Suddenly, the journey is finished, the final poem written, the three who became stronger and arrived as winners all have achieved something they never managed before. I'm so proud of each one equally, even though, with the help of my two esteemed judges, only one was able to receive the cup, each of the participants who made it with all thirty poems knows what they have accomplished.
It's been said before, when other DUP competitions came to an end, but this was incredibly close. Everyone raised the bar as the four weeks came down to one, with such personal effort, and inner emotion, appreciatively growing, noticeably embracing the reader with deepest reveal... start to finish:
Artemios: congratulations, Art! You welcomed the challenge before your first entry, like the others did, and came through learning much about yourself as you gave all of yourself.
OxyMoronicMe: you have come far, Oxy, and as a writer, there's no telling how far you will go now, but if we go by where your journey in life has taken you as expressed in your poetry here, it will be ever forward. You have honored me by giving so much of yourself in your first literary challenge; congratulation!
Hepcat61: I've never seen anyone do the NaNoWriMo so consistently through all thirty poems with such input of traditional form. You stretched yourself, beyond anything I've seen from anyone, anywhere, and showed yourself what you can do that you didn't know until the finish. Congratulations, Geoff!
And _shadoe_, Katja, though your journey was cut short, your presence and beautiful efforts honored this event. I congratulate you also!
The judges will be leaving their thoughts to these four outstanding poets, once they each arrive. My sincerest thanks to them both! (I'll let them reveal themselves)
With my pen salute, and deepest regard to everyone.,,
See you all again soon!