Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Olympics Of Poetry

Westminster from the London Eye by Kathleen Conklin

We all have been watching with great interest and appreciation the 2012 Olympic Games.
Perhaps you’re feeling a bit obsessed and in need of a change of pace… as in a little exercise for the mind.  Try tuning in to NPR.

NPR has revived the ancient tradition of the Olympics of Poetry.  At the Greek Olympics, poetry was very much part of the games.  Poets were hired to write odes praising the athletic champions and even competed in official poetry contests. The Poetry Event at the Olympic Games was revived from 1912-1948 (London), but eliminated after that because of the volume of entries and the difficulties of translations.  However, this year NPR has presented an Olympic Poetry Event. NPR has invited poets to compose original works which were read on their “Morning Edition” broadcast (August 6-10) and published on their website at

Check out the NPR website and read some of the “official” entries as well as others.  My favorite so far is James Miranda’s “Olympians”. 

Let the voting begin.

Meanwhile, I have begun thinking about the nature and value of competing for poetry awards...perhaps some thoughts for my next blog.


  1. Beautiful picture of London by Kathy!

  2. The winner is "Swim Your Own Race" by South African Poet Mbali Vilakazi as a tribute to Natalie du Toit, a 2008 swimmer who was the first woman amputee to qualify for the Olympics. of poetry