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Poetry to move you

Airdrie Public Library and the City of Airdrie are teaming up for a new poetry-writing contest. Photo: Metro Creative Connection

“We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” – N.H. Kleinbaum, author of the Dead Poets Society.

As Kleinbaum writes in her novel, poetry – like beauty, romance, and love – is what makes life more than just sustaining mere existence, and is why this artform has thrived for thousands of years.

From the ancient Mesopotamian poem the Epic of Gilgamesh to Shakespeare’s clever sonnets to the great poets of the world’s religions and even to the silly rhymes of Dr. Seuss, humanity has chronicled much of its journey through poetry.

What gives this artistic writing its power is that it takes language, with its rigid structure and rules, and transforms words into a personal and often communal experience of nuance, absurdity and emotion.

In deference to the enduring influence of poetry, we here at Airdrie Public Library (APL), are excited to announce our first annual poetry contest.

Called Poetry in Motion, and held in partnership with the City of Airdrie, the contest runs from July 2 to Aug. 16.

There are two categories – Open or Youth (13 to 17 years of age).

The winner in each will receive an iPad courtesy of the City, and ­– here’s the “in motion” part – selected poems will be displayed on Airdrie ICE buses during September 2019, in honour of Alberta Culture Days.

To participate, submit an entry form and up to three poems – each no longer than 11 lines – to the front desk at the library.

Contestants must hold a valid APL card, and poems will be judged blind, with winners announced Sept. 3.

Please see our website for entry forms and the complete contest rules.

For more information on programs and resources, visit, call 403-948-0600 or drop by the library and get your free library card.
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