Steve Wynn looms over our artistic endeavours

Steve Wynn officially endorses the Las Vegas edition of The Writing Moment

Editor’s Note: In an effort to help us expand our audience and revenue streams, this thrilling third instalment of The Writing Moment (poems by the first winners, Gary Barwin, A.G. Pasquella, Maggie Thistle, and Munira Fatehi, can be found here), teams The Town Crier up with the Las “Expanding Art” Vegas Experience, a Las Vegas Tourism Board initiative dedicated to promoting the arts in Sin City. With the help of the high-rolling poetry mogul and curator, Daniel Scott Tysdal, we are proud to present a L.E.A.V.E.-themed contest.

L.E.A.V.E. will help you write original and excellent work by showing you how to, as they phrase it, Put a Little Vegas in Your Poetry™. Be sure to stay tuned next week for more: guest blogger Steve Wynn will discuss how the poetry of Emily Dickinson, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Frank O’Hara contains guaranteed casino-busting strategies for winning at, respectively, solitaire, roulette, and movie-themed slot machines.

Greetings, Poets, from the good folks at the Las “Expanding Art” Vegas Experience and the City of Las Vegas! We here at L.E.A.V.E. are honoured to have the opportunity to inspire you to Put a Little Vegas in Your Poetry™ and write one-of-a-kind work. Poetry is a major growth industry and Las Vegas, as always, is at the forefront of promoting this essential cultural entertainment experience. Robert Pinksy is currently headlining at New York-New York, while The Mirage is home to Rita “The Voice of 100 Poets” Factor, the world’s best poet impersonator. Most significantly, in the spring of 2015 Shakespeare’s Terrace will open its doors. With 3,650 rooms, 158,000 square feet of gaming space, and the 425-foot tall Globe Elevated Theater, Shakespeare’s Terrace will be the largest poetry-themed casino in the world!

We are certain you are going to want to make Las Vegas your destination for poetry-inspired gaming and entertainment and for inimitable inspiration for your own poetry. To help prepare yourself for your visit, try your hand at this month’s Writing Moments. These prompts will help you Put a Little Vegas in Your Poetry™.

To enter the L.E.A.V.E./Writing Moment Contest, compose a poem using one of the Writing Moments listed below, and email it (as a .doc or .pdf) to: tiztwm[at]gmail[dot]com. Deadline: Saturday, May 31.

There is a prize for Best Poem and a few other surprise categories. Each prize winner will receive a copy of The Writing Moment inscribed by Daniel Scott Tysdal in the persona of her or his chosen Las Vegas personality, whether the icon (Elvis, Elvis impersonator) or the occupation (the pit boss, chapel pastor). Viva Las Vegas! And Viva poetry!

Writing Moments:

  • The Sign: Write a poem that works in the names of at least 10 past or current casinos. For an added challenge, write a poem composed exclusively of casino names.
  • The Impersonator: Adopt as your persona a Las Vegas icon, personality, or occupation. Through this Las Vegas persona, meditate on the relationship between poetry and a Las Vegas experience such as gambling, entertainment, or simulated/stimulated experience. Alternately, choose a particular poet and write about Las Vegas from her or his perspective.
  • The Tease: Write a poem that teases, a poem that seduces, plays with veils, and half-reveals. You may choose to end with a big reveal or by stopping short and leaving a little something concealed.
  • The Spotlight and the Stage: Each night in Las Vegas, hundreds of world-class performers and entertainers take the stage, offering sell out crowds everything from music and comedy to awesome illusions and cutting edge circus performances. Write a poem that puts the spotlight on spotlights and/or stages the performance of stages.
  • The Cocktail: Las Vegas is home to the world’s best nightclubs, bars, and lounges. It should come as no surprise, then, that Las Vegas also offers an invigorating range of cocktails of the highest quality. Write a poem that is 2 parts excessive joy, 1 part misery, and topped off with a dash of the surreal and an aphoristic garnish. You may also choose to create your own menu of poem-inspiring recipes. Don’t forget to give your poetry cocktails reader-grabbing names!
  • The Souvenir: No one leaves Las Vegas without some sort of souvenir, whether a Las Vegas t-shirt, a casino-themed magnet, or a performer-emblazoned holster. A poem, in a way, is a souvenir of an experience. Write a poem about the poem as souvenir or a poem that is a souvenir from an experience that we do not often consider being a vacation.
  • The World’s _______est _______: As our writing prompts suggest, Las Vegas is home to many of the world’s biggest, tallest, most glamorous, and one-of-a-kind structures, entertainers, and experiences. Write a poem about a (real or imagined) World’s _______est _______, filling in the blanks with whichever words you see fit. You may also choose to compose the World’s _______est Poem, again filling in the blank with whichever word you desire.

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