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SHJ Issue 18
Spring 2018

Introduction from the Publisher of SDPA

by William Harry Harding

The 2017 Steve Kowit Poetry Prize will be presented on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The ceremony begins at 4 p.m. in the Neil Morgan Auditorium of the San Diego City Central Library downtown. Library Supervisor of the Humanities Section Marc Chery is hosting the event, which is open and free to the public.

Through this award, the San Diego Entertainment + Arts Guild (SDEAG) honors the legacy of a poet, teacher, and friend whose influence helped shape our vibrant poetry community and impacted the work of others far beyond our region.

This year’s honorees hail from all over the country: New England and the Mid-Atlantic states through the Midwest, the South, the West Coast, and one from England.

Entries were judged by Clare MacQueen, co-editor of Kowit’s Korner at Serving House Journal and publisher of the KYSO Flash online journal and [print] anthologies; and Robt O’Sullivan Schleith, one of the founders of Poets INC (Inland North County) and its monthly host for the past decade, and a Regional Editor of the San Diego Poetry Annual.

The cash prize-winning poems and those selected for honorable mention were announced on December 16, 2017. They appear in print for the first time in this special section [of the San Diego Poetry Annual] and will be reprinted online in Serving House Journal. SDEAG provided the prize money and honoraria.

Congratulations to those whose work is being honored, and to all poets who submitted such fine work, making the job of the judges so challenging.

A regular contributor to the San Diego Poetry Annual and one of its first Featured Poets, Steve Kowit stands as a giant, casting a welcoming shadow that continues to shelter and nourish generations of poets. Some of us consider him a national treasure. Any poet receiving an honor bearing his name can be proud of the achievement and, like Steve himself, inspired to invest time, energy and new work in an effort to transform lives through the power of poetry and The Arts.

—Previously published in the San Diego Poetry Annual 2017-18 (Garden Oak Press, in association with the San Diego Entertainment & Arts Guild [SDEAG]; February 2018); appears here with author’s permission


SHJ Issue 18
Spring 2018

William Harry Harding

has written three novels, all from Holt, Rinehart & Winston: Rainbow (1979; Book-of-the-Month Club featured alternate), Young Hart (1982; New Jersey Writer’s Award of Merit), and Mill Song (1985; excerpted in Italian American Writers of New Jersey [Rutgers University Press: 2003]). His children’s book, Alvin’s Famous No-Horse (Henry Holt: 1992), illustrated by Michael Chesworth, has been translated into six languages.

He served as Book Critic for Westways (1980-90) and as Sports Editor of The Californian (1986-91), and contributed literary criticism to The Los Angeles Times. His fiction has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize. His poems and short fiction have appeared recently in the Paterson Literary Review and LIPS Magazine.

Harding founded Garden Oak Press and chairs the 501(c)(3) non-profit, San Diego Entertainment & Arts Guild (SDEAG); and is a member of ASCAP, the Writer’s Guild of America, West and The Author’s Guild.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury