Dylan Days names top poems, stories for 2012

Dylan Days in Bob Dylan’s hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota, announced the winners of the 2012 B.J. Rolfzen Memorial Creative Writing Contest over the weekend.

As always, it’s an interesting mix of midwestern, national and international writers.

I help coordinate the contest, serving as one of three fiction judges, editor of the journal and co-chair of the Dylan Days committee. It occurs to me I’ve done this for more than a decade now. Can you hear the “sigh” out there? On the internet?

It’s important for small towns to invite art and literature into their places. So many artists are hungry for an audience, and opening your community to the world elevates the talent that exists around us. So, while our fiction winner might have been from Montreal, writers from the Minnesota cities of Pequot Lakes, Mankato and Mountain Iron weren’t far behind.

The contest is named for B.J. Rolfzen, an influential English teacher from Hibbing High School and Hibbing Community College who taught a generation of the sons and daughters of miners about the power of words and poetry. Though some of them never wrote much after school, one of them became Bob Dylan. So, that’s how that works.

Dylan Days will be held May 24-27. Our literary event will be Friday, May 25 at the Hibbing Memorial Building Little Theater, the same venue where a young Bobby Zimmerman used to play with his high school garage band.

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