Last spring I was invited by Professor Mehmet Ozturk of NC State University to be a part of a special project, the first Nazim Hikmet Poetry Festival . The poetry competition organized as part of this year's festival received over 250 poems from 90 poets. The poetry selection committee included, in addition to me, Jon Thompson, Joe Donahue, Greg Dawes, Erdag Goknar and Hatice Orun Ozturk. The contest received over 250 poems from 90 poets. Can you imagine the job a judge has with that many entries! Then try to imagine reaching consensus among five other judges! Eight poems were selected as winners and two poems received honorable mentions. The winning poems were submitted by Judy Light Ayyildiz, Katherine Barnes, Jeffery Beam, David Need, Pamela Richardson, Christopher Salerno, Tony Tost, and Chris Vitiello. The poems by Guney Acipayamli and Mimi Herman received honorable mentions.
Over the next few days I will be featuring work by Pamela Richardson, Guney Acipayami, and Peter Blair, who was on my list of finalists but did not make it to the final list of winners, alas. The 2010 Hikmet Festival is already being planned. And a booklet of the program and the winning poems will be published soon.
SCENES FROM THE NAZIM HIKMET FESTIVAL LAST SPRING (Photos by BORA)
Mehmet Ozturk with festival organizers and volunteers
(Winning poet Pamela Richardson chats with a member of the audience.)
Winning poet Katherine Barnes and her daughter Rebecca Tighe sample the food.
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