CANE Writing Contest 2021

The CANE Writing Contest has been officially announced. Learn more on the CANE website here. The deadline for submissions is December 15, sent to Heidi Paulding at Fryeburg Academy.

Ovid begins the Metamorphoses by explaining that his genre-breaking epic will be about “forms changed into new bodies”. In the 15 books that follow, the poet proceeds to reinvent a panoply of Greek myths, both well known and obscure, using his signature wit and imagination. Some of the stories he recounts according to the traditional versions, but others he changes completely in the service of different aims. In the same way, in the centuries and millennia since the body of Greco-Roman mythology was first written down, poets, authors, and artists have engaged with these myths by re-inventing them for their own contexts. For example, Luciano Garbati’s sculpture of Medusa holding the head of Perseus imagines a post-#MeToo world where the “hero” may not actually be all that heroic and the victim of sexual assault and misogyny is empowered to change her destiny. In the words of the sculptor himself when asked about the rationale behind the piece: “There are lots of depictions of Medusa, and they are always describing the myth at its worst… What would it look like, her victory, not his? How should that sculpture look?” In the same way, authors like Madeline Miller and Ursula LeGuin have retold the stories of Circe and Lavinia to give these characters their own voices and versions.

As we strive to bring a more just and equitable approach to studying classics, how might we re-sing the ancient tales? Whose voices have been excluded from the stories and whose sides of the stories have never been told?

The winner receives their award, and reads their winning entry, at the banquet at the annual meeting banquet .