United Communities to Advance our Neighborhoods, (UCAN) Inc.

"YOU CAN Change the World!"


  1. Poetry Slam, TBD                                                
  2. Poetry Writing Contest
  3. Community Garden Award
  1. Scholarships (Click here).
  2. Poetry Links and Selected Poetry below 

Contest 1 :  Poetry Slam

 P O E T R Y    S L A M


COMING This Spring!!! 

Tentatively Friday, TBD, 2011


at the Paramount's Art Center's MARQUI ROOM

1401 Winchester Avenue  Ashland, KY  41101



B R E N D A   M A R T I N

A.K.A. The Apollo Night Emcee




University of Cincinnati Poet



"Bring your poetry or bring your rap."




Entry:  $8.00 per person

Free for scheduled performing poets.


TO REGISTER as an Interested Poet:

EMAIL bdrumartin@hotmail; Subject: Poetry. Confirmation will be sent to scheduled performing poets. 

For Ages 16 years old and above.

No x-rated poetry or language, etc.


Please share your thoughts and even some of your poetry with us on facebook:


Contest 2 -Written Poetry General Information-Submit Now

Write a poem that reflects one of the principles of Booker T. Washington,  Susan B. Anthony, Mary McLeod Bethune, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, or Kwanzaa.  The poem must be less than 2 pages.   There is no fee to enter.  Please complete the poetry contest application below.  There will be three divisions: 

Div. I: 2nd-5th grades; Div. II: 6th-9th grades; Div. III: 10th-College Senior Undergraduate

     In each division, First place winners receives 4 movie tickets, Large Popcorn & Soda; Second place receives 2 tickets and combo.

Entries will be judged on Creativity, Understanding the Principle and Positive poetic expression.  Entrants can submit up to 3 poems, but only one entry can be a finalist. The best judged poem will be used. Poets will be expected to recite/read their poetry also. Qualifying poetry can be published in our booklet!

Scroll down to Poetry Contest Application.

Contest 3- Community Garden Award

   Please submit your ideas for growing a community garden.  This can help to provide food that can be shared with families in need as well as beautify the area. UCAN will contribute $50.00 to at least one project to help to get it started.


Name _____________________________________________Phone ________________

Address ______________________________________________ Zip ______________

Email Address ___________________________________________________________

Organization Representing:  ________________________________________________


Community location where considering to grow garden:


 Please list what you would like to plant:





Please list organizations where you will offer your produce:






Please copy, complete, paste  and email to: ucanhelp@windstream.net .

Poetry Contest Application

Name ________________________________Phone ________________

Address __________________________________ Zip ______________

Email Address ______________________________________________

School attending ______________________________  Grade_______

School, Community and Church Activities (any offices held & years)



I heard about this contest through ___ My school   ___ My church  ___  Newspaper 

     ___A Friend   ___ Other: ____________________


Entry 1 Title:_______________________________________________  

Entry 2 Title: ______________________________________________

Entry 3 Title_______________________________________________

 I am submitting my own original work.

Student's   Signature: _____________________________________Date: ____________

I, __________________________________, give permission for my (above named) child/myself to compete in this contest and to have his/her/my name, poem and/or excerpts, entrant's picture and/or likeness advertised in UCAN's brochures, website, press releases, etc.  The poems/entries will become the property of  United Communities to Advance our Neighborhoods, Inc. (UCAN/UCAN, Inc.)  and will not be returned.  I also understand that decisions on selecting the winners are solely up to UCAN, Inc. and/or any judges selected by UCAN, Inc.

 Parent* Signature ___________________________________ Date:_____________(*Student signature, if over 18 years old.)

  Complete, copy, paste and email the form along with your poem(s) to ucanhelp@windstream.net with the subject: "UCAN Poem" or print the form, complete it and mail it along with your entry to UCAN, Inc, P. O. B. 104, Russell, KY 41169 by April  30, 2010.  For more information visit: ucanchange.webs.com.

 Thank you for your participation and good sportsmanship!

Selected Poetry

Tamara Madison Shaw : Naked Voice

my poetica


to its own rhythms,

a poem must breathe,

feel, think, sing,

burst the heavy clouds

of its muddy silence.


 a poem forgets to remove its shoes,

plants its feet

in holy ground

and prays



a poem carries a nickel bag of my DNA,

recording each step

of my father and mother’s helix duet.


a poem lies, cheats, steals

and still

redeems itself.


a poem chooses wisely

or not

but chooses anyhow

knowing its choice is eternal

in the moment.


the poems

are my children,

umbilicals severed, floating

into forever.


Tamara Madison



Cry if you must. Holding in the tears of pain deepen the seeping of the strain.
Our Father often cries the tears of rain for the pain of His creations.

Tears of love are heaven sent, never to shy away from God's gift of grief or pain.
For without grief or pain, none will know the happiness of the gift of life.
I pray and cry not only for me, not only for others but for the gift to cry from God.
Let the tears from Heaven fall fully upon you and bless you. 
It's a gift from God.

Curtis Drummer

   " Y Cry II Much?"

Cry the tears of wishful thinking

of what might have taken their place,

Not knowing why the rain splashes muddy puddles onto my face

The tracks of leakage from God's clouds

revealing what I'm trying to hide, 

Too strong for my foolish pride,

don't know how to stop their glide
What was many is now one,

Dripping down my face, showing no disgrace,
Clinging to the corners of my lip,

still used to speak of the joys they've known,

whispering of your greatness,

Saltiness leaving a bad taste in my mouth,

of feelings that I ponder if my Father sent
Watered with this tear He lent,

distracted by its bewilderment,

No longer beguiling, Weeping while still smiling,
Embracing the memory overshadowed only by its Scope

and the hope of brighter skies,

Life's puddles drawn back to the source

Where the clouds won't burst over my eyes ,

Only the Sun, enlightening blurred visions

Turning big eyes into little you's -
Or is that too,
Wishful thinking...

Brenda Martin 1/30/10



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