Area residents ages 14 and older are invited to enter a poetry contest sponsored by the English Department at Seward County Community College/Area Technical School. Winners will be awarded cash and prizes and will read their poems at the Poetry Coffee House on April 23 at SCCC/ATS.
The judge for this year’s contest is Texas Tech University Professor William Wenthe of Lubbock, Texas, an award-winning poet who has written three books: Words Before Dawn (2012); Not Till We Are Lost (2003); and Birds of Hoboken (1995).


Not Till We Are Lost won the Best Book of Poetry Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. His awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Texas Commission on the Arts, and two Pushcart Prizes. He has published poems in many journals including Poetry, The Paris Review, The Georgia Review, Tin House, Orion, TriQuarterly, and The Southern Review. In addition to teaching creative writing, Wenthe teaches 20th Century British Poetry and has written articles on Yeats, H. D., poetic form and literary theory.
“We are excited and fortunate to have Wenthe serve as our judge this year,” said Janice Northerns, SCCC/ATS English instructor and contest organizer. “He is an accomplished poet and has many years of experience teaching creative writing.”
The poetry contest features two categories. The open category is for anyone ages 14 through adult who lives in Seward County or a bordering county. The scholarship category is open to high school juniors and seniors in Kansas or in out-of-state counties bordering Seward.
Each contestant may submit up to three poems, and there is no entry fee. Poems will be judged anonymously by Wenthe and winners will be announced at the April 23 Poetry Coffeehouse, which is open to the public.
Prizes in the open category are $25 and other prizes for first place; $15 and other prizes for second; and $10 and other prizes for third. In addition, the judge may select honorable mention recipients, who will receive certificates and be invited to read at the Poetry Coffee House.
In the scholarship category, first place will receive a $100 scholarship to SCCC/ATS, $25 in cash, and other prizes. Second place will be awarded a $100 scholarship, $15 in cash, and other prizes. Third prize is $15, plus other prizes.
The contest and Poetry Coffee House are being held in conjunction with National Poetry Month in April.
Entries will be judged on originality, quality, skillful use of language and poetic devices, and freedom from errors. Entries may be hand-delivered to SCCC/ATS, mailed, or emailed. An official entry form must accompany each submission. Complete rules and an entry form are available on the college web site at www.sccc.edu. (On the home page under
SCCC News and Events, click Poetry Coffee House, then on Poetry Contest Rules.) Rules and entry forms may also be picked up in the Humanities Office at SCCC/ATS.
The postmark deadline to enter is April 16. The deadline for emailed and hand-delivered entries is April 17.
For more information, or to request an entry form and a complete list of the rules, contact Janice Northerns at 620-417-1456 or janice.northerns@sccc.edu.

SCCC/ATS to host Poetry Coffeehouse April 23

Don’t miss this year’s Poetry Coffeehouse April 23 at Seward County Community College/Area Technical School. Winners of two poetry contests will be announced and will read their poetry. Students who have poems appearing in the upcoming Telolith, SCCC/ATS’s creative writing/art magazine, will also read. Gourmet coffees, finger foods, and live music will provide a relaxing atmosphere. The Coffee House/Poetry Reading is set for 7 p.m. April 23 in the music wing of the Shank Humanities Building on the main SCCC/ATS campus. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call Terri Barnes at 620-417-1451.