I expect we would put together a comprehensive information package containing everything other cities would need to know, based on our experience.
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Sharon Lindenburger Why does the plan specify that 3 of the 5 spots have to be high school students? What about poems being evaluated on their own merits, and not according to age? London is populated by many different age groups and diversities other than high school students, so if this is to be community-based, it is, in my opinion, not fair to specify that the majority of picks will be only young people. This is not a high school writing project; it's supposed to be a community-based project, right? Then make it truly community-based, and have the poems evaluated without info on the poet's age, ethnicity, social class, education level, etc...in other words, the jury should be using a blinding process to ensure that the poems are judged according to their merits, not by extraneous factors. Just my opinion.
Like · Reply · 1 · 23 November at 22:08
Stan Burfield I'm glad you brought this up, Sharon. This is the one part of what we're thinking about that we just haven't got to yet. I shouldn't even have put it in the blurb, but I'm afraid I'm a bit impulsive and have been stretching my time to the limit lately. What happened is that a while ago, maybe a year ago, I was having one of my personal brain-storming sessions, thought of 3 or 4 good ideas all at once, each kind of flowing from the other, one being "what we really need to do is get young people excited about poetry in their formative years, outside of classes that force them to read it." So somebody with me thought of having a city-wide contest and I thought the winners could come and read at a special event of our open mic. Well, that languished until I started working on the sidewalk poetry project. Somewhere in the evolution of that I was explaining it to my friend and he said we could use sidewalk impressions as a prize for the students. I thought maybe, since the city and the school board are related and maybe the city could make the student contest happen. And so it was at that "maybe" that the high school contest got attached to the sidewalk poetry project. Well, the four of us are getting together Friday to finally sort out the wheat from the chaff, to really brainstorm the details as best we can before we present it to the city in a week. So, you're right, it's time it got stripped and left on the shelf. Maybe we can add it to the presentation as a possible future direction, but I expect the project should start out as clean as possible. Thanks, Sharon, in helping with this process!
Like · Reply · 1 · 23 November at 22:32
Stan Burfield Also yes on the blind judging. People would submit two sheets of paper, one with the poem and it's name, and one with the name and the poet's name and info.
Like · Reply · 23 November at 22:35 · Edited
Sharon Lindenburger Stan Burfield I think it's great to encourage young people to get into poetry. So maybe there could be a category for students, and an equal category for others, not weighted more to students than to others. I still think the community-based idea is better overall than the ageist one.
Like · Reply · 23 November at 22:36
Stan Burfield I do too. Just thinking about it now, probably the high school students would take the majority of the slots anyway, just because their teachers would encourage them to enter, so large numbers of students would enter, whereas other people are individually motivated.
Like · Reply · 23 November at 22:38
Stan Burfield Do you write poetry, Sharon?
Like · Reply · 23 November at 22:40 · Edited
Sharon Lindenburger Stan Burfield yes I do....used to write it years ago, and then left off doing it for years, and recently it has returned to me, and poems are popping out. I have a great mentor. I'm not suggesting, though, that I plan to enter the sidewalk poetry contest. I might, or might not, but that was not the reason I made my comments.
Like · Reply · 23 November at 22:43
Stan Burfield No, of course not. Just asking because, depending on what the city decides (if they go for it), we will need people for the volunteer committee. The number one criteria is enthusiasm. I'll keep your name in mind if you're interested.
Like · Reply · 23 November at 22:46 · Edited
Sharon Lindenburger Stan Burfield sure! I'd like that!
Like · Reply · 23 November at 22:46
Stan Burfield Great. I'll write your name down. So far there's me, the three students, possibly another guy on facebook here, and you. (And I think I better stop taking names now as I'm really jumping the gun, and haven't even put it to the other London Open Mic committee members yet. :) ) That's my out-of-control enthusiasm!