Poets from around the Lower Mainland, and especially locally, have been hounding Joe Robinsmith during the past few months hopeful he and The TIMES will do it again.
Do what, one might ask?
They want to know if the Honouring Our Veterans poetry contest is being held again, because they're excited and anxious to be part of this special Remembrance Day tribute that was initiated last year in Maple Ridge.
"I have had requests from the Holy Wow poetry group, as well as a Langley writers group - for instance - asking if and when the poetry contest would be featured again this year allowing them to again highlight our veterans and the great respect they all have for the men and women serving our country," said Robinsmith, a published Maple Ridge writer who conceived of the contest idea.
Last fall, more than 40 scribes put fingers to keyboard, and emailed in poetry that expressed their support and admiration for this country's veterans.
"I firmly believe that the sacrifices of all of our soldiers, be they veterans or those currently serving deserve to be praised for their bravery, their commitment to our country, and to the rights of all peoples to be free from oppression," Robinsmith said.
"Without the men and women who have given their time, their service, and in many cases their lives, Canadians and others around the world would not be able to enjoy so many of the freedoms and rights that they do. This contest was one small way to allow others in our community to highlight and showcase our strong feelings of support and gratitude."
The success of last year's inaugural Honouring Our Veterans poetry contest fortified Robinsmith's conviction to host it again.
"The number of poems received exceeded my wildest imagination_ For a first-year contest, that is huge," he added, noting he was also impressed by the quality, as well (See all of last year's entries online at www.mrtimes.com).
So, once again Robinsmith is inviting poets of all ages to submit their own original works on the subject.
Various prizes will be awarded to the top three winners in each of two age categories (ages six to 18, and 19 and older).
The poems can be entered online (details below), or print copies can be left at the sponsoring Black Bond Books before the Nov. 2 deadline.
All participants are invited to a poetry reading at The ACT on Remembrance Day, Nov. 11, following the Maple Ridge Remembrance Day ceremonies.
How to win:
Send in your original poetry submission paying tribute to veterans past or present
All entrants are also invited to participate in a reading ceremony at The ACT Nov. 11
How do you win?
- Visit the TIMES' website at: www.mrtimes.com, find "More Ways to Connect," and click on "send us your letters, photos, video."
- Fill in your name, email, and number.
- Then insert a copy of your poem. Please note your community, and include the keyword "Veteran" at the top of the note. Preference is given to Lower Mainland residents.
Entries must be received prior to 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2 and winners will be announced at the Nov. 11 reading ceremony. Note: submitted comments could be used in future editions of the newspaper. No staff or family of the TIMES or Glacier Media are eligible. Entries can also be dropped off at the Black Bond Books in Haney Place Mall.