Tampa poetry Prize

Just received my rejection for the Tampa poetry Prize and I'm interested in that of the 10 finalists (and winner), only one was a woman- Frannie Lindsey, who is a remarkable poet.

There is part of me that wants to know if poetry is male/female experience or if gender doesn't matter... it seems when it comes to certain contests or certain judges, it does.

And I am included in that group, if you look at my list of poets who I connected with in early 2000 they were mostly (read: all) women. That concerns me, as poets, are men and women speaking different languages? Are we not connecting with each other?

My favorite male poets are Bob Hicok, Tony Hoagland, Ilya Kaminsky, and Li-Young Lee. I also like Matthew Dickman and Robert Hass.

Though, when I see 10 men and 1 woman in a poetry prize, it concerns me.

I'm not sure what to think. I think men are interesting and wonderful, but I think the same of women and sometimes (because I am one) maybe I find them more interesting. Maybe the men find men interesting. But... can't we all be wonderul together?

I guess I'm kind of feeling let down with Tampa, but life is life is life, should it be that big of a deal? I'm not sure.

I wish gender didn't matter, but sometimes it seems too. If I could just write that boy/frog poem. I'm joking. We are all humans. Those are the poems-the humanness-- I want to read.



  1. Hey, I was going to blog about that, too! Tampa looks really bad in that list of finalists and even worse when you look at the winners over the last ten years.
    They're not getting any more of my money.

  2. I do know that Tampa published one of my favorite collections of the last decade, Sarah Maclay's "Whore," which won the prize. I'm out of the contest loop since I'm not entering them anymore.


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