Roses are red, violets are blue, and a Sarnia poetry contest has entered year two.
The Carmen Ziolkowski Poetry Prize, hosted by Lawrence House Literary Arts Committee, is seeking well-crafted poetry until April 15.
The Ziolkowski family is offering $500 for the winner, $250 for the runner-up and $100 for the third prize. The contest will also feature honourable mentions.
Board member Ryan Gibbs said they are looking for poetry that is heartfelt, nature-based and hopeful, and that is no longer than 40 lines.
"On the same note, as I think about Carmen, she used to write a lot of haikus, so it could be as short as three lines as well. And we're looking for poems that are heartfelt and nature based and that are optimistic."
Carmen immigrated to Canada from Italy in 1955, she studied journalism at Port Huron Junior College and taught creative writing at Lambton College. Gibbs said she was a vibrant member of the Sarnia-Lambton writing community until she passed away in December of 2018 at the age of 94.
Gibbs said the contest is a great way to honour Carmen's legacy.
"I think when we initially planned it, we actually planned it as something that would happen continually, and it seems to be something, as well, that we wanted as local artists and also that the family wanted to see happening again."
Last year's event saw 36 poets submit nearly 100 poems. Gibbs said they're hoping to build off of that this year.
"And I think that we would also want to see more entries from the Sarnia-Lambton area, and I think the more, the better. Also, to just have more people take part, the better it is."
Gibbs said art and culture is an important part of what defines a community.
"I think at its heart, art and culture is a way of bringing people together and it seems to be such an important part of any community."
Gibbs also believes local poets would be open to performing at the newly launched Third Thursday events.
"At the Lawrence House, the open stage is beginning again and that's a place that has a lot of musicians, but I think you'll also find a lot of poets, a lot of storytellers that come to that event as well. So, I think the more venues that we have, the better."