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Shelter Island poetry contest opens: 2023 theme is ‘Past and Future’

The second year of the Bliss Morehead Poetry Grant has been announced by the Shelter Island Public Library.

The grant of $1,000 is awarded each April to the winner of a poetry competition. Applicants must be unpublished poets aged 17 or older and reside on the East End of Long Island (Riverhead and points east).

This year’s competition will be judged by Irene Cornell, JoAnn Kirkland and Virginia Walker. The theme for 2023 is “Past and Future.”

Bliss Morehead was a resident of Shelter Island who dedicated much of her life to the art of poetry. As a student of art, and as a gifted poet herself, she sought to share “this most complex of cultural achievements.”

She was the founder and curator of the Shelter Island Poetry Project which produced the annual April Poetry Month readings at the Library. The grant was established to honor Ms. Morehead’s memory by her husband, Mike Zisser.

These devices provide comfort and inspiration while unlocking the imagination. (Credit: Ambrose Clancy)

Bliss Morehead wrote tirelessly about what she called “the frustrating and occasionally illuminating work we all take upon ourselves when we are snatched up by the demanding nanny/muse and forced to admit that yes — we are poets. Or are attempting to be poets.”

The grant competition seeks to encourage those who have taken up the challenge of writing poetry to share their creations.

To apply for this grant, register on the Shelter Island Library website or contact Jocelyn Ozolins at [email protected]. The deadline for entries is Friday, March 24, 2023.

The winner and runners-up will be announced on April 10 and will be invited to a poetry reading at the library on April 28.