Where poetry blooms

County Fair.

If those two words evoke pig-stink and cowpokes, it's time for a major re-frame. The Denver County Fair is taking old ag tradition and making new sassy fun. Now it's pickles, pies — and poetry. Yes poetry!

I'd tell you all about it, but Susan Froyd of Westword says it best:

Poetry is all about words well chosen; success in gardening starts with the right seeds. Placement, or syntax, means everything to both: While the poet needs to know exactly when to let the sun shine directly on a word and when to hide it in shadow, the gardener must likewise synchronize his watering regime, know when to feed a plant and when to hold off. The point? To help pass on the Denver County Fair's announcement that it will sponsor a poetry contest, Bounty, specifically for verse with agrarian themes, in both adult and youth categories.

Inspired by DCF organizer Tracy Weil's symbiotic art/poetry friendship with poet Drew Myron, the contest is easy to enter -- the $5 fee includes a free fair pass -- as long as you do it by July 18: Visit the website to register. Prizewinners and finalists will all have an opportunity to read their works at the fair's Sunday morning Poetry Performance in the Farm and Garden Pavilion; the top bard of the fair will also win fifty bucks.

This is, of course, only one of dozens of competitions in everything from fattest cat to best tattoo (not to mention the more traditional pie and produce categories) taking place during the four-day fair at the National Western Complex; get all the info at the Competitions tab.