Falmouth Public Library and Falmouth Hospital are partnering for the poetry writing contest, Poetry of Courage and Survival, for anyone affected by cancer.

Poets can be current patients, past survivors or anyone who has supported them.

The submission deadline is July 27.

On August 24 from 10 AM to noon there will be a coffee shop-style poetry reading at the main branch of the library, where winners will be announced. Prizes from local businesses will be awarded and entrants are invited to read their poems at this open mic event. Coffee and refreshments will be available.

The library and the hospital teamed up several years ago for a similar event and received more than 40 poems. They are hoping to double the participation rate this year.

Deb Crockett-Rice, cancer registrar at Cape Cod Healthcare, is one of the organizers of the event.

“It’s very moving,” Ms. Crockett-Rice said of the event. “The poetry is cathartic. A release for a lot of people. The poems give them a vessel to release their feelings into.”

Ms. Crockett-Rice estimated that most of the poems at the last event were written by cancer survivors although anyone touched by cancer is welcome to submit.

“I would highly encourage anyone touched by cancer who thinks they can put pen to paper to participate,” said Ms. Crockett-Rice. “It’s a feel-good, uplifting event.”

At the previous event Ms. Crockett-Rice observed that there was a lot of support and camaraderie among the participants. “The feeling I came away with last time was that it was a healing experience for them. Some of the poets expressed appreciation for the opportunity to participate.”

Following some introductory words by Dr. Peter Hopewood, chairman of the committee, the floor will be open to the poets at the August 24 event. Three judges will confer on awards. The public is invited to attend.

“It’s been great working with the library on this event,” said Ms. Crockett-Rice adding that the hospital and the library have also partnered to create a cancer resource center at the library. Created in 2010, the center is a place where patients, their loved ones and anyone looking for cancer information can go to find reliable sources.

To submit a poem to Poetry of Courage and Survival provide your poem title, your name, address, telephone number and email address. Put your poem on a separate piece of paper which does not have your name on it and deliver it via mail or in person to the Falmouth Public Library’s reference department. Poems can also be submitted via e-mail at info@falmouthpubliclibrary.org or dcrockett-rice@capecodhealth.

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