|As a non-profit, Rattle‘s mission is simply to promote the practice of poetry, and this annual contest, with its large award, is probably the most important thing we do all year. The goal is to keep as many people as possible excited about poetry – not only reading it, but also writing it, and sharing it with each other. That’s why the $20 entry fee is just a year’s print subscription, and that’s why we’ve made the prizes so big. Folks have said it’s more like a festival than a contest, and we agree!
Past winners have ranged from students, to retired school teachers, to working lawyers, to nationally acclaimed poets. In 2012, Heidi Shuler won with the first poem she ever published. Last year it was adjunct instructor Julie Price Pinkerton with a long and moving narrative poem, “Veins.” The idea that every one of us has the ability to write an amazing poem is the founding principle of Rattle, and the Rattle Poetry Prize continues to be a demonstration of that. If you don’t believe me, read eleven years of winners(125 poems in all) at our website right now.
Don’t let past winners be a guide for style or subject matter, though – many tend to submit longer poems to this competition, assuming incorrectly that they’ll have a better chance, but we really love short and formal poems, too, and can’t wait until the year we get to choose something like a sonnet as winner. Just enter your best, because we want to be eclectic.