Poetry Contest with Billy Collins!

So I put the mouthpiece to my lips
and blow into it with all my living breath.
We are all so foolish,
my long bebop solo begins by saying,
so damn foolish
we have become beautiful without even knowing it.
-BILLY COLLINS, “Nightclub”


Figdies and Figlemen, the Bard has entered the building. Billy Collins, America’s most famous and well-loved living poet, is joining Figment for a poetry contest.

(It was very difficult for me not to end the previous two sentences with an exclamation point! I’m trying to sound cool, calm, and collected in the presence of greatness.)

Here’s your challenge. Write a poem of 40 or fewer lines, with this as the first line: “I want to play in a band with a crazy name”

How To Enter:
1. Sign up for an account of Figment (it’s free)
2. Create something new
3. Write your entry and press “Publish Now”
4. On the “Details” page, put CollinsContest in “Tags”
5. Wait the 2 hours or so it takes for you entry to appear BELOW.

The deadline is Sunday, 7/3 at 9pm EST. Then you have the power to determine the top entries by hearting your favorites; the top 10 hearted will go to Billy Collins, who will judge the winner. The voting period will end at 6:00PM EST on July 10, 2011. The winner will receive a signed copy of Horoscopes for the Dead, his most recent poetry collection. And, of course, the right to brag to everyone you know that BILLY COLLINS loved your poem. Good luck, everyone!

1. One entry per person, please.
2. The promotion of your contest entry is not allowed on Figment. This includes self-promotion and the promotion of other users’ contest entries in the Figment forums, the comments and reviews of stories, and the Figment Facebook page. Independent promotion on sites unrelated to Figment, like personal Facebook or Twitter accounts, is fine.
3. Works must be submitted according to the instructions above between the announcement of the contest and the closure of the contest. Entries created before the start date or after the end date will not be included in the pages of contest entries and will be ineligible to win. This means a new book must be created for the contest; adapting an old work published before the start of the contest will make the entry ineligible to win.
4. The rules of the contest are both strict and open to interpretation by a moderator.
5. The creation of multiple accounts to heart or otherwise vote for your contest entry on Figment is prohibited, and may result in the disqualification of that entry, the deletion of your Figment account, and/or the blocking of your IP address permanently from the site, at the moderator’s discretion.

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