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2016 April 23-May 31 - #6 updated June 1

1. All the videos (including the "adult" sonnets) can now be seen on YouTube. 

Click here for links indexed by Sonnet Number.

Click here for links indexed by Actor/Reader.

2. Readers whose videos are the most viewed indicated by thumbs up — will be awarded $100, $50, and $25 prizes. (Exclusions #7 below.) 

3. Tell your friends (Facebook and otherwise) to “vote”—don't fret about Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach depriving you and your friends of this American right! 

4. The contest begins today, on this 400th anniversary of the death of the English Bard, also often observed for his birthday, and will end on the birthday of the American Bard, Walt Whitman, May 31.

5. Others still wishing to enter the contest may be accommodated if scheduling for videotaping is possible.

6. Winners will be notified by email after June 1.

1st place:  Michael McQuary, Sonnet 99, 14 thumbs, 103 views 
2nd place: Philip Hooser, Sonnet 58, 13 thumbs, 47 views
3rd place: Christopher Morgan, Sonnet 39, 9 thumbs, 38 views 

7. Exclusions: Previous winners are eligible but not for the readings for which they won: MK Mustard for Sonnet 16, Mark Matzeder for Sonnet 39, and Jon Michael Johnson for Sonnet 88. Staff are not eligible for this contest.

Thanks again to you all. Your voices rendering the words of Thanks for Noticing: The Interpretation of Desire help to advance understanding that love, sexuality, and spirituality are intimately related, and that the poetic form can chart the journey by which this truth can be discovered afresh.

2016 March 1

UPDATE: Congratulations to winners on Apr 23 as voted by the audience: MK Mustard (1st prize), Mark Matzeder (2nd prize), and Jon Michael Johnson (3rd prize).

Professional videotaping, cash prizes for best readings

You are invited to participate in a film presentation of sonnet readings as part of an upcoming program at the Westport Branch Library. On April 23rd (the exact 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death), local author Vern Barnet will honor the Bard by showing how Shakespeare's concerns about love, art, faith, and mortality shaped Barnet's own book of sonnets, and how Shakespeare's experience can guide our own lives. 
      Video readings from Barnet's new book of sonnets, Thanks for Noticing: The Interpretation of Desire will be featured during the April 23rd free public program at the Library.

Those auditioning will be professionally videotaped at the audition and, if included in the April 23rd event, have the opportunity to win one of three cash prizes $100, $50, and $25 to be awarded then as chosen by the audience.

Audition/Taping Schedule:
     March 30 Wednesday 4-6 pm
     March 31 Thursday 4-6 pm

Audition Location:
     Westport Branch Kansas City Public Library
     118 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO 64111

To schedule an audition time,
      please call (816) 200-2059.

You will be filmed reading your choice of sonnets from the list below. 

For the taping you do NOT have to memorize the sonnets -- read only the sonnet number, the title, and the sonnet; do not read epigraphs or notes. We suggest that you bring a print-out of the sonnets you choose, but everyone who auditions will receive a complimentary copy of the book, Thanks for Noticing, in which these sonnets appear, and you can, if you like, read from the book. You may also read sonnets 55 adn 125 for recording, but because of their explicit content, they will not be used on April 23.

Auditions will judged by reading facility, not the sonnet content. Auditionees will be notified via email as to their results. 

Here is the current Library announcement of the Apr 23 program:

Here is the Publisher's current announcement of the Apr 23 program:

Optional: for background information about the book:

For more information please call (816) 200-2059 or visit