Hello Bacon Nation,

Baconfest is right around the corner. On April 5 and 6, the best chefs in town will gather at the UIC Dorin Forum for three bacon-filled sessions to celebrate bacon in all its forms.

You can go to Baconfest!  Tickets are available right now – but they are going fast!

We just released the menu for the event and as always, reading the list of dishes is like reading a 150-line ode to bacon.  But that’s not the only bacon poetry that we want for Baconfest.  Oh no – the Baconfest Literary Panel’s appetite for porky verse is rivaled only by our appetite for Bacon.

So, here is our call for entries for the 2019 Bacon Poetry contest.  Channel your inner Chaucer friends and let bacon be your muse!

Our literary panel will review all the entries and pick one lucky poet to win:

  • A Golden Rasher Award for Best Poem about Bacon
  • Four (4) VIP Tickets to the session of your choice.

Here are the details:

  • Submit poems via email to andre@baconfestchicago.com – limit one poem per email address
  • Submissions will be accepted between now and 5:00PM on Monday March 25.
  • You must grant Baconfest rights to publish your poem on Baconfestchicago.com and any future anthologies of bacon poetry we publish in the future.
  • You must be willing to read your poem at Baconfest to our adoring crowds (or let one of the members of the Baconfest Literary Panel designate a reader).
  • No Haiku. Unless it’s in Japanese.  I mean, look, we appreciate a finely wrought haiku as much as anybody, but this is a serious contest for serious poems.  A haiku just won’t cut it.

photo by Ben Collins-Sussman.  http://flickr.com/photos/bcollsuss

Need some inspiration?  Here are some of the winning poems from previous years to get those juices flowing.

2018 Golden Rasher Winner

Children of the Bacon
by Caitlin Landry

In the village of Cochon,
the children’s faces were aglow.
For “Sunday means bacon!”,
this they surely know.

The rashers were a’sizzlin’
as they charged down the stairs.
Young Wilbur clapped his hands,
as his mother fried their fares.

Napoleon the eldest
squealed on repeat,
while Olivia and Peppa
huddled closely ’round the heat.

“Tender or crispy?”,
the mother asked her litter,
as she turned up the flame
feeling crunchier was fitter.

She served it piping hot,
steam wafting through the air.
The glossy, streaky strips
had never looked so fair.

Their childhood defined,
by the plate before them, still,
of sweet, salty, bacon.

The taste.
The lure.
The thrill.

2017 Golden Rasher Winner

I Can’t by Ian Andrews

I can’t write a poem about bacon,
it can’t be done, it’s too hard.

How do you put words to a food so beloved,
that’s worthy, complex, and pleasing to the bacon Gods above?
I could stanza, Haiku, or rhyme, but all fall short of divine.
And as my write block grows, all my brain knows,
is it’s dying for a plate of bacon to be mine.

No, I can’t write a poem about bacon,
I don’t even know where to begin.

Would I start with the taste or the smell?
Oh the sensation and bliss,
the emotional release when it hits,
as the crisp edge, tender center,
succulent indescribable taste blesses your lips
and my salivary glands immediately swell.

Yet, I still can’t write a poem about bacon,
I’m trying, I promise, but I fail.

Do I write about that first time,
that my life was changed by cooked swine?
I vividly remember at two year’s old,
when I broke free from hot dogs and tried a new flavor so bold.
Little did I know, that my future with food had peaked.
I had found my new favorite meal, and would eat it six times a week.

I’m about to give up on this poem about bacon,
I’m losing all faith it can be done.

Maybe I dabble in bacon history,
after all, to most its origin is a mystery.
I could paint a picture of 1500 B.C.,
as ancient chefs cut the meat and probably thought of me.
Little did they know, the pig back they’d soon smoke,
would become a symbol of personal emotional wealth,
and let’s be honest, true food inspiration and hope.

That’s it, I can’t write a poem about bacon.
It’s impossi.. wait, what’s that above?

Are my eyes bacon glazed,
or am I lost in a food daydream haze?
It’s structurally weak, it has me ready for a bacon feast.
Yet finally, I did it.
My white whale swan song has been sung.
My bacon poem, like the bacon on my stove top, is done.

2016 Golden Rasher Winner

Baconmandias, King of Kings by Joseph S. Pete © 2016

“My name is Baconmandias, king of kings:
Listen to my sizzle, ye Mighty, and hunger!”

I met a baconaut from a delicious land
Who said: “Four crisp and meaty strips of bacon
Fry on the pan. Near them, in my hand,
Half clenched, is a spatula, whose grease
And liquified drippings show bacon’s savory command,
And tell that its eater knows this passion well,
Which burns like cured pork belly on the stovetop.
Lo, turkey bacon is a special kind of hell.
Bacon deserves a pedestal where these words appear:
‘My name is Baconmandias, king of kings:
Listen to my sizzle, ye Mighty, and hunger!’
Nothing on the plate remains. Round the bacony kiss
Of briney, flavorful fat from the rasher.
Bacon’s salty embrace is something you miss.”

2015 Golden Rasher Winner

BaconFest Chicago 2015

Bakin’ Memories by Kiely Dolce © 2015

He wakes early, padding barefoot into the kitchen.
Through half-closed heavy lids
he grinds the coffee, carefully pouring water from the carafe
as not to spill.
The oven springs into action
all his life bacon was made in a pan
his own father peeling the slices from the packaging
placing it into his grandmothers old shallow frying pan.
But now,
he is the man
now he is the dad
and for his family he’s discovered the art of baking bacon
on Sunday mornings for his sleeping wife and child.
The house slowly fills with the scent of melting pork fat
the aroma his only companion for these few minutes he has alone
before the house wakes
and the sizzling strips in the oven become a dazzling display
for the child’s face pressed to the oven door
making new memories
of the meaning of home.

2012 Golden Rasher Winner

The Quantum Dance © 2012 by Ryan Myers

All a waste of my precious time.
Every minute I spend away from my porcine mistress, agony.
The experience of the human condition is merely what one must endure between bacons.
I am Schrödinger’s diner, caught in a superposition of states, always simultaneously eating bacon, and not.

I dance the pork belly ballet.

She calls to me, my pancetta princess.

She calls to me, from beyond the vegetable veil.

I hear her. I long for her salty, smoky embrace.
To live without bacon, is not to live.

I love you, bacon.