Alabama Launchpad holding first statewide poetry contest for innovation and creativity; Winner to be named Poet Laureate at the 4th Annual Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference in Birmingham on Sept. 26

August 13, 2014

Val Walton – Economic Development Partnership of Alabama

Birmingham, Ala., August 13 – The Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, in partnership with the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham, is holding its first statewide poetry contest, and the winner will be named at the 4th Annual Alabama Launchpad Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference Sept. 26 in Birmingham.

Entrants are asked to submit an original composition on the theme of innovation and creativity in Alabama.

Three finalists will be chosen to read their poetry Sept. 25 at the Alabama Launchpad Innovation Awards Dinner to be held at WorkPlay Theatre, Birmingham, where attendees will vote for the winner. The winner will be announced the next day, Sept. 26, at the 4th Annual Alabama Launchpad Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex and named Poet Laureate of the 2014 Conference.

The winner of the contest will receive $250 and a commemorative artwork. Two finalists each will receive $100.

Angela Wier, an EDPA vice president, said the organization added a poetry contest to the conference this year as a way to foster collaboration across disciplines that support risk taking and even tolerate failure.

“We want the conference to exemplify a microcosm of an innovative community, where one discipline inspires creativity in another,” Wier said. “This is why we are really excited to celebrate an Alabama writer at this year’s conference to foster an environment where innovation flourishes.”

Said Buddy Palmer, president and CEO of the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham, “Although at first glance, poetry and business innovation seem to share little, they have a common basis: creativity. At the core, they are a process of making concrete, something that is abstract.”

The poetry contest is open to anyone 18 and older who lives or conducts business in the state. Entrants selected as finalists must commit to traveling to Birmingham, where both the dinner and conference will be held.

The deadline to submit a poem is Aug. 29. The poem may be in free verse or rhyme, in traditional form or contemporary. The poem may be literal or abstract.

For guidelines, submission instructions and an application, visit http://alabamalaunchpad.com/innovation/. For more information, email jmoody@culutral-alliance.com

For more information about the Innovation Conference, visit http://alabamalaunchpad.com/innovation/agenda/.

About the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama: Now in its 23nd year, the non-profit Partnership represents the private sector’s contribution to economic development in Alabama. Fully funded by 80 leading companies invested in the state’s long-term economic success, EDPA provides leadership and services that recruit new businesses to the state, retain existing businesses and renew Alabama’s economy by encouraging innovation both within existing industries and through the commercialization of new technologies. www.edpa.org

About the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham: Founded in 2003 as a recommendation from the Cultural Master Plan, the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham advocates for the cultural sector, conducts sector research and cultural planning, provides technical assistance, coordinates arts education programming, and promotes the arts/cultural sector.