The symbiosis of poetry and wine hit me a few years ago, and our First Ever Judd's Hill Newsletter was published in 1999 mainly as a vehicle to send out the wonderful wine-related poems we had solicited from our friends and wine buyers. Our dear friend, Jane Hall, had begun the poetry publication Coracle (which enjoyed a ten year run), and was talented and kind enough to judge this ongoing annual poetry contest. The winning poet was awarded a festive 3-liter bottle of Judd's Hill Cabernet etched in gold and hand painted. Poets are gentle and gracious people as a rule, and the excitement over the prize made us feel like a million dollars. Aha, another sign of symbiosis: We were pleasing poets by providing a new venue, and we were becoming happier and better in the process.
First year entrants included my sister, Marcia Matz, and Holly's grandmother, Helen Goodman. Their poems, and the one by friend Dr. Gregg Wenger, evoke feelings of being cheered on by devoted supporters, and they warmed our hearts. The first year also was gifted with Richard Paul Hinkle's wit, and two entries by professional poets, John Dooley and David Swanson. All the poets of 1999 changed my life with the form of their thoughts and the choice of their words. And Jane Hall changed my life with her insightful comments during the readings each year, and by her delight in words and phrases.
Since 2016, we have been gifted with another superb judge who selects the Grand Prize winner each year. Leza Lowitz is the author of more than 20 books of poetry and prose. We can all visit her at www.lezalowitz.com.
The poems are all posted here for you to enjoy as everyone at Judd's Hill sends you warmest wishes.