Dan Waters is the winner of The Times' West Tisbury Poet Laureate contest
At next week's annual town meeting in West Tisbury voters will be asked to create the honorary office of Poet Laureate of West Tisbury. In keeping with the spirit of literary enthusiasm that inspired the poet laureate article on the warrant, last month The Times sponsored an utterly unofficial contest, inviting readers to submit "a poem, ode, limerick, sonnet, ballad or rhyme that refers in some way to West Tisbury and is publishable in a community paper."
Times readers are a literary lot. Thirty-one of them entered poems, and the newspaper's web site recorded more than 120 online votes.
Times Calendar editor Pat Waring, Dr. Russell Hoxsie, author and Times columnist, and Julie Kimball, writer, editor, and publisher, helped with the judging duties.
First place: Dan Waters, "Love of Place."
Second place: Donald Nitchie, "Students Getting Off the Bus at Alley's Store."
First Honorable Mention: Jill Jupen, "Straw Man."
Second Honorable Mention: Jacqueline Sexton, "Woodman, Spare That Tree." (Yes, of course, Ms. Sexton is the Times Chilmark columnist, but no undue influence was brought to bear. Her poem succeeded strictly on its merits.)
The Readers' Choice was Clark Myers's "North Shore" (20 votes).
A Special Award, given in gratitude for Not Mentioning the Steamship Authority or the Editor, goes to W.R. Deeble, for "Port Security."
All of the submitted poems can be read here.