Our Kingdom’s Virtual Queen’s Prize Tourney is so famous, we even received several entries from an out-of-kingdom wordsmith! Baron Jonathan Blackbow from our southern neighbor the Kingdom of Atlantia entered four pieces of original poetry. As we do not have the ability to converse with our entrants face to face, the Virtual Queen’s Prize Tourney now offers the opportunity to drool over our entries right there on the Kingdom Ministry of Arts & Sciences website – even to leave feedback! And to learn a little more about the artisan and their thoughts behind their entry, the organizers decided to broaden our traditional entry of object and documentation with personal interviews.

To read Baron Jonathan’s poetic entries, please visit the VQPT entry pages:
Other side of the wall at Pennsic
The benevolent ghost
The sun is rising
Notre Dame fire in memoriam

Could you tell me a little about you, your persona.

In the real world my name is David Ritterskamp. I just turned 50 in January, and I’ve been in the SCA since about February of 1987. I write a lot of poetry (English and Viking Drottkvaett basically), as well as filks, songs, and stories. I wrote the PR for War of the Wings since the first year, and I just published (after about a decade) an unofficial sequel to The Last Starfighter.

In the SCA my name is Baron Jonathan Blackbow; I have an (unintentionally) ridiculously long OP entry because I fight heavy, do a lot of things for my kingdom (Atlantia), and also because of all the writing. As far as “persona” I’ll be brutally honest; I’ve never developed one. But enough other people have basically called me a warrior-bard that I use it when I play D&D (which is damn rare because I’m usually DMing the game, that being something else I’m good at, i.e., storytelling, keeping track of stats and stories, and a background in drama, ironically enough since I’m actually a professional desktop support expert) LOL. I have to admit, I was glad when the Red Dragon Disciple prestige class came along, because that’s what a fighter/bard can turn into. Most of what I’ve written over the years is webbed up at blackbow.trobaire.org.

What inspired you to make your entry?

I tend to enter my writing in any contest that makes sense to enter it in that I’m aware of. One of the poems was actually entered in a contest that Sylvan Glen ran several years ago. The Other Side Of The Wall At Pennsic made sense to enter because it’s centered around Pennsic which is in Æthelmearc. I could have entered twenty or thirty more poems and stories and such but I tried not to overload it. When I enter contests such as this it’s basically to get exposure, but not just for the sake of exposure if that makes sense; it’s also because the poems I write tend to elicit significant emotional responses (usually crying like a baby), and people like to see/read things like this because of the catharsis that comes along with it.

In short, people like my writing. If they didn’t, I wouldn’t put it out there.

What is your intention with your entry?

I’m a writer. I show my stuff because people like it.

Anything else you would like to share?

When you asked about me and my persona I concentrated on a few specific things, but if you want more, 1) I’m the reason for the zoombang (www.zoombang.com, look for the Maximum Coverage) shirt that has sold several thousand units for, among other people, heavy fighters in the SCA, 2) I built a town (and wrote it into the story) to use at War of the Wings (yes I named it Blackbowton)!

Thank you, Baron Jonathan Blackbow, for sharing your wonderful work with our Kingdom’s artisans and populace!

If you would like to see Baron Jonathan’s entries, follow this link to the Virtual Queen’s Prize Tourney. And if you liked his work, have a question to ask, or a tip to share – please leave your comments with his entries! You can “Leave a Reply” at the bottom of the entry’s page. We have until Æthelmearc Æcademy on July the 11th, when Her Majesty will announce the winners in Virtual Court, to peruse, enjoy and interact with the entrants. Make use of the opportunity, if you can!