Polar Pete was a fine old bear/he kept warm with lots of fuzzy hair/until he plunged into Lake Detroit during Polar Fest/And froze the hair right off his chest.

Yes, it's time for the Polar Pete poetry contest.

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Last year the competition was for the best short story. This year, for Polar Fest 2011, it's all about poetry.

Participants are encouraged to write a poem about Polar Fest, Polar Pete and all things related.

"Winter, Polar Pete, Polar Fest, ice fishing -- it doesn't matter," Detroit Lakes Library Supervisor Mary Haney said.

The library is hosting the event again this year, and there are cash prizes for winners in all age categories. The top poem in each of the four categories will be awarded $25, and then an overall winner will receive a $35 cash prize.

A panel of judges, which is still to be determined, will judge the poems. Last year, which was the first year of the competition, there were about 60 submissions.

Haney said that not only will winners receive cash prizes, they could have their work published as well.

On Feb. 15 at 7 p.m., the winners will be announced and prizes will be given out. Poems will be read, and spiced cider and treats will be available courtesy of the Becker County Friends of the Library.

"Last year was packed," Haney said of the reading celebration. "Kids and adults were quite pleased to be finalists."

Poetry contest rules

  • Poems must be 30 lines or less
  • Deadline for submission is Feb. 10
  • Categories are students grade 3-5; students grade 6-8; students grade 9-12; and adults.
  • Work must be original and not previously published or a finalist in any other competition.
  • It can be submitted by dropping it off at the library, e-mailing it to Detroit@larl.org, or sending it to 1000 Washington Avenue, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501.
  • Any hand-written story that is not legible will be disqualified.
  • Include your full name, address and daytime phone number.