Wednesday, January 27, 2010


2010 WOODY GUTHRIE FESTIVAL: Call for Submissions – Poetry and Readers

In conjunction with the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in Okemah, Oklahoma on July 17, 2010, anthology of poetry will be published that reflects the essence of what Woody Guthrie stands for as an American icon:

To memorialize in poetry the history and culture of working people and to perpetuate the ideals, goals of equality for the working class, and themes that Woody Guthrie espoused and promoted in his art.

To raise world consciousness of the labor and political movements of the thirties through the fifties. His life in Oklahoma. Forefront of the American political and social debate. A fascinating glimpse into the American of an earlier day.

Poets are invited to submit up to six poems that reflect, either directly or peripherally, on anything stated above or on other themes connected to Woody Guthrie. If the poet perceives the poem to be reflective of Woody Guthrie, his work or his art, it probably is, so send it to us. Poems will be judged by a panel of poets and editors selected by Dorothy Alexander and Nathan Brown, coordinators of the 6th Annual Woody Poets Reading at Okemah, and by George Wallace, founder and director of the Woody Guthrie Poetry Group. The published anthology will be available for purchase at the readings in Oklahoma City and in Okemah. Poems from previous Festivals may be submitted, and previously published poems, too, with permission of publisher.

From the poets whose poems are accepted for the anthology, readers will be selected to read their work at a public “pre-Fest” reading sponsored by Village Books Press, at the Scissortail Social Space, 3012 N. Walker (Paseo Art District) in Oklahoma City on Friday evening, July 16th and at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in Okemah on Saturday, July17th. This arrangement affords more poets more opportunities to participate in celebrating the art and life of Woody Guthrie!

Woody Guthrie, born and reared in Oklahoma, was a champion of the disenfranchised, minorities and the working class, a colorful and beloved folk hero. He was part of a primitive tradition, carried through the ages by common people to express their joy and anger and frustrations through music. Their drudgery and occasional triumphs. Their intense independence.

Woody remains one of the patron saints of American rebelliousness, still causing trouble posthumously, inspiring generation after generation of singer-songwriters, and all those who feel constrained by conformity. Joe Klein says he was struck by his “elegant rage.”

Send poems in email attachment (MS Word) to Dorothy Alexander, nishkit1 at gmail dot com along with a short (50 words or less) bio and a pledge to buy at least one copy of the anthology at $15.00 each. The sale proceeds of the anthology will be applied to expenses of promoting and arranging the readings and travel expenses of the director. Email Dorothy if you have questions.

Deadline: Poems must be received NO LATER THAN: March 1, 2010

Reposted from Facebook invitation from George Wallace. Thank George for sharing this one!

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