This anthology is not only a "must-have" book for lovers of fine poetry, but an excellent guide for contestants who are thinking of submitting entries to the annual Tom Howard Poetry Contest for Verse in All Styles and Genres.
The winning poems represented here were all entered in the Second Contest. I notice that prizes for that particular year, 2004, amounted to only $2,000. By contrast, for the 2008 Contest, the prize money amounts to $5.250. But entry fees have not increased a single cent. In fact, the minimum fee has actually been reduced from $12 to $6!
Of course there were less entries in 2004. The winning poems, however, are no less worthy to take their places as fine examples of superb versification: "The Dark Room" by Elaine Winer (1st), "Mason City Ladies Sewing Circle" by Mary Ann Wehler (2nd), and "de profundis" by Catherine Delaney (3rd) were the three major prize winners.
Elaine Winer and Mary Ann Wehler also won Highly Commended citations.
Other multiple commendations were awarded to Guy Kettlehack, Arthur Powers, John B. Lee, Tom Berman, and Adam Wallace.
Other Very Highly Commended poets included Fiona Sievers, Annamaria Hemingway, Sook Moy Yew, Dennis Maulsby, Paul Barlin, Tina Richardson, Ross Gillett, Michele Bitting, Peggy Smith Duke, Julie Lynn Golladay.
18 poems were Highly Commended, including "Going Home" by Dee C. Konrad. Professor Konrad is now the Associate Judge of the Contest.
The Chief Judge and Editor, John Howard Reid, has selected three works for inclusion: "Drought" (winner of a Highly Commended citation in another contest), "A Modest Love" (short-listed in two contests), and "A King of the Goths" translated from the Spanish of Lupercio Leonardo de Argensola.
To inspire poets further, the editor has included his choices for the Best Poem in the English Language, the Best Religious Poem and the Best example of Humorous or Comic Verse.