Doesn't he look like a nice guy?
Vivian Shipley was the third reader. She received a the Sustained Literary Excellence Award. She spoke about what she called her "hillbilly" roots in Kentucky, then read from Hardboot: New & Old Poems.
Doug Collura, one of the finalists. read from Things I Can Fit My Whole Head Into. As his title might indicate, Doug's poems tend to be funny.
Maria Gillan Mazziotti, director of the Paterson Poetry Center and the contest's sponsor, just introduced the next finalist, Peter Covino. Peter talked a bit about his Italian roots and then read movingly from Cut Off the Ears of Winter.
Therese Halscheid ended the reading beautifully with poems from Uncommon Geography. This poet makes her living house-sitting, a way of life that has made it possible for her to be a full-time writer.
Three finalists were unable to attend: Jack Bedell, Kwame Dawes, and John Hodgen. But it was a very full afternoon with six poets, many fine poems, and a wonderful variety of voices and reading styles. And as if that weren't enough, there was a table laden with fruit and cheese and several kinds of cookies. I went home well-nourished.