MADNESS! 2012 Poetry Tournament, Round One: “Red Riding Hood Went Ninja”

Poetical madness is afoot in the blogosphere!

Sportswriter and talented children’s poet Ed DeCaria over at Think Kid, Think came up with a deviously genius plan to pit 64 poets against each other in a seeded race to write 126 children’s poems in 21 days.

Madness 2012 Poetry Tournament

How it works: Each poet is assigned a word of a certain degree of difficulty and then has 36 hours to write a poem featuring that word, with a maximum of 8 lines. I ended up with a pretty easy level 4 seeding, so my assigned word for the first round was MANGLED, competing against Patricia Nozell and her 14-seeded word HERETOFORE.

You can see our match-up here: MANGLED vs. HERETOFORE

Here’s the poem I entered…

Red Riding Hood Went Ninja

“For heaven’s sake, you stupid wolf,
I’ve had it up to here.
Just let me pass to Grandma’s house
or it will cost you dear.”

Karate chops and kicks ensued,
their limbs were all entangled.
Red Riding Hood went ninja, now
that wolf is good and mangled.


I will definitely be expanding this poem for a poetry video, so stay tuned.

The weird part is that both Patricia and I did rewrites of well-known battles in kids’ literature — me with Red Riding Hood and the wolf, and Patricia with a wonderfully clever poem about the tortoise and the hare.

Voting for our round is now over, and I’m pleased to say I survived over a tough opponent — I’m headed to Round Two!


The second flight of Round One is still up for voting, so head over to the Scoreboard to read and vote on an incredible array of verse written by some really talented folk.

And kudos to Ed for putting all this together. The organization, logistics, and techie aspects must be a nightmare, but Ed has handled it all with panache.




Poetry Friday is being hosted by Greg Pincus (another tournament competitor!) over at GottaBook.


“Red Riding Hood Went Ninja” © 2012 Renée LaTulippe. All rights reserved.

See more poems in my poetry video library.