We are so excited to host the Your Authentic Self poetry contest as part of our 2021 Fox Cities Reads. If you missed our summary of 2021 Reads events and announcement date, you can find that on our blog here.
Today we have some special information on the judges for the Your Authentic Self poetry contest. But first, if you haven’t yet submitted your poem, bookmark or use this Google Forms link to submit your poem now. To compete, poems must be submitted by midnight on Monday, January 18, 2021.
Your Authentic Self poetry contest judges
We have a great line up of local poets to judge contest submissions. We are grateful for the art they create in our community and grateful for the support they lend to the Fox Cities Book Festival. Our judges: Louis Clark, Cathryn Cofell, Andrew McSorley, Nik Shier, Wayne Swanger, Goachi Vang, and Salina Xiong.
Please take some time to read what they look for in their ideal contest submission and visit their websites to learn more about them.
About me: Andrew McSorley is the author of What Spirits Return (Kelsay Books, 2019). He is a graduate of the MFA program in creative writing at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. His poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in journals such as The Minnesota Review, Blue Earth Review, Gamut Magazine, Gingerbread House Literary Magazine, SOFTBLOW, Rougarou, Cobalt Review, After the Pause, and the Lindenwood Review. He lives in Appleton, Wisconsin where he works as a librarian in the Seeley G. Mudd Library at Lawrence University.
What I look for in poetry: I want to be surprised, and I especially like to see care taken in language. The poems I like best often have emotionally-charged images, but also sounds.
Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/
About Me: Salina Ntsa Iab Xiong, is a Hmoob-American fashion designer and writer. She is a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she got her B.S. in Textiles and Fashion Design. Salina has always enjoyed writing but found a passion for poetry and prose in her early college years. In March 2019, she self-published a poetry book titled “thoughts to the universe”. The book is a collection of poetry written over the course of her life. Themes include but are not limited to love, identity, and her journey with her mental health. You can purchase her book on Amazon or directly through her website.
Who my authentic self is and how I showcase this: “Your authentic self” to me means being open and vulnerable. It’s peeling back the layers and looking within to find who you are beyond what everyone else made you think you are. It’s reclaiming your identity. Authenticity is what connects us as humans and allows us to see that we are not alone in everything that we’re going through.