Poeta Atlantia to Sponsor Poetic Challenge at Pennsic

Mar Yaakov HaMizrachi of Poeta Atlantia has announced the Known World Poetic Challenge, which will be held at this year's Pennsic War. Unto all who read these words, greetings from Mar Yaakov HaMizrachi, Poeta Atlantia.

Once again, the Poeta Atlantia will sponsor a competition for all the poets of the Known World. Let all poets therefore sharpen their wits and their quills, and meditate upon the following theme:

"The Race Is Not Always to The Swift, nor the Battle Always to the Strong."

As was done last year, the Challenge shall have two contests. In addition to general entries upon the theme, poets are invited to submit a poem as told from the point of view of a famous period figure or fictional character known in period.


Poems must be written in a period form and accompanied by documentation which addresses the following criteria:

  1. The form selected. Documentation should ideally include a description of the form chosen, any deviations from the form (with explanations) in the work.
  2. Information relevant to the content. This includes use of period imagery, period conventions, and, if told from the perspective of an historic or fictional character, some explanation as to the context.
  3. Any other information you feel will assist the judges. Please consider that judges may not be familiar with the particular form used.

Points will be awarded as follows:

  • A maximum of 25 points is available for documentation
  • A maximum of 25 points will be awarded for technique, difficulty of form, period imagery, and period style.
  • Up to 15 points may be awarded based upon overall impression of the work taken as a whole and its appropriateness to the theme.
Ideally, three judges will read each work, and the point score of the work for competition will reflect the average score in each catagory. This will depend on having enough judges, however.

Poems may be no longer than ten pages in length, although portions of longer works may be submitted. No more than ten pages of documentation should be submitted. Three copies of each poem and accompanying documentation should be submitted. Please number your pages (if we drop the work, we would like to put it back together in the right order). Works not submitted in English should be accompanied by a translation (please indicate whether the translation is part of the poem or part of the documentation). It is impossible to guarantee that a poem written in a language other than English will be read by someone who understands the language in question.

The name of the author should NOT appear on either the poem or the documentation. Entries may be submitted at A&S Point beginning 9 a.m. Monday August 16. Entries will be collected at Noon on Wed. August 18.

Entry forms will be available at A&S Point next to the submission box. Each entrant should fill out one entry form. Please copy the number at the top of the entry form onto the righthand corner of the first page of each copy of the poem and the first page of each copy of the documentation packet. Please bundle the pile together, entry form on top, and place the entire bundle in the collection box (I am planning to have paper clips avialable).

The winners will be announced on Thursday evening. Hopefully, as in previous years, we will schedule a party Thursday evening to announce the winners and provide everyone with an opportunity to read his or her work. At that time, submission packets will be returned. If you are not able to pick up your packet, please let me know if you want it returned via mail. Unclaimed packets will be disposed of after the contest.

You need not be present at Pennsic to enter or to win. Works need not be explicitly written for this competition, although that is encouraged.

If you have any questions, or would like to volunteer to help judge, please contact me at hfeld@cavtel.net .

In Service,

Mar Yaakov HaMizrachi
Poeta Atlantia