Update: And the winners are...
Update: The deadline has passed! The Calvin Trillin contest is officially closed. Stay tuned for an announcement about the winners.
Reporter, humorist, and poet Calvin Trillin spent the last eight years trying to squeeze some humor from a topic many people did not find amusing: the Bush administration.
When logic failed to convert W's fans, Trillin went with limerick, and in 2004 authored Obliviously on He Sails: The Bush Administration in Rhyme, which was followed up by A Heckuva Job: More of the Bush Administration in Rhyme in 2006.
"We weren't going to know whether you could bring down a presidency with iambic pentameter until somebody tried it," he said.
Like everyone else we know, Trillin is ready for some new material. His latest, Deciding the Next Decider, chronicles the 2008 presidential race and its colorful cast of characters. On Hillary: "Some pundits wrote that Hil's campaign might fare / A little better if Bill wasn't there." And, on John Edwards (remember him?): "Yes, I know he's a mill worker's son, but there's Hollywood in that hair."
A former reporter for Time and the New Yorker, as well as a columnist and weekly poet for the Nation, Calvin Trillin is the author of a dazzling number and range of books: numerous comic novels, a series of memoirs, and multiple collections of poetry.
On February 17, 2009, Trillin will be speaking at the
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall Newmark Theatre as part of the Portland Arts & Lectures series 25th anniversary, which is especially notable given that he was the very first speaker when the series debuted in 1984.
We're giving away five pairs of tickets to this event — but you're going to have to work for it. We want you to stretch your poetry muscle and give us your best rhyme about the inauguration of President Obama in 20 lines or less. Simply leave a comment below, and we'll award tickets to five lucky lyricists, chosen by our staff.
Need some inspiration? Try our homemade verse:
A cold winter morning, the whole world was there
With pride President O. descended the stairs
Silent and still, not an eyelash did bat
But seriously, what was up with Aretha's big hat?
We think you can do better.
Deadline for submitting is midnight PST on February 5, 2009. Click here for official contest rules.
Books mentioned in this post