We are very pleased to present the winners of this year’s poetry contest, judged by Patrick Donnelly, with his comments on the prize-winning poems:
1st Place: Elton Glaser, “The Fifties, from the Back Row” $500
“This poem delighted me with the assured way it talks, with its wit, its long and sensually specific memory, and its deep understanding of how public and private cultures exist in contradiction.”
2nd Place: Janet Reed, “Toughs: A Pantoum to the Third-Grade” $200
“Read aloud, this poem has a gorgeous mouth-feel, seeming to channel Gerald Manley Hopkins’ way of making strong, sharp music with words and syntax, as it describes the serious awfulness of childhood.”
3rd Place: Charles Atkinson, “Less” $100
“This poem touched me very much with its intimate, painful account of one person caring for another whose body is failing. The speaker’s gaze is steady, tender, alert to the human poetry of the encounter.”
Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):
Roberta Marggraff, “Arcade”
Allen Tullos, “The Dream of Calibration”
Anna Mullen, “Oshodi Birds”
Matthew Spireng, “Haunted”
Our thanks to everyone who entered, and our congratulations to the winners! Their poems will be in our Spring/Summer issue, coming out soon. If you would like a copy, send us a check for $10 made out to “Western New England University,” and addressed to Janet Bowdan, Common Ground Review, Box 5132, Western New England University, 1215 Wilbraham Rd., Springfield, MA 01119. Mention this post, and we will pay the cost of mailing it.
We are delighted to announce that Patrick Donnelly will be judging our 2017 Poetry Contest!
PATRICK DONNELLY is the author of three books of poetry, The Charge (Ausable Press, 2003, since 2009 part of Copper Canyon Press), Nocturnes of the Brothel of Ruin (Four Way Books, 2012), a 2013 finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, and Little-Known Operas, forthcoming from Four Way Books in 2019. Donnelly is director of the Poetry Seminar at The Frost Place, Robert Frost’s old homestead in Franconia, NH, now a center for poetry and the arts.
You can find more information about him at:
For more details on the contest itself, see the contest page.
Today I came out of the air conditioning and into the hot mugginess of August: an overgrown patch of yellow black-eyed Susans, a pink stand of tall phlox, a few squash blossoms and fewer tomatoes than there should be because someone–a raccoon? a chipmunk?–has been munching on them. This is the time of year when our vacations aren’t coordinated and we get work done a bit haphazardly. But here’s what’s going on at the magazine:
We’re looking forward to the Amherst Poetry Festival & Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon September 15-17th.
But just for now, I’m going back to the garden. There’s a chipmunk nibbling at the zucchini.
We are very pleased to announce that Stephanie Lenox will be our judge for the Spring/Summer 2016 Poetry Contest!
Stephanie Lenox is the author of The Business (winner of the 2015 Colorado Poetry Prize, a book full of slyly wicked poems such as “Rejoice in the Petty Thievery of Office Supplies,” “ATTN: To Whoever Left Fish Uncovered in the Office Fridge for Three Weeks, Think of Others!” and “Interview for Position of Mythological Hero”–poems that sneak into amazing revelations from mundane things) as well as her first book, Congress of Strange People, and the chapbook The Heart that Lies Outside the Body, which won the Slapering Hol competition.
And for the first time, we are accepting contest submissions on our Submissions page! The contest fee is still $15 for up to three poems. First prize is $500, second prize is $200, and third prize is $100. And of course the winning poems and honorable mentions will be published in the Spring/Summer issue of Common Ground Review.
October 21, 2015: It’s back-to-the-future day, and I’ve been reading posts about what the movies got right vs. what they got wrong. While I haven’t been editing Common Ground Review since 1985, I have gotten a few things wrong, or maybe not as right as they should be, and I am now going to try to correct them.
First, we need to switch our website from a complicated php platform to a wordpress. That way we can update it more often, and not have to rely on a skilled engineer. By the time you read this, you will be reading the wordpress version. I hope this doesn’t disrupt any ability to use the site.
Second, we need to switch from accepting submissions in three ways (via Submittable, via snail-mail, and via the editor’s email) to two ways so that we can keep track of submissions more efficiently and respond in a reasonable amount of time. To those of you who sent work to the editors’ email address, I am so sorry. Reading your work, sending it to all the editors and conferencing on it involved a much more complicated process than we could handle. We are no longer accepting submissions by email, and if you have sent us work, I can assure you that we will get to it faster if you re-send it via Submittable. Again, I apologize.
More happily, we are almost ready to format the Fall/Winter issue, and we’ll be reading for the Spring/Summer issue, too!
Even more happily, we’ve been hearing from some of our contributors about their new books. We’ll be posting short reviews of those books over the next months on this site.
First prize $500:
“Good Work” by Matthew J. Spireng
Second prize $200:
“Each Life Converges to Some Centre” by Beth Paulson
Third prize $100:
“I Walk in the Gentle Wood” by Diana Wolfe Larkin
We would like to thank everyone who sent their poems for this year’s contest, and we hope to see your work again next year!
The judge for the 2015 poetry contest was Nicole Terez Dutton