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Melrose Branch Library hosts “Al Burt Literary Festival”

Congratulations to the Melrose Library branch of the Putnam County public library system for a highly successful “Al Burt Literary Festival.” On Sunday, February 26, the library was host to those who entered the “Write Like Al Burt” Literary Contest. First, second and third place winners in the categories of poetry and prose were presented with plaques, cash awards and all contest finalists had their contributions published.

 The library’s main room was packed with attendees. University of Florida Professor Emeritus of Journalism Jean Carver Chance presented a synopsis of the outstanding career of Florida journalist and writer, Al Burt. Several members of the library presented a map which will be used to stimulate interest in literary figures in the area.

 I was honored to receive first prize for my poem, “Beach Glass,” which is quoted below: 


 By Marie Vernon

Last days I speed the length of shore,

denial hounding at my back.

Gulls etch the sky with vaulting sweeps

but all the feathers in the world

can no more lift away the loss

than whispers from the sobbing waves.


When lungs and legs can pound no more

I stumble homeward, eyes cast down,

and sometimes glimpse among the wrack

the subtle sheen of sea-honed glass—

patinaed slivers caught in spill

of shells and driftwood bleached to white.


Amber, azure, celadon—

Pockets filled, I turn to home,

and one more day deny the truth

while in the house we share apart

a bowl spills full with crystal shards.

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