Oregon Poetry Association Fall 2017 Contest – Honorable Mention


Honorable Mention: “Erasure Poem #72” by Shawn Aveningo Sanders, Beaverton, OR

Honorable Mention: “Souvenir” by Nancy Flynn, Portland, OR

Honorable Mention: “Repast” by Donna Prinzmetal, Portland, OR


Judge’s comments

Limited to twenty lines, the poems in this category delivered memorable imagery and resonant meaning with great economy of language. The very best of them also gave the reader the gift of surprise—a quality shared by the diverse assortment of poems honored here.

The three Honorable Mentions exhibit their own excellence. “Erasure Poem #72” gathers meaning from the scattered remnants of a passage in a Tom Robbins novel, and is a tour de force of its challenging genre. “Souvenir” drops us into the heat and dust of an Alabama cotton field, leaving us to confront the “whipping, the weep / the countless hammers cocked.” “Repast” is a moving testament to a daughter’s loving care.  The detail of the dark O of the mother’s mouth, open to be fed, is heartbreaking.

My thanks to all the poets who shared their work.  It was a pleasure to read this fine collection of poems, and a difficult challenge to select only a few for recognition.

Pepper Trail

PoeticDiversity Nominates Poem for “Best of the Net”

mermaid swimsuits by Groupon

Big shout out and thank you to Marie C Lecrivain. My poem inspired by a Groupon was just nominated for “Best of the Net” by PoeticDiversity:

“A Groupon for Women’s Plus-Size Mermaid Swimsuit”

It’s landed three times in my inbox this week. 
And of course, curiosity finally got the best of me.
I clicked.

Shimmering verdant fish scales from the waist down,
accented by your choice of colorful bowed bandeau:

Cerulean Blue 
for the true blue mariner,

Bright Fuchsia for the flirty pool-party girl,

Passionate Plum 
for the mermaid confident in her own scales,

Fiery Red for the siren temptress of the sea,

and Basic Black,
as if slimming and demure are even plausible at this point.

The photos sans humans require a lot from the imagination.
I try to picture my body, or any women’s body,
wearing one of these so-called flattering, haltered-top,
body skimming bodysuits by the pool,
or lounging on the lido deck of a cruise ship.

Will the spandex and built-in bra
accentuate my curves, elongate my torso?
Will I appear naturally glamorous, 
perched perhaps upon a rock jetting out of the sea?
I doubt it.

they’re quite in-demand this summer.
Over 1,000 wanna-be mermaids
have already taken the $24.99 bait.



Baseball Opening Day–Special Poem Podcast, April 2017

Thank you to Kris Baker Dersch for selecting my poem for this very special Baseball Opening Day podcast on No Extra Words.

A literary celebration of a national pastime. (click on the photo to listen)

Come with Shawn Aveningo Sanders for “One Final Inning in St. Louis.” 

Susan Vollenweider  is back with a special guest telling us how she came to know “Baseball: My Way.” 

Niles Reddick’s famous name has him throwing out a “First Pitch.” 


In a brand-new segment, we are diving into the archives to bring back Angela Lombardo’s story from last year’s baseball opening day special…a gift for you Cubs fans. 

Most of us had someone who helped us learn to love the game. In Bill McStowe’s story, it’s “Astrid from Sweden.” 

You never know what will help you in this game. Carolyn Martin tells us why “It’s Good I’m Slow.”

Happy baseball season!

Free Range Poetry Reading, Dec 2016

Thank you to Tony Pfannenstiel for hosting this reading last month.  We had a wonderful time sharing our stories with your audience.

FeralPoetsPoster-Dec2016 FREE RANGE POETRY presents

Monday, Dec 5, 2016
Northwest Branch Library
2300 NW Thurman Street
Portland, Oregon

The Feral Poets are group of women (Carolyn Martin, Cathy Cain, Pattie Palmer-Baker, Shawn Aveningo and Tricia Knoll) who share poetry and friendship. Which came first? Poetry or Friendship? Ah, another one of the life’s great mysteries.