HVSF Holds Inaugural Sonnet Writing Competition

‘3 Quatrains and a Couplet’ Sonnet Award to be presented

In a new initiative, the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival invites students in grades 6 through 12 in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey to submit original sonnets for the inaugural “3 Quatrains and a Couplet” Sonnet Writing Contest. It’s held in April, in honor of National Poetry Month, and HVSF is accepting entries through May 15. A closing award ceremony will be held at the festival’s main stage under the tent at Boscobel on a yet-to-be-announced date.

The sonnet-writing contest stemmed from an idea suggested by poet James Hoch, who lives in Philipstown. “It’s a way of engaging young people who are not actors but are artists of a different kind. The contest, for which submissions are now open, will culminate in an award ceremony in which professional actors will read the sonnets, with a discussion following,” explained HVSF Director of Education Sean McNall.

All entries must follow Shakespearean sonnet form: 14 lines of iambic pentameter, in ABAB CDCD EFEF GG rhyme scheme. Sonnets must be original and unpublished. No translations will be accepted.

Student work will be judged in two divisions: junior high (grades 6–8) and senior high (grades 9-12). One overall winner and two finalists from each division will be selected and honored at the award ceremony during summer 2015.

The final judge for the 2015 competition will be Hoch, who teaches at Ramapo College in New Jersey and whose poems have appeared in The Washington Post, American Poetry Review, Slate, Kenyon Review, New England Review, and others. He is the author of A Parade of Hands and Miscreants.

Entries will not be accepted without a signed Sonnet Entry and Release Form, available on the HVSF website, hvshakespeare.org. Submissions should be sent to [email protected]

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