Alan Lowe, poet, writer, and the coordinator of the Voices of Lincoln Poetry Contest

Huddart Park, San Francisco Peninsula

“Instruction does much, but encouragement everything.” (Letter to A.F. Oeser, Nov. 9, 1768), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Early and Miscellaneous Letters of J. W. Goethe: Including Letters to His Mother. With Notes and a Short Biography



This is a poem by Alan Lowe. You might remember that Alan is the gentleman who – along with Sue Clark, the members of the Poets Club of Lincoln, The Lincoln Library and The Friends of the Lincoln Library – invited readers to submit poems to be considered for the library’s annual poetry contest, no demographic or geographic restrictions, and no entry fee. Details on the 15th Annual Voices of Lincoln Poetry Contest HEREI wanted to introduce you to Alan and what better way to do so than with a poem he wrote? It’s a poem that reminds us of just how vulnerable we can be as school-age youth.

My Special Angel

I’m trembling,
but I don’t know why.
She tells me
I shouldn’t be scared,
but I am.
I want to believe her—
my wonderful, special angel.
She has never let me down,
but this seems different.
I can’t put my finger on it—
it’s so hard to describe.
With dark, black clouds overhead,
gray shadows pervade my world.
Graceful ghostlike figures dance
to a tune I’m unable to hear.
They motion to me to join them,
to become a part of their show.
The trembling gets worse,
tears form in my eyes.
I want to run away
and hide from the things
I don’t understand and can’t explain.
But my angel tells me I must not.
“It’s just part of growing up,”
she declares.
“You have to face your demons,
conquer your fears,
and develop into a strong person.”
“But I’m only twelve-years old,”
I cry out in frustration.
“I know,” she says,
placing her hands on my shoulders,
as she turns to go back
to the front of the classroom.

Copyright © 2016 Alan Lowe. All rights reserved.

ALAN LOWE (The Truth of the Matter Is ….) was born and raised in New York, but has spent over fifty-four years in California, the past seventeen living in Lincoln with his wife, Barbara. Earning a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology/Counseling from UCLA, he spent thirty-nine years working in higher education as a teacher, counselor, and administrator. He retired in 2008. His background in Psychology colors his writing, much of which centers on feelings, perceptions, and how people interact in our complex world. In retirement, he enjoys writing poetry, short stories, and plays. His poetry has placed in contests and has been published in newspapers and periodicals. Three of the plays he has written have been performed under his direction. As a member of the Poets Club of Lincoln, he has served as the Coordinator of the Voices of Lincoln Poetry Contest since 2009. The contest has grown steadily and has become international in scope.


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WORLD WIDE CALLS FOR ENTRIES; 15th Annual Voices of Lincoln Poetry Contest; Raymond Carver Short Story Contest

Romantic poet Novalis (1772–1801), portrait by Friedrich Eduard Eichens from 1845 / public domain

“Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.” Novalis



The 15th Annual Voices of Lincoln Poetry Contest officially began in April, as part of the celebration of National Poetry Month. This year there are five new contest categories:

  1. Who Is The Most Important Person In My Life?”
  2. “What Treasure Would I Like To Discover?”
  3. “What Don’t I Know About You That I Should?”
  4. “What Would I Do If I Ruled The World?”
  5. “Should We Be Thinking About Today Or Tomorrow?”

Poets may submit a maximum of three poems, no more than one in each of three of the five contest categories.

Everyone is encouraged to enter the contest. Poets do not have to live in Lincoln, CA to be eligible. Last year the contest attracted 152 poets from 64 cities in twelve (12) states and six (6) countries—the US, Canada, England, India, Nigeria, and Singapore. Poets submitted 271 poems. Eighty-five (85) young poets submitted 131 poems.

  • Young Poets, 18-years of age or under, are encouraged to submit poems and will compete in a special “Young Poets” category.

This year The Lincoln Library and Friends of the Lincoln Library (Placer County, Northern California) are aiming to reach an even greater audience of poets.  All poems must be received no later than Saturday, July 20, 2019, at the address on the Entry Form.

You should be able to print out the Contest Flyer and the Rules and Entry Form using the printer icon below. You are invited to enter the contest. There is no submission fee. Questions or problems printing out the form — contact Alan Lowe at slolowe@icloud.com  Please let Alan know you saw the announcement here or make a note of that on the entry form.

CLARIFICATION/May 2, 2019:

All winning poems are read at the special event in October. If a poet is unable to attend because of distance or a conflicting obligation, her/his poem will be read by a member of the Poets Club of Lincoln. I ask all winning poets to give me an interesting or funny fact, in 3-5 sentences, about them, as poets, or the winning poem or poems they wrote that I can use to personalize their introduction when they come up to read. So, even if they are unable to attend, the audience will learn something about the poet who wrote the poem(s) being read by somebody else.

“Yes, poets are allowed to submit previously published poems. They have to understand that should their poem win, it will be included in the chapbook of winning poetry they will receive, in person or by mail, and, therefore, they need to have the right to allow a previously published poem to be included. In the previous ten contests I have coordinated, we have not had a problem with this.” Alan Lowe


 POETS WANTED

ENTER NOW

1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners selected in each contest category

➢ Five (5) categories include:

  1. Who Is The Most Important Person In My Life?
  2. What Treasure Would I Like To Discover?
  3. What Don’t I Know About You That I Should?
  4. What Would I Do If I Ruled The World?
  5. Should We Be Thinking About Today Or Tomorrow?

➢ Poets may submit a maximum of three (3) poems. Select three (3) of the contest categories and submit one poem from each.

➢ Poems may be in rhyme, free verse, Haiku, or other accepted poetry forms and of any length, up to a maximum of 60 lines.

Young Poets, 18-years of age or under, are encouraged to submit poems and will compete in a special “Young Poets” category.  

Lincoln Public Library at Twelve Bridges in Lincoln, CA and can be downloaded from the following website: http://www.libraryatlincoln.org

Contest Deadline: Poems must be received no later than Saturday, July 20, 2019. Early submissions are appreciated.

Questions—contact Alan Lowe at slolowe@icloud.com

Presented by the Poets Club of Lincoln; Sponsored by the Lincoln Library and Friends of the Lincoln Library.



RULES AND ENTRY FORM

POETS WANTED! 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will be selected in each contest category. 2. The five (5) contest categories include the following:

  1. Who Is The Most Important Person In My Life? What Treasure
  2. Would I Like To Discover?
  3. What Don’t I Know About You That I Should?
  4. What Would I Do If I Ruled The World?
  5. Should We Be Thinking About Today Or Tomorrow?
  • Poets may submit a maximum of three (3) poems. Select three (3) of the contest categories and submit one poem from each. 4.
  • Poems may be in rhyme, free verse, Haiku, or other accepted poetry forms and of any length, up to a maximum of 60 lines.
  • Poems should be written in English.
  • They should be typewritten and not centered (read left to right). Please use the Arial font 12-point. The title should be listed at the top of the poem and the category should be included at the top right corner of the poem page. The name of the poet should not be indicated on the poem.
  • Young Poets, 18-years of age or under, are encouraged to submit poems and will compete in a special “Young Poets” category. Young poets should follow the same rules as noted above. However, they should include their age, grade, and school on the Entry Form.
  • All poems must be submitted on hard copy to the address listed on the Entry Form below and must be received no later than Saturday, July 20, 2019.
  • Early submissions are appreciated. A separate Entry Form should be attached to the hard copy of each poem submitted.

Duplication of the form is permitted. Below you’ll find both the Contest Flyer and the Rules and Entry Form, which you should be able to print out by using the printer icon below. You are invited to enter the contest. There is no submission fee. Questions or problems printing out the form — contact Alan Lowe at slolowe@icloud.com  

The top three winners in each category will be contacted by phone. Winners will be asked to submit their poems  electronically, by email attachment. Winners will read their poems on Sunday, October 13, 2019, at the Voices of Lincoln event to be held from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m., Lincoln Public Library at Twelve Bridges (Willow Room), 485 Twelve Bridges Drive, Lincoln, CA. Winners also will be presented with a commemorative chapbook of the winning poems.

2019 VOICES OF LINCOLN POETRY CONTEST ENTRY FORM (One Per Poem – PLEASE PRINT)

Name: _____________________________________ Phone: __________________ Email: ______________________________

Address: ___________________________________________________ City: ___________________ State: _____ Zip: ______

Young Poets Only–Age: ______ Grade: ______ School: __________________________________________________________

Contest Categories (Check appropriate category of poem submitted): ___ Who Is The Most Important Person In My Life? ___ What Treasure Would I Like To Discover? ___ What Don’t I Know About You That I Should? ___ What Would I Do If I Ruled The World? ___ Should We Be Thinking About Today Or Tomorrow?

Title of Poem Submitted: ___________________________________________________________________________________

Please insure that poems comply with all contest rules. No names should appear on the poems submitted. Include the title at the top of the poem. Place the category at the top right corner of the poem page. Use a paper clip to attach a copy of this Entry Form (cut along dotted line) to each poem submitted. Mail the poem to Voices of Lincoln Poetry Contest, c/o Alan Lowe, 1235 Picket Fence Lane, Lincoln, CA 95648. Poems must be received no later than Saturday, July 20, 2019. Early submissions are appreciated.

Presented by the Poets Club of Lincoln

Sponsored by the Lincoln Library and Friends of the Lincoln Library



Carve Magazine‘s Raymond Carver Short Story Contest HERE, judged this year by Claire Fuller, seeks short fiction from all over the world.

Deadline: May 15. Entry fee: $17.


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