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THE FINALS (polls closed, but poems open forever)
THE FINAL FOUR (polls closed, but poems open forever)
REGIONAL FINALS (polls closed, but poems open forever)
REGIONAL SEMIFINALS, FLIGHT TWO (polls closed, but poems open forever)
REGIONAL SEMIFINALS, FLIGHT ONE (polls closed, but poems open forever)
ROUND TWO, FLIGHT TWO (polls closed, but poems open forever)
ROUND TWO, FLIGHT ONE (polls closed, but poems open forever)
ROUND ONE, FLIGHT TWO (polls closed, but poems open forever)
ROUND ONE, FLIGHT ONE (polls closed, but poems open forever)

PRACTICE ROUND

Ed DeCaria battles his alter ego Charles Mund to set the tone for the madness!

14-flibbertigibbet-vs-3-crunch: CLICK TO VIEW THIS MATCHUP!

14-flibbertigibbet vs. 3-crunch: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

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OPENING ROUND, FLIGHT ONE (WINNERS ADVANCE TO ROUND TWO)

Writing Window (approximate): Monday, 3/12, 8pm through Wednesday, 3/14, 8am.
Voting Window (approximate): Wednesday, 3/14, 12pm through Thursday, 3/15, 9pm.

1-bruise vs. 16-androgynous: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 1-bruise (Julie Krantz) (59%, 82 Votes)
  • 16-androgynous (Katya Czaja) (41%, 59 Votes)

Total Voters: 140

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1-bruise-vs-16-androgynous:
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8-hazard vs. 9-dilapidated: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 8-hazard (Joanna Jedi) (17%, 27 Votes)
  • 9-dilapidated (Suz Blackaby) (83%, 129 Votes)

Total Voters: 156

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8-hazard-vs-9-dilapidated:
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5-numb vs. 12-ferret: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 5-numb (April Halprin Wayland) (62%, 103 Votes)
  • 12-ferret (Matt Forrest) (38%, 63 Votes)

Total Voters: 166

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5-numb-vs-12-ferret:
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4-manipulate vs. 13-crescendo: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 4-manipulate (Liz Steinglass) (48%, 84 Votes)
  • 13-crescendo (Quinette Cook) (52%, 91 Votes)

Total Voters: 175

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4-manipulate-vs-13-crescendo:
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6-spastic vs. 11-baldness: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 6-spastic (Charles Ghigna) (25%, 38 Votes)
  • 11-baldness (Tiffany Strelitz Haber) (75%, 113 Votes)

Total Voters: 151

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6-spastic-vs-11-baldness:
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3-rash vs. 14-innuendo: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 3-rash (Nessa Morris) (46%, 67 Votes)
  • 14-innuendo (Stephen W. Cahill) (54%, 80 Votes)

Total Voters: 147

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3-rash-vs-14-innuendo:
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7-villainous vs. 10-sequester: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 7-villainous (Stephanie Farrow) (90%, 103 Votes)
  • 10-sequester (Catherine Johnson) (10%, 11 Votes)

Total Voters: 114

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7-villainous-vs-10-sequester:
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2-chapped vs. 15-misdemeanor: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 2-chapped (Kenn Nesbitt) (84%, 103 Votes)
  • 15-misdemeanor (Penny Klostermann) (16%, 19 Votes)

Total Voters: 122

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2-chapped-vs-15-misdemeanor:
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6-prolific vs. 11-corrosive: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 6-prolific (Carol-Ann Hoyte) (58%, 65 Votes)
  • 11-corrosive (Annabelle Salas) (42%, 47 Votes)

Total Voters: 112

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6-prolific-vs-11-corrosive:
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3-mangled vs. 14-heretofore: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 3-mangled (Renee LaTulippe) (76%, 96 Votes)
  • 14-heretofore (Patricia Nozell) (24%, 31 Votes)

Total Voters: 127

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3-mangled-vs-14-heretofore:
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7-pimpled vs. 10-pummeled: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 7-pimpled (Linda Boyden) (47%, 108 Votes)
  • 10-pummeled (Debbie L.) (53%, 121 Votes)

Total Voters: 229

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7-pimpled-vs-10-pummeled:
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2-buttered vs. 15-dismemberment: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 2-buttered (Melinda Harvey) (69%, 170 Votes)
  • 15-dismemberment (JOY Acey) (31%, 76 Votes)

Total Voters: 246

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2-buttered-vs-15-dismemberment:
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6-chafe vs. 11-whacked: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 6-chafe (Marina Sim) (24%, 28 Votes)
  • 11-whacked (Mary Lee Hahn) (76%, 91 Votes)

Total Voters: 119

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6-chafe-vs-11-whacked:
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3-temptation vs. 14-befuddling: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 3-temptation (Pam Courtney) (56%, 57 Votes)
  • 14-befuddling (Marianne Nielsen) (44%, 45 Votes)

Total Voters: 102

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3-temptation-vs-14-befuddling:
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7-mulligan vs. 10-organs: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 7-mulligan (Julie Larios) (53%, 99 Votes)
  • 10-organs (Ann Jacobus) (47%, 82 Votes)

Total Voters: 186

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7-mulligan-vs-10-organs:
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2-prowl vs. 15-paternity: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 2-prowl (Donna Martin) (51%, 54 Votes)
  • 15-paternity (Linda Baie) (49%, 51 Votes)

Total Voters: 105

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2-prowl-vs-15-paternity:
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OPENING ROUND, FLIGHT TWO (WINNERS ADVANCE TO ROUND TWO)

Writing Window (approximate): Tuesday, 3/13, 8pm through Thursday, 3/14, 8am.
Voting Window (approximate): Thursday, 3/15, 8am through Friday, 3/16, 8pm.

8-sojourn vs. 9-abetted: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 8-sojourn (Donna Smith) (53%, 72 Votes)
  • 9-abetted (Stephanie Parsley) (47%, 65 Votes)

Total Voters: 137

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8-sojourn-vs-9-abetted:
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5-shenanigans vs. 12-synthetic: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 5-shenanigans (Not Quite Shakespeare) (62%, 60 Votes)
  • 12-synthetic (Linda Kulp) (38%, 37 Votes)

Total Voters: 97

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5-shenanigans-vs-12-synthetic:
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4-wired vs. 13-falsetto: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 4-wired (Greg Pincus) (53%, 239 Votes)
  • 13-falsetto (Dave Crawley) (47%, 211 Votes)

Total Voters: 449

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4-wired-vs-13-falsetto:
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1-carve vs. 16-nonconfrontational: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 1-carve (Melissa K.) (36%, 76 Votes)
  • 16-nonconfrontational (Susan Taylor Brown) (64%, 133 Votes)

Total Voters: 209

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1-carve-vs-16-nonconfrontational:
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8-blackened vs. 9-thermal: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 8-blackened (Michele Krueger) (56%, 87 Votes)
  • 9-thermal (Ken Slesarik) (44%, 69 Votes)

Total Voters: 155

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8-blackened-vs-9-thermal:
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5-brittle vs. 12-monologue: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 5-brittle (Kathy Ellen Davis) (79%, 127 Votes)
  • 12-monologue (Jane Yolen) (21%, 33 Votes)

Total Voters: 160

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5-brittle-vs-12-monologue:
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4-muzzle vs. 13-reciprocate: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 4-muzzle (Rena Traxel) (22%, 22 Votes)
  • 13-reciprocate (Eric Ode) (78%, 80 Votes)

Total Voters: 102

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4-muzzle-vs-13-reciprocate:
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1-whine vs. 16-psychoanalysis: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 1-whine (Natalie F.) (45%, 66 Votes)
  • 16-psychoanalysis (Peter Patrick Langella) (55%, 82 Votes)

Total Voters: 148

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1-whine-vs-16-psychoanalysis:
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7-funk vs. 10-sanitize: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 7-funk (_camer0n) (20%, 24 Votes)
  • 10-sanitize (Kristy Dempsey) (80%, 97 Votes)

Total Voters: 121

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7-funk-vs-10-sanitize:
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6-dotted vs. 11-allegedly: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 6-dotted (Kathryn Apel) (65%, 82 Votes)
  • 11-allegedly (Carol Wilc) (35%, 44 Votes)

Total Voters: 126

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6-dotted-vs-11-allegedly:
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3-knack vs. 14-decaffeinated: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 3-knack (Laura Salas) (67%, 102 Votes)
  • 14-decaffeinated (Heidi Mordhorst) (33%, 51 Votes)

Total Voters: 153

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3-knack-vs-14-decaffeinated:
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2-panic vs. 15-kinkier: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 2-panic (Doraine Bennett) (26%, 34 Votes)
  • 15-kinkier (Allan Wolf) (74%, 97 Votes)

Total Voters: 131

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2-panic-vs-15-kinkier:
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8-thawed vs. 9-unnatural: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 8-thawed (Darren Sardelli) (72%, 92 Votes)
  • 9-unnatural (Robyn (Hood) Black) (28%, 37 Votes)

Total Voters: 128

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8-thawed-vs-9-unnatural:
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5-subliminal vs. 12-curmudgeon: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 5-subliminal (Sarah C. Pilon) (40%, 38 Votes)
  • 12-curmudgeon (Jeanne Poland) (60%, 58 Votes)

Total Voters: 96

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5-subliminal-vs-12-curmudgeon:
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4-bent vs. 13-harrumph: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 4-bent (Amy Ludwig VanDerwater) (63%, 80 Votes)
  • 13-harrumph (Jone Mac) (37%, 46 Votes)

Total Voters: 126

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4-bent-vs-13-harrumph:
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1-crush vs. 16-caramelizing: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 1-crush (Jen Kelley) (73%, 135 Votes)
  • 16-caramelizing (Sarah Wones Tomp) (27%, 51 Votes)

Total Voters: 186

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1-crush-vs-16-caramelizing:
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REGIONAL QUARTERFINALS, FLIGHT ONE (WINNERS ADVANCE TO SWEET SIXTEEN)

Writing Window (approximate): Friday, 3/16, 8pm through Sunday, 3/18, 8am.
Voting Window (approximate): Sunday, 3/18, 8am through Monday, 3/19, 8pm.

1-spicy vs. 9-fossilized: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 1-spicy (Julie Krantz) (36%, 46 Votes)
  • 9-fossilized (Suz Blackaby) (64%, 81 Votes)

Total Voters: 127

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1-spicy-vs-9-fossilized:
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6-bulbous vs. 3-spiral: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 6-bulbous (Carol-Ann Hoyte) (53%, 103 Votes)
  • 3-spiral (Renee LaTulippe) (47%, 93 Votes)

Total Voters: 196

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6-bulbous-vs-3-spiral:
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10-forensic vs. 2-empty: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 10-forensic (Debbie L.) (50%, 130 Votes)
  • 2-empty (Melinda Harvey) (50%, 129 Votes)

Total Voters: 259

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10-forensic-vs-2-empty:
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11-nether vs. 14-marginalize: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 11-nether (Tiffany Strelitz Haber) (50%, 193 Votes)
  • 14-marginalize (Stephen W. Cahill) (50%, 196 Votes)

Total Voters: 388

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11-nether-vs-14-marginalize:
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7-knuckles vs. 2-hunk: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 7-knuckles (Stephanie Farrow) (51%, 75 Votes)
  • 2-hunk (Kenn Nesbitt) (49%, 71 Votes)

Total Voters: 146

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7-knuckles-vs-2-hunk:
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11-cavalier vs. 3-swerve: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 11-cavalier (Mary Lee Hahn) (80%, 97 Votes)
  • 3-swerve (Pam Courtney) (20%, 25 Votes)

Total Voters: 122

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11-cavalier-vs-3-swerve:
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7-barrage vs. 2-glazed: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 7-barrage (Julie Larios) (69%, 70 Votes)
  • 2-glazed (Donna Martin) (31%, 32 Votes)

Total Voters: 102

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7-barrage-vs-2-glazed:
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REGIONAL QUARTERFINALS, FLIGHT TWO (WINNERS ADVANCE TO SWEET SIXTEEN)

Writing Window (approximate): Saturday, 3/17, 8pm through Monday, 3/19, 8am.
Voting Window (approximate): Monday, 3/19, 4pm through Tuesday, 3/20, 8pm.

5-accelerate vs. 13-deconstruct: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 5-accelerate (April Halprin Wayland) (35%, 63 Votes)
  • 13-deconstruct (Quinette Cook) (65%, 118 Votes)

Total Voters: 181

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5-accelerate-vs-13-deconstruct:
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6-fringe vs. 3-cursed: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 6-fringe (Kathryn Apel) (55%, 94 Votes)
  • 3-cursed (Laura Salas) (45%, 77 Votes)

Total Voters: 170

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6-fringe-vs-3-cursed:
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10-rewind vs. 15-derelict: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 10-rewind (Kristy Dempsey) (40%, 57 Votes)
  • 15-derelict (Allan Wolf) (60%, 85 Votes)

Total Voters: 142

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10-rewind-vs-15-derelict:
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1-wonder vs. 8-fluent: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 1-wonder (Jen Kelley) (41%, 84 Votes)
  • 8-fluent (Darren Sardelli) (59%, 123 Votes)

Total Voters: 207

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1-wonder-vs-8-fluent:
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12-amorphous vs. 4-control: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 12-amorphous (Jeanne Poland) (17%, 19 Votes)
  • 4-control (Amy Ludwig VanDerwater) (83%, 95 Votes)

Total Voters: 114

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12-amorphous-vs-4-control:
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16-ephemeral vs. 8-rancid: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 16-ephemeral (Peter Patrick Langella) (51%, 121 Votes)
  • 8-rancid (Michele Krueger) (49%, 115 Votes)

Total Voters: 235

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16-ephemeral-vs-8-rancid:
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5-towering vs. 13-spliced: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 5-towering (Kathy Ellen Davis) (58%, 74 Votes)
  • 13-spliced (Eric Ode) (42%, 54 Votes)

Total Voters: 128

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5-towering-vs-13-spliced:
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16-translucent vs. 8-cement: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 16-translucent (Susan Taylor Brown) (55%, 95 Votes)
  • 8-cement (Donna Smith) (45%, 79 Votes)

Total Voters: 174

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16-translucent-vs-8-cement:
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5-volume vs. 4-zero: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 5-volume (Not Quite Shakespeare) (36%, 55 Votes)
  • 4-zero (Greg Pincus) (64%, 99 Votes)

Total Voters: 154

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5-volume-vs-4-zero:
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REGIONAL SEMIFINALS, FLIGHT ONE

(WINNERS ADVANCE TO ELITE EIGHT)

Writing Window (approximate): Tuesday, 3/20, 10pm through Thursday, 3/22, 10am.
Voting Window (approximate): Thursday, 3/22, 8am through Friday, 3/23, 9pm.

6-fleet vs. 10-eclectic: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 6-fleet (Carol-Ann Hoyte) (36%, 78 Votes)
  • 10-eclectic (Debbie LaCroix) (64%, 138 Votes)

Total Voters: 216

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6-fleet-vs-10-eclectic:
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11-scuttle vs. 7-heft: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 11-scuttle (Mary Lee Hahn) (76%, 166 Votes)
  • 7-heft (Julie Larios) (24%, 51 Votes)

Total Voters: 217

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11-scuttle-vs-7-heft:
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14-varnish vs. 7-syrupy: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 14-varnish (Stephen W. Cahill) (71%, 116 Votes)
  • 7-syrupy (Stephanie Farrow) (29%, 47 Votes)

Total Voters: 163

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14-varnish-vs-7-syrupy:
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9-grapple vs. 13-languish: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 9-grapple (Suz Blackaby) (61%, 135 Votes)
  • 13-languish (Quinette Cook) (39%, 87 Votes)

Total Voters: 221

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9-grapple-vs-13-languish:
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REGIONAL SEMIFINALS, FLIGHT TWO

(WINNERS ADVANCE TO ELITE EIGHT)

Writing Window (approximate): Wednesday, 3/21, 10pm through Friday, 3/23, 10am.
Voting Window (approximate): Friday, 3/23, 8am through Sunday, 3/25, 8pm. Voting for this flight has been extended an extra day to account for slower site traffic on Saturdays. Round 4 writing period will still begin for all poets on Sunday night.

16-colonize vs. 5-churn: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 16-colonize (Peter Patrick Langella) (63%, 118 Votes)
  • 5-churn (Kathy Ellen Davis) (37%, 68 Votes)

Total Voters: 186

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16-colonize-vs-5-churn:
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6-scratched vs. 15-virtuoso: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 6-scratched (Kathryn Apel) (57%, 166 Votes)
  • 15-virtuoso (Allan Wolf) (43%, 127 Votes)

Total Voters: 291

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6-scratched-vs-15-virtuoso:
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8-frugal vs. 4-boiling: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 8-frugal (Darren Sardelli) (43%, 85 Votes)
  • 4-boiling (Amy Ludwig VanDerwater) (57%, 113 Votes)

Total Voters: 197

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8-frugal-vs-4-boiling:
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16-impaled vs. 4-truce: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 16-impaled (Susan Taylor Brown) (42%, 127 Votes)
  • 4-truce (Greg Pincus) (58%, 172 Votes)

Total Voters: 299

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16-impaled-vs-4-truce:
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REGIONAL FINALS

(WINNERS ADVANCE TO FINAL FOUR)

Writing Window (approximate): Sunday, 3/25, 10pm through Tuesday, 3/27, 10am.
Voting Window (approximate): Tuesday, 3/27, 12pm through Wednesday, 3/28, 9pm.

16-titillate vs. 14-warbled: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 16-titillate (Peter Patrick Langella) (46%, 158 Votes)
  • 14-warbled (Stephen W. Cahill) (54%, 188 Votes)

Total Voters: 346

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16-titillate-vs-14-warbled:
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4-toll vs. 11-stigma: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 4-toll (Greg Pincus) (50%, 210 Votes)
  • 11-stigma (Mary Lee Hahn) (50%, 209 Votes)

Total Voters: 419

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4-toll-vs-11-stigma:
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9-exclusive vs. 6-probe: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 9-exclusive (Suz Blackaby) (60%, 168 Votes)
  • 6-probe (Kathryn Apel) (40%, 111 Votes)

Total Voters: 278

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9-exclusive-vs-6-probe:
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4-plunge vs. 10-jerky: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 4-plunge (Amy Ludwig VanDerwater) (49%, 181 Votes)
  • 10-jerky (Debbie LaCroix) (51%, 190 Votes)

Total Voters: 371

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4-plunge-vs-10-jerky:
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THE FINAL FOUR (WINNERS ADVANCE TO FINALS)

 

Writing Window (approximate): Thursday, 3/29, 8pm through Saturday, 3/31, 10am.
Voting Window (approximate): Saturday, 3/31, 12pm through Monday, 4/2, 8pm.

*pusillanimous vs. *barnacle: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • *pusillanimous (Suz Blackaby) (46%, 281 Votes)
  • *barnacle (Stephen W. Cahill) (54%, 333 Votes)

Total Voters: 614

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*pusillanimous vs. *barnacle:
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*serendipity vs. *pandemonium: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • *serendipity (Debbie LaCroix) (51%, 305 Votes)
  • *pandemonium (Greg Pincus) (49%, 291 Votes)

Total Voters: 595

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*serendipity vs. *pandemonium:
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THE FINALS (WINNER BECOMES THE CHAMPION!)

Writing Window (approximate): Monday, 4/2, 9pm through Wednesday, 4/4, 9am.
Voting Window (approximate): Wednesday, 4/4, 12pm through Thursday, 4/5, 9pm.

*bovine vs. *impecunious: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • *bovine (Stephen W. Cahill) (53%, 360 Votes)
  • *impecunious (Debbie LaCroix) (47%, 315 Votes)

Total Voters: 675

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*bovine vs. *impecunious:
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  • http://www.allanwolf.com Allan Wolf

    So do we get an advance peek at the Round Two, Flight One words, or do we have to wait for the open of voting for the big reveal?

    • Kristy Dempsey

      I wondered this too, Alan, so I went to check the brackets. And I see that whoo-hoo-hoo, it’s me against you in the next round, baby! Wanna get some trash-talking going? :) (Actually, I’m like the worst trash talker in the world.)

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      Round Two, Flight One words and matchups have been up since last night!!!

  • http://www.allanwolf.com Allan Wolf

    Yes, Kristy, I saw that too. And I am, oooooo, gonna throw my words at you, they’ll be like banana peels, all slippery like that, and when you go to write your poem you’ll be all slipping on these banana peels and lose your balance and I’m gonna oh so win. How’s that for kid poet trash talk?

    • Kristy Dempsey

      Let’s see. I can come back at ya with some leftover coffee grounds and a couple of eggshells. Take that! (Btw, once I stepped on an eggshell while barefooted and it sort of hurt my toe, so you might want to wear flip flops or something. I wouldn’t want you to physically hurt yourself. I’m nice like that.)

      • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

        NEW RULE: All poets gets +1 bonus vote for every funny trash talk comment they deliver to their opponent.

        -Ed

        p.s. I don’t want to enforce this, so you all better even things out on your own.

  • http://laurasalas.wordpress.com laurasalas

    Where do we find our words? I don’t see them on the Brackets or the Meet the Poets page? Thanks!

  • http://www.susantaylorbrown.com/blog Susan Taylor Brown

    Laura, I’m waiting for that too. Maybe Ed finally decided to take a nap. :)

  • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

    Madness never rests! It does eat dinner and drink wine, though.

    Just posted Round 2 Flight 2 words in a quick post. Sorry for the delay!

    Some great word pairings here …

    -Ed

  • http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com Amy LV

    Thank you, Ed! I love to see these pairings. Sleep tight – may you not dream of MADNESS!

  • http://www.susantaylorbrown.com/blog Susan Taylor Brown

    Ed, No worries. I don’t know how you’re keeping up with everything you’re already doing. Thanks for it all. And thanks to your wife and family for letting us take up so much of your time. I haven’t decided how I feel yet about my word except I’m pretty sure it’s better than cement.

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      I rather like the word “cement” … it stuck with me for awhile and then just hardened inside my mind.

      • Janet

        And look where you ended up!! Hopefully you won’t be there for long since we all need you on here!!

  • http://www.susantaylorbrown.com/blog Susan Taylor Brown

    Well you’re from Chicago. Of course YOU like cement.

  • http://www.itsrhymetime.com Tiffany Strelitz

    Ok, I’m pretty sure something is wrong with me. Ha! Where do we go to see the Round Two words?

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      Oh no — Tiffany, your poem is due in like 2 hours!!! Of course, it only costs you one vote per hour, so I’d suggest taking your time to get it right. Your word this round is “nether”.

      I am trying to update the Meet the Poets page, but am having some trouble. Will hopefully be up shortly.

  • http://www.itsrhymetime.com Tiffany Strelitz

    Well, the good news is- I DID see the word…somewhere…at some point, yesterday…and got started on everything…but I can not, for the life of me, find it again! I started thinking maybe it was all a dream, and I didn’t actually *have* a word yet!

  • juliekrantz

    Ed–not to strike fear into the hearts of my opponents, but I thought you should know I live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina…

    julie

  • Jen Kelley

    So do I, Julie!
    Let’s hope it’s my saving grace.

  • http://julielarios.blogspot.com Julie Larios

    Hey, Ed – I encouraged my husband to vote for his favorites, too – but when he signed in on our computer and came to the thinkkidthink.com website, it wouldn’t let him vote. Can’t two people who log in under different names use the same computer to vote??? I’m going to send this via your email, too, because my husband now is dying to vote!

  • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

    Votes are logged by IP address, so “our computer” can only vote once. While tempting to ease the restrictions, anything less than this does open the door to possible shenanigans. At least for now, I think that this is the right way to go, even at the cost of some votes. If your husband REALLY wants to vote, point him to the nearest wired coffee shop! (NOTE/POPQUIZ: 2.5 tournament words were used in this comment. What were they?)

    • http://www.susantaylorbrown.com/blog Susan Taylor Brown

      I think that’s fair, Ed. My husband wanted to vote too so he did it when he went into the office. (shenanigans and wired)

  • juliekrantz

    Hey, Jen–we should have coffee sometime!

  • http://kraftyellenwrites.com Kathy Ellen Davis

    wired, shenanigans, and tempting? (I think that was tempted?)

  • http://julielarios.blogspot.com Julie Larios

    Thanks for taking care of that “our-computer” panic, Ed – I was in a funk about that. I totally understand why you want all your i’s dotted and your t’s crossed about keeping the voting fair. Once a system has been compromised, it’s almost impossible to sanitize. I don’t know how you’re surviving all this madness. We poets can be a bent bunch of curmudgeons, capable of all kinds of subliminal-liminal natural-unnatural shenanigans (and sometimes even kinkier than that…though basically non-confrontational.) I guess I just needed to whine – someone should muzzle me, or sign me up for psychoanalysis! Thanks for the suggestion about using a cafe – I’ll have no trouble sending my husband on a sojourn down to the local coffee shop to use their internet connection, since there’s a Starbucks on every corner here in Seattle. That’s why we are all wired out of our skulls. (Decaffeinated??? Harrumph!!! We’re up into the wee hours in our thermal underwear, singing old protest songs around the campfire, in a falsetto that can only be duplicated if you’ve had half a dozen shots of espresso in a short no-foam latte heated to the point of carmelizing…and sometimes it takes days before we’re completely thawed out.) Again, thanks for the quick answer – I hope to reciprocate some day.

    Julie
    P.S. Allegedly, there are a few tournament words used in this comment, too.

    • Stephanie Farrow
    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      I’m copy/pasting this somewhere. I don’t know where I’m putting it yet exactly. But somewhere.

  • Peter

    Julie, your brilliance never ceases to amaze!

  • http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com Amy LV

    Wow, Julie! Can you hear me laughing in Western New York? Incredible!

  • Stephanie Farrow

    Ed, the info’s probably on one of these pages somewhere, but I can’t find it. . . When are the words for the next flight going up? (Please, please, please, please, please don’t say it’s tonight!)

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      Round 3, Flight 1 words DO get posted tonight. Schedule is on this page just below the active scoreboard.

      The show must go on!

      -Ed

  • Stephanie Farrow

    Keep calm and carry on . . .

  • http://www.allanwolf.com Allan Wolf

    Looking over the wonderful diversity of poetry here, I’m inspired. These poems are like potato chips to me; no way I can read just one. But looking at the numbers, it seems that some voters are visiting the site to vote on just a single match and then they leave, which seems to be missing the point. Some match ups have barely 100 votes, while one or two match-ups have 400 votes! What can we do to make these folks stay and read them all?

    Beer? Cheerleaders? Kissing camera on the jumbo-tron?

    • Eric Ode

      I’ve been chewing on the same, Allan. It is odd to see such extremes when it comes to the voting numbers. There must be a way to set things up so that people feel encouraged to visit every match. That said, I can tell the voting is only going to get more difficult as the competition moves forward. Yikes!

      • Janet

        Ah, perhaps the FB effect? If you are a friendly soul, then perhaps you have a bigger audience built in….but the beer incentive sounds good, though I thought Poets might prefer wine. It will be interesting to see how this fares next year, right Ed?

      • http://www.susantaylorbrown.com/blog Susan Taylor Brown

        Right there with you guys. I’ve been trying to promote from various angles, and trying to highlight matches that look lopsided but yes, it looks like some people come in to vote for maybe someone they know and then leave.

        We’ll have to help Ed brainstorm ways to keep people visiting the rest of the site.

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      Well I had written a nice long thoughtful reply but I stupidly hit refresh to check the last score and of course lost the comment. No time to rewrite in full, so here is the short version:

      I’m open to ideas on how to encourage reading/voting/commenting on entire range of poems posted during the contest, but:

      1) there will be natural variation
      2) social sharing does have an impact as shown in my stats post today.

      Another thing I noticed was that the closer the matchup, the higher the vote total, generally speaking (not always). I think that there was a bit of “vote for me” rallying going on, which I discourage in favor of “come read these great poems and vote for whichever you prefer”. Easier said than done in the heat of battle. Everyone wants to win.

      But I do think that a lot of the upside variance you’re seeing is this rallying of supporters (via quick response social media) in tight races, where there is no interest or intent on the part of the new visitor to do anything but pop-in, cast a vote for their friend as directed, and pop back out.

      So, rather than a technical or engagement problem among visitors, it may be more of a targeting problem — are we collectively attracting the right people to visit? This is where I need all of your help. Remember, I just started this website 10 weeks ago! We should try to find a way to work together to more systematically target schools, teachers, libraries, organizations, publishers, parents, and even kids directly. They are the ones who will drive the general vote, as they are the ones who will most enjoy the content and entertainment that we’re providing here.

      -Ed

      • http://gottabook.blogspot.com Greg Pincus

        People we’re connected with on social media are connected to us – that’s where the relationship is – so it’s human nature that they come and vote for their friends but not necessarily stick around for anything else. Some also love poetry hugely and will stick around, but that is not a huge percentage of people. I think we’re having fun and word will keep on spreading, but it is not a speedy process to reach the specific folk you want to reach. Or, it can be speedy if enough people see it (you know… get on Oprah!), but in general it’s a slow build as word spreads.

        I think you’re doing great and the number one goal is for us all to keep enjoying ourselves and keep producing stuff that folks want to keep coming back to see. If that happens, over time, numbers will grow. All IMHO, naturally, and based on my experiences and observations of my own, not necessarily of what’s happening here!

      • http://katswhiskers.wordpress.com Kathryn Apel

        I think part of the thing is that, whilst WE love poetry – Madness is almost like an addiction – and WE want to know/read more & more, the bizarre thing is that, not everyone IS like us! (?!?) So they may not all go through all the poems. Although, that said, I’ve a lot of friends who *are* reading and voting on all poems. I think keep promoting and the word will continue to spread.

        The other thing that saddened/frustrated me, is that the site is blocked in a lot of Australian government schools. (I’m not sure about private schools.) So whilst teachers have wanted to do the activity with classes, they’ve not been able to. What a lost opportunity!! :( I know how my own kids have been analysing the poems – and the richness of their discussion.

        And 10 weeks, Ed? Wow! I thought this site had been around forever. Go you!!

      • http://www.aprilwayland.com April Halprin Wayland

        It is astonishing that you just started this a few weeks ago, Ed–wowee! A side benefit for me was that NOW I understand March Madness in the basketball galaxy! My husband will be happy.

  • http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

    Absolutely! I vote for the kissing camera. Everyone kisses Ed. I, too, have been puzzled by the numbers. I am friendly (I think), post on fb and Twitter, and I ask everyone to come and vote for one and all. Maybe I should mention the camera. Love these poems and the chatter going on behind the scenes.

  • Peter

    Maybe all poems and voting on the same page instead of seperate? That way it’s all right in front of the visitors…

    • Peter

      separate?

  • http://kraftyellenwrites.com Kathy Ellen Davis

    I sent a message to a few friends and said, “Hey, you’ve got to vote on these matchups! They are so close!!” and I was very happy to hear them say, “Oh, we’ve already voted….how could we not want to read all of those poems!”

    I was very proud of my friends. :)

  • http://julielarios.blogspot.com Julie Larios

    Quick Opinion: It’s the same in political voting, isn’t it? Much-disputed or close races (for President, for example?) get the big numbers, quieter races (King County Court, Postition 1) don’t pile up as many votes – even with the same voters voting. In our tournament, some people read all the poems but only vote in the match-ups where they see quite a difference and have a clear preference. Other people vote for the close-call poems where they think both poets came up with winners, because that kind of tight race excites them and they’re just not as interested in the others. The poets among us spend a good amount of time thinking about it and voting on every single match-up, because we’re poets and we’re crazy when it comes to poetry. Bottom line: I don’t see a problem in differences in the total votes; it will remain true even if we get many, many more people reading all the poems. All I can say is thank God it’s not a national election – don’t even get me started on how Americans vote anymore (if they vote at all!)

  • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

    One thing that might help a little bit is if I disabled the “View Results” button before the visitor actually voted. This way, they cannot see a lopsided score and just skip that matchup. They would have to vote in order to see results prior to the poll closing.

    • http://julielarios.blogspot.com Julie Larios

      Good thought, Ed! It might even be useful not to allow people to see the vote totals once they vote – no totals posted until the voting period closes completely. That way, no rallying of the forces (and family and friends) for close votes. The totals would only come up when the polling was closed – as with most elections.

      • Stephanie Farrow

        In total agreement, although I must admit to an element of perverted fun in all the stressing out.

        • http://www.susantaylorbrown.com/blog Susan Taylor Brown

          I’m with Stephanie, and with Ed’s comment about losing the basketball game image. I like that idea of being able to root for the underdogs and the occasional upset.

      • http://kraftyellenwrites.com Kathy Ellen Davis

        Ooh Julie, that would be very dramatic!

      • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

        I can make that change in 2 minutes. But the question is does that help or hurt us? While it may be more like an election, it’s much less like a basketball game that you watch from beginning to end.

        It would take some work, but I could (this does not constitute an offer!) chart the vote-by-vote logs in a time series that at least presents the matchup a bit more like a story than a pair of numbers. But I could never do that for the first two rounds — too many of ‘em to handle. Even if I automated the charting process (which I would do), the simple mechanics of editing the posts would add an extra couple of hours, and I assure you that those hours do not exist.

        But the small step of hiding the tally until after a user votes — that I could do unilaterally without much risk of changing the experience for anyone.

        Keep the ideas coming!

        • http://www.susantaylorbrown.com/blog Susan Taylor Brown

          In any event, Ed, I wouldn’t suggest making changes mid-tournament. I think it might add to the confusion. My 2 cents.

        • Janet

          Ed, I think hiding the tally until after a reader votes, might be an idea to try. You could try it for a round and see how it goes or wait until next year. (Though I was thinking the same thing as Susan.) But I do enjoy the idea of seeing how it is going, too.

          Still if people send out FB or other reminders to vote which increases readers, there is the possibility of camaraderie voting anyhow. My big thought, though, is,that it is great to get more people reading and enjoying poetry and the fun of this entire Madness, even if it causes some to have more reads/votes than others. (Check out American Idol “vote for the worst”……)

          I think this event is something that will grow in time, which I think Greg said in an earlier comment. In any “race” it is the nature of the “game” that it won’t be “an exact science” and isn’t that the beauty of poetry, so perhaps the goal of March Madness Poetry is to simply enjoy the journey and let the chips fall as they may, despite the fact that some great poems/poets only go a round or two and not to the finals. Like all good things, perhaps in time readership will increase, and while you can implore people to vote their conscience, there will always be those who vote for their friend’s poem……but still there will be a place for new poetry via this site. And because the poems are on the site, you can go to them to read and savor as much as you like.

          I think this is a great experience; plus fun community-building and sharing for the poets and poetry lovers. And we need converts. But it should be fun for all and that includes you, the webmaster!! Just some quick thoughts! I continue to be very impressed with your creativity and web skills. And love reading the poems. I think there will be benefits here that we haven’t even thought of yet.

        • http://gottabook.blogspot.com Greg Pincus

          I agree with Susan about not making changes in mid-stream, just on principle (though no one’s gonna begrudge you if you do). I also don’t think it’d increase the broad vote total. In fact, what I think it might do is make people less likely to vote beyond the match that got them there – they don’t see the result of their action.

          People vote, I think, with a rooting interest for a poet, poem, or contest. Not seeing the result of the vote might be disappointing. Now, disabling the ability to view the totals before voting doesn’t seem to have that problem to me.

          For future years, I wonder if there’s not an email system you can institute for when new poems or new flights come up for vote. I’d opt in to get an email when each group was up (probably not each match-up, though). It does take action to vote, but it also takes MEMORY to get back out here and keep checking….

          • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

            I do have a subscription service for TKT posts. My default is to send an e-mail for each new TKT post, but I have disabled that for the #MMPoetry matchups because I don’t want to hammer people’s inboxes.

            I can easily send ad hoc e-mails to the subscriber list that announces when each WAVE of matchups has been posted — good idea. That said, while I’ve had about 7,000 unique visitors to the site since March 11th, only a small percentage have subscribed. Any suggestions for how to increase that hit rate? (Other than asking all of you to sign up, which of course you should.)

            That does not need to wait; I will start alerting my subscriber list of each wave of poems starting in Round 3. I will also post to my Twitter and Facebook author page, and if you guys can forward/retweet/share that to your own contacts, then that could be something.

            -Ed

            • http://gottabook.blogspot.com Greg Pincus

              I think that was wise to disable the email for each post (32 matchups in two days would probably have made everyone flee!), but a “journal” post that does go out might work nicely, if that makes sense. A recap, so to speak. Although I think most people subscribe via RSS rather than email, if they subscribe (and most people don’t subscribe either way!). It’s a slow, steady process, and the numbers will grow over time. There are ways to try and optimize signups (placement of the options, for instance, or building a landing page or or or), but it still is only going to be a small percentage of overall visitors.

    • http://www.woozlecatch.weebly.com Stephen W Cahill

      great idea Ed – I think that would help a lot

    • http://www.woozlecatch.weebly.com Stephen W Cahill

      i.e. Disabling “view results”

      • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

        Okay, I’ll definitely do this for Rounds 3-6. I was on the fence about it anyways. This way people will have the nervous feeling of not knowing which direction the crowd was leaning before they cast their own vote, and would perhaps be more inclined to click through, read, and vote. I really doubt it would have a negative effect. Hopefully I’m not wrong!

        • http://www.susantaylorbrown.com/blog Susan Taylor Brown

          This will be an interesting experiment in any event. :)

  • http://www.allanwolf.com Allan Wolf

    Ah, “disabling view results” until after the vote is cast. I like that. It would keep the judging more directly based on the poem itself, but it still has the wonky tournament fun with the big “reveal” of that cold-hard numerical value that we all love about competition. Huzzah for us. Meanwhile, I was approached by two teachers today who said their entire classes had logged in, read a few poems, and cast their vote. Now THATS COOL, all those kids comparing texts just like the SOLs say they’re supposed to be doing. And they’re having fun. Did I already say Huzzah. If so, then Huzzah times Two!

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      I was approached by two teachers today who said their entire classes had logged in, read a few poems, and cast their vote. Now THATS COOL, all those kids comparing texts just like the SOLs say they’re supposed to be doing. And they’re having fun.

      I love hearing this! I need all of your help with something. Please help me to DOCUMENT these examples that you hear about. I want a school count, a kid count. Not everything happens online, so if we can quantify that we’ve reached 20 schools/classrooms, or 100 schools/classrooms, or whatever, we should know this! Please use the TKT@SCHOOL page on the top menu bar to share these stories, with more details if possible, and I will tally everything after the event is over.

      • http://www.mainelywrite.blogspot.com Donna Smith

        I think it would be nice if the audience was mainly 7-15 years olds, since that’s who it is aimed at.
        Our problem in the ‘younger than middle school’ students (each of them has a laptop), is that they don’t have their own IP address. One class could vote in the lab, and then no other class could vote. Or is there a way around this? I don’t understand how they can all vote without a computer for each.
        The other option is to vote at home, but you lose the text talk in the group. How can this be done? I’d like to suggest this at my “retired from” school.

  • http://julielarios.blogspot.com Julie Larios

    Oh – I hadn’t even thought of it being like a basketball game! Shows you how in-sync I am with sports metaphors! Of course, that changes things..or does it? It’s not like people in the stands can change the results of a basketball game (or can they? Maybe I’m missing something again.) I guess the adrenaline aspect is nice when those vote totals are visible.

    Off-topic slightly: Someone explain to me why it’s important to have a lot of SUBSCRIBERS to a website (Ed mentioned this) compared to a lot of readers. Doesn’t constant email coming in(via blog subscriptions) get on people’s nerves? There are so many blogs I love, but I couldn’t possibly subscribe to every one of them. I’d have 50 blogs a day in addition to all my other email. Can anyone explain it to me?

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      I’m not much of a blog subscriber, either. But the point is that you get a headline “alert” from a blog that you like (because you voluntarily subscribed) telling you what’s new there. The benefit is that I as a reader don’t simply forget to visit that blog regularly.

      And that was Greg’s point — if people visited TKT once or twice, but then get caught up in their normal lives and web routines and forget about it for a few months, I cannot get them back. But if I convinced them to subscribe when they WERE here, then I get that 0.5 second advertisement in their inbox whenever I make a new post that worst case reminds them that my site exists, and best case brings them back right away.

      Think of it more as your own custom newswire than anything else.

    • http://gottabook.blogspot.com Greg Pincus

      I don’t think one is more important than the other, exactly, Julie. What matters is having people who see your blog and are interacting with it. Personally, I subscribe to a lot of blogs… but I do not subscribe to them by email. Instead, I subscribe to the RSS feed and use a reader (for me, Google Reader) to collect ‘em. Think of it as another inbox that you can go check when YOU want, and all your favorite things are waiting for you. Oh yeah, and I never feel responsibility to read what’s in there, either. I’d like to read it all, but some days I do, and some days I don’t! I have my blogs sorted by all sorts of different measures, too, so on days that I feel like, say, poetry… I can read that, and on days when I want social media news, I can read that. As Ed said, it’s like a custom newswire (just not in my inbox).

      On my own blogs, far more people subscribe like I do (via RSS) than sign up to get my posts in their inbox.

      • http://www.susantaylorbrown.com/blog Susan Taylor Brown

        I do what Greg does and use my Google reader to keep track of the various blogs all sorted into categories. I like knowing that I can pop over there during some done time or waiting time and get caught up. There are some blogs I read for pure enjoyment and some I like to keep track of for reference. Google reader helps make that easy.

        • http://julielarios.blogspot.com Julie Larios

          Thanks, Susan – I’m going to sign up with Google Reader. I’ve been putting my favorite all on The Drift Record’s “Good Reading” list and trying to catch up by reading them there. But a place where I separate them into categories would really help.

  • http://lindakulp.blogspot.com Linda

    Donna- I did find that it was a problem at my school that the kids weren’t able to vote. One teacher voted on the first day without realizing no one else from our school would be able to. Then I had a class reading the poems and ready to vote. They were very disappointed when they couldn’t. I was thinking that in the future I might have a paper copy of a scoreboard and allow kids to vote that way. Later,I could tally and enter a “school vote.” The school vote idea was Ed’s, and it’s s good one except kids REALLY wanted to vote online.

    A cool thing that happened was that some of my students asked if they could have a poetry competition at our school I’m trying to work out something for National Poetry Month, so we’ll see what I can come up with. I worry about it becoming a popularity contest instead of a poetry contest, but it is exciting that kids WANT to write!

  • http://julielarios.blogspot.com Julie Larios

    Thanks, Greg and Ed, helping me understand the benefits of subscribing to a blog! Sounds like I should be thinking about that more.

  • http://juliekrantz.wordpress.com julie krantz

    Hi, Linda–That thought occurred to me, too–that these kinds of competitions can turn into popularity contests. So… how about randomly assigning words and posting the poems WITHOUT the authors’ names attached?

    • http://www.allanwolf.com Allan Wolf

      Regarding the popularity contest issue: I’ve been surprised at how my personal votes have been in agreement with the general public. And as of yet I haven’t seen an “undeserving” poem win it’s pairing. I don’t think Popularity is really the culprit here. Recall that Charles Ghingna and Jane Yolen (who have probably collectively authored about 150 books) got “romped” and “stomped” and “kicked to the curb” in the very first round. Their popularity did not help them win, and yet it certainly helped to convince some of us to sign-up to play. (“Well okay, if Father Goose and Mother Yolen are playing, then I want to play too!”) So popularity has it’s good points too, drawing attention to ALL of us. But when it comes to the actual swaying of votes, popularity is not the issue.

      That said I think we should ALL just accept that there is a 3rd competitor in every match-up, and it’s name is Social Media. In fact that is exactly what Ed’s tournament is to begin with: Ed is using social media to make his site and himself more popular (and it’s working). This has nothing to do with Ed’s ability as a poet himself, yet that is not the point. Being good at social media doesn’t make you a good poet; but neither does it make you a bad one. Social Media gets you noticed. And to be noticed is what most authors welcome. All that said, I hope Ed never makes this tournament anonymous, blocking out the true names until the end. One of the great perks of this tournament is that it places our names out there.

      Plus if these poems were anonymous (or psuedonymous) I wouldn’t be able to make funny and annoying rhymes about Greg Pincus’ name. I was hoping to be matched up with Greg eventually just to drop the Stinkus bomb. But it looks like Kat may have “scratched” me out of that dream forever. I will just have to comfort myself with the fact that all us poets must embrace: There are NO bad poets; there are only bad JUDGES!

      • http://www.susantaylorbrown.com/blog Susan Taylor Brown

        What Allan said.

        I, too, hope Ed never makes it anonymous because half the fun for me has been talking up the event and various matches on my social media channels. I’ve made some new poet friends as a result, as it is easier to build the relationship as we moan and groan at the words and collectively bite our knuckles round by round.

        The only feedback I’ve heard from some folks has been that they sometimes found it difficult to know where to go to read everything but I think that must have been for the earlier matches when it was rather overwhelming with 32 matches.

        This has been so much fun and a nice warm-up for National Poetry month, for me.

  • http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com Amy LV

    You are wise and funny both, Allan. Thank you for this. Please say that you are coming to the potluck!

  • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

    Allan/Susan/All,

    Don’t worry, the madness will never be anonymous. It was briefly considered, but quickly discarded. (In schools, among kids, it might be a different decision.)

    In this event, where the participating authors are worthy of headlines, I tried to subtly take the focus away from the poeTs and put the emphasis on the poeMs by doing things like seeding the words instead of the authors themselves. That was one of the central ideas of the event anyways, but had the nice side benefit of encouraging lower-risk signup among popular authors, who, if otherwise all #1 and #2 seeds, would all be in a potentially embarrassing position if “upset” (and therefore might attempt to use their larger platforms to drum up votes). Instead, by randomizing the poets and seeding the words, it puts everyone on the same level at least as far as the game DESIGN is concerned. We of course all still have our own abilities and styles, and some mega-authors could still end up in a position to be upset (Kenn Nesbitt as #2 seed comes to mind).

    Undoubtedly, social media is a blessing and a curse here. As Allan points out, this event would not even exist if not for social media. In that way, it benefits us all — as much as we wish differently, kids’ poetry has not (yet) penetrated our culture such that even the most popular among published poets are household names. So, it’s great that the many talented poets gathered here are winning new fans with their under-pressure poetry. And yes, I am enjoying the benefits of significant public exposure over just a few weeks that might have taken many years to accumulate, which will certainly help me whenever I decide (soon!) to start approaching editors/agents with my work.

    But social media has a dark side, too. I have seen (and have been told about) numerous instances where self-promotion via social media has impacted results (either margin of victory or victory itself). Thankfully, the winners have still contributed solid poems, so it is not a tragedy for the event, but it is unfortunate for the affected poets. I do not yet have an answer to this, but it is something that we’ll sort out over time. The best solution is to grow the general interest audience to such a degree that any one poet’s fan base is statistically inconsequential. I’d peg that somewhere around 20,000 votes per contest instead of 200.

    Bottom line — for now, I hope that everyone is able to enjoy this event for what it is. There WILL be a Madness! 2013, and we can work together to address some of the first year missteps to make next year’s event even better. I hope to make it worth your while to hang around during the maddening 11-month gap as well.

    -Ed

    • http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com Amy LV

      I, for one, cannot wait to see what you do next! Thank you, Ed, for all you’ve done by throwing this impromptu party and getting us all together. It’s been exciting to be part of it, and the poems have both lifted and cracked my family up!

    • http://www.susantaylorbrown.com/blog Susan Taylor Brown

      I know this would make for a really long page, especially in the early rounds, but I wonder if it’s possible to see the poems side by side, one after the other?

      People would be going to the page, perhaps searching for the person they knew that directed them there, but the temptation might be strong to read the other poems if all they had to was page up and down?

      My two cents on a lazy Sunday.

      • http://katswhiskers.wordpress.com Kathryn Apel

        I have been thinking the same thing, Susan. Especially during the initial stages of the tournament when there were so many matchups to flick between. I’ve sent emails with the various different links direct – but then the emails get spammed, because there’s too many links. But without them, people can’t find the match-ups… It’s tricky because there are so many posts coming so quickly – the nature of the tournament. It’s been easier this round, when most of the match-ups sit on the home page.

    • http://gottabook.blogspot.com Greg Pincus

      Whooooaaaa, Nelly! Dark side is a strong term, particularly for an event that uses social media at its core. A “complex side” for sure. And while it’s great to get everyone to read EVERY poem, and that should be encouraged, that is a totally different call to action and much less likely to be effective in social media or outside of it. Rather, I think it is more likely that folks come, read a good poem and stay for more. Of course, I also think every person who reads one poem darn well better read both poems and honestly vote for their favorite poem. It is icky to know that some folks will come and simply vote based on a name without reading anything at all, but that’s gonna be the case.

      I think the self-promotion aspect is an incredibly hard line to walk, and believe me, it’s one I’m uber-aware of. I’ve tried a bunch of different ideas out in social media, and have found a level I’m comfortable with that feels effective and not icky to me, but not without stuff that didn’t work like I’d’ve hoped. I suspect others are experiencing the same. I know that offline, I tell folks about the whole contest and mention I’m in a matchup, too. And I suspect that friends are gonna lean towards my poems cuz they know me (though I must add that quite a few of my friends have voted for Susan’s pantoum and told me so!). Online is gonna be no different.

      The challenge is in balance. There’d be very few people here this year without all of us poets talking. Most people who come the first time have a relationship with one of the 65 of us (including Ed). One hopes that relationship doesn’t cloud the voting, but we all know it does to some extent. The social media side of me says “yet another reason everyone needs to have a platform.” The poet side of me says “It’s all about the words!” The truth is simply complex.

      And I think you’ve done a super job creating an exceedingly enjoyable event, whatever warts there might be.

  • Stephanie Farrow

    The poems get better and better. Not very kind of the poets, as it makes it harder for readers to make choices. Sometimes it’s tempting to flip a coin! Or wait for the answer to come in a dream. Good work and good luck All!

  • juliekrantz

    Congrats to all the Final Four poets! What a wrap-up. Can’t wait to see what kind of stats you come up with, Ed.

  • http://www.allanwolf.com Allan Wolf

    What most excites me as we go into the Final Four is the level of discussion among this wonderful gathering of creative minds. I can remember the first few national poetry slams in the late 80s and early 90s. The voices and styles were diverse and original, and while the poets were serious about their ART, they understood that the COMPETITION was only a parody–meant to attract an audience, not meant to definitively determine who was truly the better poet was. I predict that Ed’s wacky tournament will grow and grow over the years. But it will never be as magical as this first time out of the box. I really do think that post-tournament potluck is in order.