From the Desk of the Editor

By Scott Carlson

Poetry in motion

For the 13th consecutive year, the Bugle has held its annual poetry contest in conjunction with National Poetry Month, which happens every April.

We had entries from about a dozen readers this year and once again received really interesting and thoughtful poems from all of our contestants.

Our mystery poetry judge was Ann Reed, Minneapolis songwriter, singer and poet. She is well known in St. Anthony Park for leading a monthly community singalong that was held, before the pandemic, from Luther Seminary. Now, Ann virtually leads the singalong on YouTube with Dan Chouinard.

I was very impressed with this year’s poetry entries and so was Ann.

“It left me feeling a little uneasy, judging something as personal as a poem, knowing the work that goes into writing.” Ann said. “These poets were asked to write about change and transformation, and it was an honor and a pleasure to read their work.”

Ann added, “I want to encourage all of the writers who entered the contest — and those poets who did not — to keep working at your craft. Every person is full of stories and if you don’t tell your story, who will?”

You will find our winning poems on page 8 of this issue of the Bugle. We plan to post all poems on our website.

Our poetry contest is one way for us to engage the community in our newspaper. In the months ahead, we will be looking for other ways to invite you to participate in the Bugle, whether it is in the newspaper, on our web site or through social media.

Thank you Betsy!!

I end this column on a personal note: My wife Betsy, who has been our trusty Bugle copy editor, for the past three years, is going to be retiring from her post effective after our May issue.

Betsy has been a journalist for decades, proverbially born with “ink in her blood” from the time she was a girl in LeMars, Iowa. She worked for, among others, the St. Paul Dispatch where years ago I worked with her in the old suburban Neighborhoods section.

Yes, you can call Betsy a “green eye shade,” bred in an era when newspaper copy editors wore green-shade visors and sat around a horseshoe-shaped table known as “the rim” marking up news stories with grease pencils.

Betsy’s gift has been her attention to details, from waging war on two spaces between sentences in copy (there should be just one space) to deleting Oxford commas, (they are verboten in Associated Press newspaper style.)

Through the months, Betsy has gone the extra mile to doublecheck facts in scores of stories.

Betsy intends to enjoy retirement and has plenty of interests to keep her fulfilled.

Her departure means that I am now looking for a replacement. I will consider candidates who live in our Bugle community and have a love for journalism and a copy editor’s attention to detail and the AP stylebook.

The copy editor works about 10 to 15 hours a month with the heaviest workload occurring in the second week of the month. Salary is about $200 a month, a token appreciation for the job that is required.

Interested in applying? Send me an email with a description of yourself and why you would like to be the next Bugle copy editor. Send it to

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