yes, I recieved that mail too. I pretty much ignored it.
However, an invitation to this convention as a nominee for a prize that isn't to be sniffed at is something else. How much skepticism should I hold here?
I'll stop beating about the bush. Here's what they sent me.
I would like to inform you of your nomination as Poet of the Year for 2004, and to personally invite you to read your poetry at the single largest gathering of poets in history, where you will be formally inducted as an International Poet of Merit and Honored Member of our Society for 2004.
Your induction will take place Friday evening, March 5th, at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, during the International Society of Poets Spring 2004 Convention and Symposium.
You will also be honored with two separate and very special awards for your poetic achievement at special ceremonies throughout the weekend.
First, to honor and commemorate your poetic accomplishments, after you present your poetry in front of fellow poets from around the world, amidst the applause from the audience, you will be presented with your Outstanding Achievement in Poetry Silver Award Cup. The Award is a magnificent work of art in itself ($200.00 value), uniquely engraved and mounted on a cherry-wood base (see it here). This incomparable award is so large and heavy, you may need an extra suitcase just to carry it home!
And (me) . . . there's much more . . .
In recognition of your poetry presentation at this prestigious International Symposium, we will also create and present to you a beautiful and colorful Commemorative Award Medallion to honor your poetic dedication and achievements.
36 POETS WILL SHARE $74,000.00 TOTAL IN PRIZES--INCLUDING
THE SINGLE LARGEST POETRY CASH PRIZE EVER AWARDED--$20,000.00!
And don't forget the most lucrative amateur poetry contest ever! Your contest entry poem can be written in any style, on any subject . . . and can be up to 40 lines long.
Just think . . . for this poem alone, you will have the opportunity to win one of 36 cash and gift prizes to be awarded at the Symposium . . including a Grand Prize of $20,000.00--the largest cash prize ever awarded in an amateur poetry competition. There's also a Second Prize of $5,000.00, two Third Prizes of all-expenses paid vacations for two, including a Caribbean cruise and a trip to Cancun, Mexico, a Fourth Prize of $1,000.00, and six other cash prizes of $500.00 each. World-renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, W.D.Snodgrass, and Academy of American Poets Chancellor, David Wagoner, will be with us to congratulate poets and present the Grand Prize.
Your society is also encouraging today's youth to develop and utilize their poetic talents in a positive manner. This year we will award five $1,000.00 cash scholarships to talented young poets attending the Symposium.
Our editors and professors will also be searching for new poetic talent. Twenty poets will be "discovered" in the contest reading sessions. These winners will be awarded publishing or recording contracts that will generate international exposure for their poetic artistry.