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Get rhymin'! Poems wanted for Garrison Keillor contest

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April kicks off with a day for fools, but spends the rest of its weeks celebrating meters, diction and iambic pentameters.

Yes, it's National Poetry Month. And as part of a celebration of the written word, Garrison Keillor is once again using his Common Good Books in St. Paul for a poetry contest.

It's the third straight year, and Keillor himself is offering $5,000 in prizes – three winners will get a grand apiece, and four runners-up will each get $500.

The theme this year? "Dear you." So the work must be a letter to a "specific, living person," the rules state.

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Only one entry per person, and one poem per entry.

Entries must be mailed to Common Good Books (38 S. Snelling Ave., St Paul, MN 55105), and be postmarked no later than April 4, 2015 (so get cooking if you haven't yet).

The winners will be announced on April 19, as part of a celebration at Macalester College.

Sonnet contest

For those who prefer a more-specific challenge, there's the eighth annual Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest, held in Winona, the Winona Daily News reports.

The contest – whose namesake comes from the organizer Ted Haaland's late wife – starts April 7, and those who come can "hear, share, and try their hand at writing sonnets" with local poets.

Haaland told the paper he's gotten more than 140 submissions so far, with entrants from England, Australia, and Zimbabwe.

The contest's website says cash prizes totaling $2,000 will be awarded.

Submissions can be sent via an online page found here, or by mail to:

Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest of the GRSF
Ted Haaland, Director
P.O. Box 827
Winona, MN 55987-0827

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