By Chip Chandler

One shall not compare these poems to a summer’s day. They art fouler and more contemptuous.

The 2022 West Texas A&M University Bad Poetry Contest, presented by Brick & Elm magazine, will take place at 6:30 p.m. March 9 in Legacy Hall inside the Jack B. Kelley Student Center on the Canyon campus.

“We can’t all be Shakespeare, soaring to Parnassus on wings of golden verse,” said organizer Matthew Harrison, the Wendy and Stanley Marsh 3 Professor of Shakespeare. “At the Bad Poetry Contest, we celebrate that fact, embracing the bumbling poetaster in each of us.”

Open to all, the event offers the chance for amateur versifiers to share their maladroit metaphors, mangled meter, inept elegies, vile villanelles, and other forms of frayed verse and pleasurable nonsense.

Participants should bring two or three original poems, but reading aloud is not mandatory for the audience, said Brick & Elm publisher Jason Boyett.

“Interaction is expected for audience members in the form of laughing, booing, groaning or sitting in embarrassed silence,” Boyett said. “Dubiously qualified judges will award prizes at the end of the competition, though ‘winning’ this event is not something you'll want to, like, mention in polite company. Or at all.”

Past poems have ranged from love to dental hygiene, from the beauty of Amarillo at sunset to, well, the distinctive smell of Amarillo at sunset.   

Mediocre prizes will be awarded to the best of the worst.