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Poetry Contest Winner Announced

Posted Sep 16, 2011 in Event News


It was a landslide victory for Allen Bell, who takes this year’s title as Beer Festival Poet Laureate.  He joined other entrants in the contest hosted by Jon Hershey, Professor of English at GA Highlands College, in the crafting of a poem in honor of beer and art.

Allen will read his poem tomorrow during the 4th Annual Beer Festival for the Arts to be held from 1-5pm at Heritage Park in Rome. Although Allen Bell is the former RACA Executive Director, selection of the winner was based solely on the merit of the works submitted.

Here is the printed version of the winning entry:

Outside the Roman Wall [1]

Allen Bell

There is a festive feel
With a sip or two
Not like the force
Of shots [2]

It creeps and sneaks
With bubbles replete
And happiness
Is revealed [3]
Wan souls not welcome
And mediocre eschewed
There are hops and malt
Calling your name [4]
While bands refrain
From bland sustain
And play melodies
With sweet return [5]
The river rushes
Unknowing of blushes
Engendered by buzz
Encumbered by beer [6]
Yet the art perseveres
With the talk of seers
And Rome is seduced
By the prattle of patrons [7]
While the arches sustain
An artistic friend chain
The Clocktower stands
Straight and naked [8]
Sylvia feeds Romulus
And Remus all day [9]
We’re happy they seed
The rambunctious deed

We all want to see

The grand return of the wasted [10]


[1] A reference to the line separating the Patricians and Plebeians in ancient Rome. It is likely that an event such as a beer festival would have taken place outside the Roman wall, in the land of the Plebeians.

[2] Beer is a drink which provides a slower route to inebriation, unlike liquor.
[3] This is a reference to the slow process of inebriation affiliated with beer, leading to a sense of euphoria.
[4] At a festival, generally boring people are unwanted. And at a beer festival, mediocre beer is unwelcome. Meanwhile, for those who are beer connoisseurs, hops and malt resemble the Sirens.
[5] While live music is present at the beer festival, jam bands are  unlikely to make a successful appearance, while band that adhere to the traditional rock music form and song structure are most welcome.
[6] The Oostanaula River runs adjacent to Heritage Park, the home of the Rome Beer Festival. While the river waters flow in close proximity to the event, they are likely unaware of the flirting that takes place during the festival. Meanwhile, while flirting may take place, the presence and consumption of beer may hinder the ability of festival attendees to take the flirting to another level.
[7] The Rome Beer Festival is a fundraiser for Rome Area Council for the Arts. It is likely that patrons of the organization will be present, discussing the virtue of the arts, attempting to convince those who are new to the arts community of the virtue of the arts.
[8] The arches refer to Porto Futurus: The Gateway to Rome, which was designed by E. Wright Ledbetter and Derek Bell, while the project was administered by Allen Bell, all of whom are close friends. (Note: While Allen Bell was the administrator for the project, the selection committee for the winning design was composed of members independent of their alliance and Bell was not a voting member of that committee.) Meanwhile, Rome’s Clocktower is the most well known image and icon of the city. It does indeed stand upright and free of clothing.
[9] These lines are a reference to the Capitoline Wolf statue located in front of city hall on Broad Street in downtown Rome. The statue was a gift of Mussolini to the City of Rome in the 1930’s.
[10] While Romulus and Remus cannot be credited with the establishment of the Rome Beer Festival, they may be considered as symbolic inspiration through the act of drinking from the mother wolf, symbolizing the consumption of alcohol within the City of Rome. Patrons of the festival are ecstatic to see the return of this annual event.

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