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Second Annual National Veterans Poetry Contest

Heroes’ Voices is very proud to announce the second annual National Veterans Poetry Contest. The theme of the contest is once again, “The Soldier’s Journey”. Last year we received over 200 submissions from veteran poets around the country. Our goal is to double that number of submissions.

We are offering cash prizes for the top four poems selected by our distinguished panel of judges and advisors. The top prize winner will receive $1,000. This year’s panel again includes poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and poet – author of Taps on the Walls, General John Borling. This year we also welcome the new Poet Laureate of San Francisco, Kim Shuck.

We are delighted to be renewing our partnership with George Mason University and the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Virginia. Heroes’ Voices and George Mason University will also be presenting culminating public events. Performances of “The Soldier’s Journey” will feature the finest poems from the contest, as well as musical works and other poetry reflecting on the lives and challenges of soldiers.

The west coast performance of The Soldier’s Journey will be presented at the General’s Residence at Fort Mason in San Francisco. The east coast performance will be at George Mason University’s Hylton Performance Arts Center. Both events will be held in June. Details will be published on our website as soon as they are finalized.

A limited edition “chap book” will be produced featuring the semi-final and winning veterans’ poems. All the veterans whose poems are featured in the chap book will receive complementary copies.

The National Veteran’s Poetry Contest has received generous sponsorship from the California Arts Council and from the Rotary Club of San Francisco.

Please submit your work if you are a veteran poet. Or if you know any veteran poets, please spread the word! Poetry can be submitted on the Heroes’ Voices web site or via US mail. Please visit our web site for contest rules and information: www.heroesvoices.org/contest. We also have the winning poetry from last year’s contest on our website.

We begin accepting submissions February 15, and we hope to see you at one of our June performance events, The Soldier’s Journey.

The Past Cannot Change Our Song

The past cannot change my song
Neither should the dreams of the future
Sweep my tune away

For my song is strongest
When I reside in today
No more hurrying and scurrying
Rushing down that road
Looking for someone
To fill in the missing years

My song is my strength
And in it I find a light
To guide me home
To the bright morning,
Free.

Tristan Carson – US Army
Composed in Heroes’ Voices Workshop, Menlo Park VA