We'd like to thank everyone who entered the contest.
We are thrilled to announce the winning poems, chosen by Abby E. Murray, with her comments.
First Place, $500, “Running in the Dark”--Kathleen Holliday
The poet’s handling of this simple but stark imagery shows restraint in a way that lets one lingering encounter with death absorb all the light our eyes can give to it by reading. How does a poem manage to feel so ghostly while rooted in the experience of living? In my notes, I wrote, I love this.
Second Place, $200, "It's only ugly when you use it"--Norma DaCrema
This is a beautiful, dancing glimpse at a single word’s role in the poet’s heart. The way words are used—and by whom—matters. Every word has infinite histories, knowings, possibilities, births, and deaths within it, and it does us good to explore those experiences. This poet accomplishes that exploration while creating a poem that, in the end, instructs us on how to appreciate a word.
Third Place, $100, "Blessing"--Olivia Kingery
A poem that is true to its title: one moment, equal parts prayer and blessing, shared between writer and reader. Exquisite in its simplicity and truthfulness.