Ohio Poetry Day is coming up, and I've been thinking a little about poetry contests.
Is poetry about competition?
Diane Kendig criticizes competitions, and I can see her point: really, poetry is not a contest. "Winning" is not what poetry is about!
But I have contradictory feelings about this: I have to admit, I love contests. I have fun entering them, and I have fun watching contests. There's nothing more fun than watching a good poetry slam, and competition is absolutely essential to a slam-- that's what makes slam exciting; that's it's all about.
Or is it?
Isn't it really about a good poem? Isn't a good performance something worthwhile on its own; you don't have to "beat" somebody else to be admirable?