS CONTEST
Sponsored by the Rondeau Roundup
http://therondeauroundup.blogspot.com/

This contest is a contest for the triolet form of poetry.

A triolet is a poetic form with a set rhyme scheme and two refrains, indicated here by A and B:

A          I marched to set my spirit free--
B          took to the streets with old and young.
a          I marched to gain my liberty.
A          I marched to set my spirit free,
a          to shake the wrath of history,
b          to sing what needed to be sung.
A          I marched to set my sprit free,
B          took to the streets with old and young.     
                        Allison Joseph

More information about triolets can be found at this link:

This contest, sponsored by the Rondeau Roundup blog, will honor the best
group of 3 triolets  submitted between September 15 and November 1, 2017.

Entry to the contest is free. 
Each entry should be three triolets.
One entry of three triolets per entrant.
To participate, send one entry only to
rondeauroundupATgmailDOTcom
from September 15 through November 1, 2017

The best group of 3—the best “trio,” if you will—will be awarded $50 and publication on the Rondeau Roundup Blog.  Other entries may be selected for lesser cash awards and/or publication.

Winners of the Ballade (Not Ballad) Contest!!

Thanks to those intrepid poets who entered the Ballade (Not Ballad) Contest, sponsored by the Rondeau Roundup Blog!

I appreciated all the entries so much and I’m pleased to announce the following winners:

Winners:

$100 winner, with publication to come on the Rondeau Roundup Blog:
Jennifer Perrine: “Greed/Charity”

Finalists:  $25 awards and publication on the Rondeau Roundup Blog:

Elizabeth Ehrlich: “Brighton Palace Ballade”
Susan MacLean: “Ballade of Useful Advice”

Publication Awards:
Nicole Heneveld: “Speechless”
Amy Baskin: “After the Crash”

Winners of the Ballade (Not Ballad) Contest will appear on the Rondeau Roundup Blog throughout September 2017.

Our next contest at the Rondeau Roundup Blog will the a “Trio of Triolets” contest.
Watch the blog for contest guidelines!

Thank you for your participation!

All best,
Allison Joseph
The Rondeau Roundup Blog

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Update on the Ballade (Not Ballad) Contest!

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 UPDATE ON THE BALLADE (NOT BALLAD) CONTEST:


Thanks so much to the poets who entered the Ballade (Not Ballad) Contest, sponsored by the Rondeau Roundup Blog.  The blog received entries from poets around the country and overseas!

I’m reading the entries, and will announce the winners on or before August 22, 2017
(I’m giving myself extra time because my region is being consumed by the madness surrounding the Great American Eclipse). Eclipse Information

I appreciate all the entries so much!

Best,
Allison Joseph
The Rondeau Roundup Blog

New Post! Publication Award Winner, Learning to Cope Poetry Prize


A Blooming Scandal

Forget-me-nots grow in her pubic hair
the gossips say, and one man surely knows —
her gamekeeper who plants his seeds down there,
the man who calls her labia his rose.

Lord Chatterley must know, we all suppose
with all the talk about the trysting pair
that hidden by his bored wife’s underclothes,
forget-me-nots grow in her pubic hair.

Most women of her station would not dare
face condemnation that her class bestows, 
but Lady Chatterley has not a care
the gossips say, and one man surely knows.

When not protecting pheasant chicks from crows
or catching pesky weasels in his snare,
he kisses Constance from her head to toes,
her gamekeeper who plants his seeds down there.

And though her reputation’s past repair,
her carnal self is radiant and glows
thanks to her partner in this wild affair —
the man who calls her labia his rose.

Their scandal lives in poetry and prose,
so moralists and censors should beware,
since gossip spreads like fire, and I propose
the thought that it will live as long as they’re
forget-me-nots.


Joan Wiese Johannes’ poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals, and her fourth chapbook, He Thought the Periodic Table Was a Portrait of God, was published by Finishing Line Press. Its title poem won the Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest, and she has also won the Triad and Trophy Poem contests sponsored by Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. She co-edited the 2012 Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets’ Calendar with her husband Jeffrey and enjoys collaborating with him on projects, including a crown of sonnets, Happily After After, with his illustrations. Joan agrees with the stage manager in "Our Town," who mused that only poets and saints truly appreciate life while living it. Although not a candidate for sainthood, she enjoys a good life with her husband in Port Edwards, Wisconsin. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

New Post: Tom C. Hunley, Finalist, Learning to Cope Prize

God’s Lonely Man
          Film Student in Peking: What do I do with the loneliness?
            Martin Scorsese: Very often I try to  put it into the work.
            Film student (a few days later): I tried putting it into the work, but it doesn’t go away.
            Scorsese: No, it doesn’t go away. There’s no magic cure.” – Scorcese on Scorcese, David
            Thompson and Ian Christie, eds.)
I’m the only one here. My name is Travis, Travis B.
I’m a lonely man, and I’m a sleepless man, a confused man.
Are you talking to me? Will you please talk to me?
I believe my stomach may be riddled with cancer.

My yellow cab gets washed by a gushing fire hydrant.
A car backfires – I’m back in Nam, ducking Charlie.
I pop tranquilizers and wet my cereal with peach brandy.
I’m the only one here. My name is Travis, Travis B.

The prostituted Times Square night is lit by bodies
Pressing together like match heads and cement. Damn,
How I’d like to be a heavy rain that washes this city,
But I’m just a lonely man, a sleepless man, a confused man.

I took this lovely angel, Betsy, to see Swedish Marriage Manual,
But she scuttered into someone else’s cab. Oh Betsy!
There’s so much I can’t quite say, but I know you’d understand.
Are you talking to me? Will you please talk to me?

Sweet Iris, a 12-year-old whore, jumped in my back seat,
Followed by her pimp, Sport, who wore an Indian headband.
He grabbed her arm and tossed me a balled up twenty.
I believe my stomach may be riddled with cancer.

The morning sunlight nearly blinds me. I walk in a trance.
How did this loneliness get in me? Do I drink it in my coffee?
It wants to come out, like steam billowing from a manhole.
Are you talking to me? Are you pointing that .38 at me?
I’m the only one here.
Tom C. Hunley

Tom C. Hunley is a professor in the MFA/BA Creative Writing programs at Western Kentucky University, the director of Steel Toe Books, and the lead singer/guitarist of Night of the Living Dead Poets Society and Dr. Tom and the Mini-Mes. His poetry collections include PLUNK (Wayne State College Press 2015) and THE STATE THAT SPRINGFIELD IS IN (Split Lip Press 2016). In 2015 Southern Illinois University press published CREATIVE WRITING PEDAGOGIES FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY, an essay collection that he co-edited with Alexandria Peary.

New Post: Uche Ogbuji, Finalist, Learning to Cope Prize

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Hellgate

        Per me si va ne la città dolente,/…/Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate.–Dante

The country of gloom lies right through this door;
Eternal pain prepared beyond this gate;
They’re lost who know what this passage is for;
As you enter, accept your hopeless fate.

Reading this sign has me in quite the state;
Isn’t this the U.S., I ask the bored
Agent at the high desk, that you designate
The country of gloom, set right through that door?

He looks down at me to say: We know your sort,
Coming on no matter how we regulate
Entry. It’s time we stir up what’s in store–
Eternal pain prepared beyond this gate

For those who don’t belong. I fear to debate
The issue at this moment and step forward,
Passport out, eyeing the side hall soiled with wait–
They’re lost who know what that passage is for,

Deported, renditioned, unfortunate poor
Supplicants and refugees burning in state
Within their circles. He grins his knowing scorn:
As you enter, accept your hopeless fate.

This new regime has measured up the score.
We’ve had endless riffraff come on in freight;
It’s the cut glass welcome mat for any more.
Might we convince you not to infiltrate
This country in gloom.

Uche Ogbuji


Uche Ogbuji, born in Calabar, Nigeria, lived in Egypt, England and elsewhere before settling near Boulder, Colorado. A computer engineer and entrepreneur by trade, his poetry chapbook, Ndewo, Colorado (Aldrich Press) is a Colorado Book Award Winner, and a Westword Award Winner ("Best Environmental Poetry"). His poems, published worldwide, fuse Igbo culture, European classicism, American Mountain West setting, and Hip-Hop. He co-hosts the Poetry Voice podcast, featured in the Best New African Poets anthology, and was shortlisted for Nigeria's Eriata Oribhabor Poetry Prize.

New Post: Susan McLean, Finalist, Learning to Cope Poetry Prize

Learning to Cope

She learned to cope with every trick they tried
to keep her down.  To put her in her place,
they said she was incompetent. (They lied.)
But every setback has a saving grace.

A snail must cross a field at a snail’s pace,
and yet it still may reach the other side.
Scaling each log or ditch she had to face,
she learned to cope. With every trick they tried,

her path grew more oblique.  She learned to hide
behind a noncommittal smile, erase
hints of determination.  Satisfied
to keep her down, to put her in her place,

they failed to see, at first, she’d moved a space
forward.  Just one.  No challenge to their pride,
control, or dominance.  But, just in case,
they said she was incompetent.  They lied

that her advance was due to a free ride.
“The methods that some women will embrace
to get ahead!” they muttered, narrow-eyed.
But every setback has a saving grace.

They never saw her hand concealed an ace:
persistence was the only ploy she plied.
And though she might not win the steeplechase,
with every hurdle that she took in stride      
she learned to cope.

Susan McLean

Susan McLean is an English professor at Southwest Minnesota State University. Her poems have appeared often in Light, Lighten Up Online, Measure, Mezzo Cammin, and elsewhere.

Monday, May 8, 2017

New Contest: the Ballade (Not Ballad) Contest!!!

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A blog for the exploration, appreciation and publication of the rondeau, rondel, roundel, rondeau redouble, rondolet, triolet, and ballade invites you to participate in its next contest: 

The Ballade (Not Ballad) Contest!
 
This contest is for the best poem written in the ballade form. A ballade (for the purposes of this contest) is a poem of 28 lines with the following rhyme scheme:

A ballade poem should have three stanzas and an envoy/ envoi. The rhyming pattern for the stanzas is ababbcbC. The rhyming pattern for the envoy is bcbC.

For more information on writing a ballade: https://www.youngwriters.co.uk/types-ballade

One of my favorite examples of a poem in this form is by Dorothy Parker:

Ballade Of A Great Weariness

There's little to have but the things I had,
There's little to bear but the things I bore.
There's nothing to carry and naught to add,
And glory to Heaven, I paid the score.
There's little to do but I did before,
There's little to learn but the things I know;
And this is the sum of a lasting lore:
Scratch a lover, and find a foe.

And couldn't it be I was young and mad
If ever my heart on my sleeve I wore?
There's many to claw at a heart unclad,
And little the wonder it ripped and tore.
There's one that'll join in their push and roar,
With stories to jabber, and stones to throw;
He'll fetch you a lesson that costs you sore:
Scratch a lover, and find a foe.

So little I'll offer to you, my lad;
It's little in loving I set my store.
There's many a maid would be flushed and glad,
And better you'll knock at a kindlier door.
I'll dig at my lettuce, and sweep my floor,
Forever, forever I'm done with woe.
And happen I'll whistle about my chore,
"Scratch a lover, and find a foe."

L'ENVOI

Oh, beggar or prince, no more, no more!
Be off and away with your strut and show.
The sweeter the apple, the blacker the core:
Scratch a lover, and find a foe!

Contest opens June 15, 2017 and closes August 1, 2017.  The winner will receive $100 and publication on the Rondeau Roundup blog.  For this contest, no other form will be accepted (we’re looking for the French form here, not the English story-telling form).  Contest results will be posted on or before August 15, 2017.  Contest is free to enter. To participate, send one and only one ballade to rondeauroundupATgmailDOTcom in the body of your email.
Presenting the first-place winner of the Learning to Cope Prize!

Rondeau Redoublé: Final Stage

I pray I never do those sorts of things
that made me once deride and dread old age —
the trivial and pointless ramblings
that signal we’ve come to the final stage.

The telltale signs and acts by which we gauge
decline: saving scraps of paper, bits of strings,
dozing off halfway down each page.
I pray I never do those sorts of things.

I pray that I can curb my mutterings
and sotto voce scolds, restrain my rage
at every new contraption progress brings,
that made me once deride and dread old age,

weather the trials and traumas that presage
the end: the mind’s demise, the wanderings,
the fears no cheerful banter can assuage,
the trivial and pointless ramblings

of friends, their lapses and imaginings.
I pray to find the wit and will to wage
defense against outrageous fortune’s slings
that signal I’ve come to the final stage.

Though each of us may play both fool and sage,
Though darkness may be gathering in the wings,
This is no time to rest, to disengage,
no time to give up on our hungerings.
I pray I never do.
--Toni Clark

Antonia (Toni) Clark is a medical writer, editor, poet, and teacher, and she co-administers an online poetry forum, The Waters. She is the author of a chapbook, Smoke and Mirrors, and a full-length poetry collection, Chameleon Moon. Her poems and short stories have appeared in numerous print and online journals, including Anderbo, The Cortland Review, Eclectica, The Missouri Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Rattle, and Softblow. Toni lives in Vermont, loves French picnics, and plays French café music on a sparkly purple accordion.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Learning to Cope Poetry Prize (Rondeau Redouble)
Sponsored by the Rondeau Roundup Blog

  
Dear Entrants:

I received so many fine examples of this complex form that I had to invent new categories for the winning poets:

Winner: $100 and publication on the Rondeau Roundup Blog
Toni Clark, for “Rondeau Redouble: Final Stage”

Finalists:  $25 and publication on the Rondeau Roundup Blog
Susan MacLean, for “Learning to Cope”
Tom Hunley, for “God’s Lonely Man”
Uche Ogbuji, for “Hellgate”

Publication Awards: Publication on the Rondeau Roundup Blog:
Tiel Aisha Ansari, for “How Our New Immigration Policies are Like the Bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef”
Joan Wiese Johannes, for “A Blooming Scandal”

I so enjoyed reading these poems—the level of craft was so very high!  Thanks to all the folks who submitted poems for consideration.

The poems will be on the blog throughout the month of May.

Thanks so much,
Allison Joseph, Editor
The Rondeau Roundup

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Rondeau Fridays!

First in a series of new rondeaus!  Here's a new one by poet Jeff Santosusso!
 
 
 
 
Perfect Circles 

In rotation, ankles and feet
pedal the bicycle, athlete
in rhythm, turning like the wheels,
geometric precision, feel
of perfection with her heartbeat.

Balance, left and right, in replete
bilateral harmony, feat
of grace, constant motion, ideal
in rotation.

To climb the hill, rise in the seat,
exchanging downbeat and upbeat,
posture more upright, toes and heels
thrusting, knees and thighs. Spin appeals
to the sense of rising, complete
in rotation.
 
 
 
 
Jeff Santosuosso is a business consultant and award-winning poet living in Pensacola, FL.  A member of the Florida State Poets Society, he is Editor-in-Chief of panoplyzine.com, an online journal dedicated to poetry and short prose.  His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in San Pedro River Review, The Lake (UK), Red Fez, Stories of Music, Vol. 2, Illya’s Honey, Red River Review, Texas Poetry Calendar, Avocet, First Literary Review – East, and other online and print publications.

Monday, February 20, 2017

MORE RONDEAUS 2017

English 352, the Forms of Poetry class I teach at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is up to the part of the semester where we talk about repeating forms.

Today, we talked about the rondeau. We looked at two famous examples of the form--Paul Laurence Dunbar's "We Wear the Mask" and "In Flanders Fields" by Lt. John McCrae.

Together, we wrote a semi-scandalous rondeau:

Behind Closed Doors: Apt 2B

Behind closed doors, the lovers lie
in tangled bed sheets, getting high
forgetting all their debts and cares
and acting like they're millionaires--
not caring if they live or die.

Between the sheets, they are not shy:
there's nothing that these two won't try.
They act as if their life's a dare
behind closed doors.

The neighbors hear their passion-cries
and aggravated, yell out "Why!"
"The noise these two make isn't fair--
for heaven's sake, there's kids out here!"
But they don't care, off in the sky
behind closed doors.

The next session, we'll have an in-class rondeau contest, with the results to be posted here.

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Learning to Cope Poetry Prize Seeks Entries

Relaunching the Rondeau Roundup Blog with the Learning to Cope Poetry Prize!
http://therondeauroundup.blogspot.com

The Rondeau Roundup blog is having a contest for the best poem in the Rondeau Redouble  form!  Our inspiration is the classic poem in the form by Wendy Cope:

https://genius.com/Wendy-cope-rondeau-redouble-annotated

Deadline: submitted by April 3, 2017.

Contest Rules:

Only one rondeau redouble may be submitted per person. No entry fee. Top five poems will be published on the blog (therondeauroundup.blogspot.com). The first place rondeau redouble will also receive a $100 gift card from Barnes and Noble.

For this contest, I'm looking for rondeau redoubles that follow the set rhyme scheme, as given at 


http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?/topic/1382-rondeau-family-of-forms-includingtrioletvillanelle/


Examples of the form: 

http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/sophie_hannah/poems/22453
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/44836
https://anthonywilsonpoetry.com/2016/10/02/from-the-archives-rondeau-redouble-by-dorothy-nimmo/

No other poetic form will be accepted for this contest. 




Rondeau Redoubles inspired by themes found in the poems of Wendy Cope particularly welcome.

To enter, send a single rondeau redouble

rondeauroundupATgmailDOTcom (replace AT with @) by April 3, 2017.

Winners will be announced on the Rondeau Roundup Blog on April 15, 2017


.