Poetry contest winners

Poetry Contest Winners

So excited, we can barely hold it! Here it is: Momtaza Mehri’s wonderful, supremely evocative poem that convinced us she deserved the fellowship prize and an all expenses paid trip to AULA’s MFA residency in Los Angeles this winter.  …

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Poetry Contest Winners

We’re all very excited to share with you the 1st runner up of our Antioch Fellowship, “An Explanation” by Madeleine Cravens: an investigation of womanhood, of getting older, of reading the slow, slow message of our own past. Stay tuned…

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Poetry Contest Winners

We’re all very excited to share with you the 2nd runner up of our Antioch Fellowship. Stay tuned for our second place poem by Madeleine Cravens next Wednesday, and our winner Momtaza Mehri ‘s poetry on the 22nd. Today, we…

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Poetry Contest Winners

Congratulations to Momtaza Mehri, winner of the 2020 Frontier-Antioch Fellowship, and a sincere thanks to everyone who submitted. Thank you, also, for your patience while we reviewed all the extraordinary work. Momtaza Mehri will get to attend a 10 day,…

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Poetry Contest Winners

JP Grasser has won the 2019 Frontier OPEN and its $5000 prize with his “A Brief History of Mercy.” You’re invited to join us in this inevitable decision by reading the work below. Congratulations JP!   A BRIEF HISTORY OF…

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Poetry Contest Winners

We are so pleased to share with you all that poet Dujie Tahat has been chosen as our New Voices Fellow for 2020. Our New Voices Fellowship is designed to uplift and support emerging poets from traditionally marginalized communities. Last…

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Poetry Contest Winners

First, a sincere thank you to all the finalists of the 2019 Frontier OPEN for partnering with us. All of these poems deserve high praise, featuring work by Jasmine Elizabeth Smith, Xiao Yumi, Leyla Colpan, Jennifer Garfield, Jed Myers, David…

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Poetry Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of Frontier Poetry’s 2019 OPEN and an enormous thanks to everyone who submitted. Thank you, also, for your patience while we reviewed all the extraordinary work. A BIG round of applause to JP Grasser, the winner…

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Poetry Contest Winners

This is it! The winner of the 2019 Frontier Industry Prize of $3000—selected by Eve L. Ewing, Kaveh Akbar, and Ocean Vuong: Golden’s “[X][Y] / [X][X]”. An incredible feat of new form and innovative lines, the poem throttles you in…

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Poetry Contest Winners

We’re all very excited to share with you the winners of the 2019 Frontier Industry Prize, selected by Eve L. Ewing, Kaveh Akbar, and Ocean Vuong. Stay tuned for our winner Golden’s poetry on the 22nd. Today, we have Alan…

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The Sappho Prize for Women Poets

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  • Poetry Contest Winners

Dear poets,

I'm honored to be able to create space for women* poets to step forward. Thanks to the efforts of the VIDA project and others, we've made a lot of progress in the past few years, but much work is still to be done. Palette is YOURS as much as it is ours, and we'd love for the magazine be useful in making our community a better, fuller, richer home.

This contest only accepts submissions from women* poets. The winning poet will be awarded $3000 and publication on Palette Poetry. Second and third place will win $300 & $200 respectively, as well as publication.

The top ten finalists will be selected by the editors, and guest judge Victoria Chang will then select the winner and two runner ups. Winners and finalists will be announced toward the end of August 2020.

Thank you so much for sharing your work with us. We can't wait to dig in!

Josh Roark — Editor, Palette Poetry

*all women are welcome to submit (cis, trans, non-binary, etc)

About our judge:

Victoria Chang’s new book of poetry, OBIT, is for sale now from Copper Canyon Press. Other books are Barbie Chang, The Boss, Salvinia Molesta, and Circle. She also edited an anthology, Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation.

She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Katherine Min MacDowell Fellowship, a Sustainable Arts Foundation Fellowship, a Poetry Society of America Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, a Pushcart, a Lannan Residency Fellowship, and other awards. Her poems have been published in Best American Poetry.

Her children’s picture book is Mommy? (Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster), was illustrated by Marla Frazee and was named a NYT Notable Book. Her middle grade verse novel, Love, Love is forthcoming from Sterling Publishing in Spring 2020.

She is a contributing editor of the literary journal, Copper Nickel and a poetry editor at Tupelo Quarterly, as well as a contributing editor for On the Seawall. She is the Program Chair of Antioch University’s low-residency MFA Program, as well as co-coordinates the Idyllwild Writers Week.

She also serves on the National Book Critics Circle Board. She lives in Los Angeles with her family and her weiner dogs, Mustard and Ketchup.

Submission Guidelines

  • For this Prize, we are only accepting work from poets who identify as women and/or non-binary
  • Submissions are open internationally, to any poet writing in English—other languages are okay to include, as long as the meat of the poem is in English.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions—just please send us a note if your work is picked up elsewhere. (We want to say congrats!)
  • There is no page requirement, but submission must be no more than 3 poems. Please submit all your poems in ONE document.
  • We are only accepting unpublished work with this contest.
  • We do accept multiple submissions, but each submission will include the reading fee.
  • Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history.
  • Review our FAQ page for frequently asked questions.
  • Contest closes on June 14th, 2020.
  • Reading fee is $20.
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Poetry Contest Winners

The Winners of 92Y’s 2019 Discovery Poetry Contest

By The Paris Review May 10, 2019

Poetry Contest Winners

For nearly seven decades, 92Y’s Discovery Poetry Contest has recognized the exceptional work of poets who have not yet published a first book. Many of these writers—John Ashbery, Mark Strand, Lucille Clifton, Ellen Bryant Voigt, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Larry Levis, Mary Jo Bang, and Solmaz Sharif, among many others—have gone on to become leading voices in their generations.

This year’s competition received close to twelve hundred submissions, which were read by preliminary judges Timothy Donnelly and Mai Der Vang.

After much deliberation, final judges Daniel Borzutzky, Randall Mann, and Patricia Smith awarded this year’s prizes to Alfredo Aguilar, Bernard Ferguson, Omotara James, and Alycia Pirmohamed.

The runners-up were Mia Kang, Henry Mills, and Jasmine Reid.

The four winners receive five hundred dollars, publication on The Paris Review Daily, a stay at the Ace Hotel, and a reading at 92Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center on May 16. Congratulations to the winners! We’re pleased to present their work below.

Poetry Contest Winners

Alfredo Aguilar is the son of Mexican immigrants. He is the author of the chapbook What Happens on Earth. His work has appeared in The Iowa Review, Best New Poets 2017, The Shallow Ends, and elsewhere. Originally from North County San Diego, he now resides in Texas.

  • *
  • Listening to a Recording from Tornillo, Texas
  • i hunched over my device
  • & heard brown children
    set apart into tents
    cry out
  • for their parents


  • Poetry Contest Winners
  • The Palm Beach Poetry Festival applauds the inners of the 2018 High School Poetry Contest!
  • First Place goes to Sophia Upshaw, Junior at Wellington High School, for ‘Here Lies the Girl in the Wildflowers’
  • Four Runners-Up include Katherine Oung from Dreyfoos School of the Art, and Jannard Jackson, Lindy Lichtman and Julie Petit Frere, all  from Wellington High School

Our first place winner was awarded a $200 prize. The four runners-up were each awarded a $100 prize.

All five winning high school poets read their poems at the Festival’s Award Ceremony on Monday, January 15 where they each had the opportunity to meet and have their pictures taken with our eight faculty poets.

The poems were chosen by our distinguished judge, Dr. Jeff Morgan, Chairman, Department of English, Lynn University, Boca Raton, Florida.

Read the winning poems in our 2018 High School Poetry Award Program.

Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest

Welcome to the 18th annual Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest. Submit published or unpublished work. $8,000 in prizes.

Please submit during April 15-September 30, 2020.

Length limit: 250 lines maximum per poem. No restriction on age of author. Authors from all countries eligible except Syria, Iran, North Korea, and Crimea (due to US government restrictions). Please click the Submittable button below for full details. Read the winning entries from the 17th contest. The results of the 18th contest will be announced on April 15, 2021. Fee: $15 per poem.

What to Submit
Poetry in any style or theme. Your entry should be your own original work. You may submit the same poem simultaneously to this contest and to others, and you may submit poems that have been published or won prizes elsewhere.

(However, please do not submit work that has previously received recognition at Winning Writers.) For the purpose of the Margaret Reid Prize, a poem in a traditional style employs regular meter and/or rhyme, or is written in a recognized poetic form.

This includes traditional Western forms such as ballads, sonnets, and blank verse, and Asian forms such as tanka and haiku.

For your reference, this Glossary of Poetic Terms describes many forms. You may also enjoy sites for traditional and exotic forms of poetry found on our resource pages.

Prizes and Publication

The $3,000 Tom Howard Prize will be awarded for a poem in any style or genre.
The $3,000 Margaret Reid Prize will be awarded for a poem that rhymes or has a traditional style.
Ten Honorable Mention awards of $200 each will also be made (any style). All entries that win cash prizes will be published on the Winning Writers website and announced in the Winning Writers Newsletter (circulation 50,000+).

  • Most Countries Eligible; English Language
  • Anonymous Judging
  • No Age Restriction
  • Privacy
  • Copyright
  • Refunds
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Due to US government restrictions, we regret we are unable to accept entries from authors in Syria, Iran, North Korea, or Crimea. Authors from all other countries are eligible. The poems you submit should be in English. If you have written a poem in another language, you may translate your poem into English and submit the translation.

Entries are judged anonymously. Please omit your name and all identifying information from your entry. Please also omit any publishing credits from your entry. All the information we need is collected on our online entry form.

Poets of all ages may enter.

Your privacy is assured. We will not rent your information to third parties.

If your entry wins any cash prize, you agree to give Winning Writers a nonexclusive license to publish your work online. This includes possible publication in one or more ebooks, with attribution. From time to time, selected winning entries may also be published in printed collections. If you win a prize, we may ask you for permission to include your entry in one of these books. You may accept or decline this invitation as you choose. Your entry will not be published in print without your consent, and you retain all other rights. You are free, for example, to publish your work in print or online elsewhere, and to enter it into other contests, whether or not you win a prize in this contest.

Generally entry fees are not refundable. However, if you believe you have an exceptional circumstance, please contact us within one year of your entry.

Contest History

Contest founder John Howard Reid (d. 2018) won first prizes and other awards in prestigious literary events. A journalist and magazine editor, he published several historical novels, a collection of poetry, a guide to winning literary contests, and over fifty books of film criticism and movie history. For several years, Mr. Reid was assisted by Dee C. Konrad, a former Associate Professor in the English faculty of Barat College of DePaul University and Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

If you have questions, please email the contest administrator at [email protected]

Fighting Words Poetry Contest 2019: Winners and Finalists

These eleven exceptional poets, whose work and bios appear below, were selected from among 275+ entrants from 21 U.S. states and five countries. These young people have used poetry to effectively connect global issues with their local and personal contexts, amplifying pressing under-reported stories while also making their own distinct and necessary voices heard.

Contest Winners:

1st Place:

The Joy of Togetherness by Taylor Jamie Yarns11th grade, City Honors School, NY

Comments from judge Seema Yasmin: Moments of tenderness and moments of quotidian horror clash in this stunning poem. It hurts to read The Joy of Togetherness, to imagine the toothy smile destined for the milk-carton photo.

2nd Place:

Cholera Laughed by Eugene Jang10th grade, Gyeonggi Suwon International School, South Korea

Comments from judge Seema Yasmin: This poem drips terror and rage across the page. With urgency and lyricism, Cholera Laughed confronts the easy biology of an organism as it charts its course across borders and membranes, and questions the humanity of those who fuel contagions.

3rd Place:

Dining on Paradox by Audrey Dinh5th grade, Cold Spring Elementary School, MD

Comments from judge Seema Yasmin: Is it a fish or is it our future? This stunning poem awes with a lightness of touch and a matter-of-factness about who we are, what we eat and where we are headed.


  • The Dream Houses by Taylor Fang11th grade, Logan High School, UT
  • Gone by Sarah Tumblin6th grade, DC International School, DC
  • The Fury Inside Me by Prisca Afantchao10th grade, Windsor High School, CT
  • A Tale of Colliding Lives by Casey Chapman11th grade, New Tech Academy @ Wayne High School, IN
  • Peace, Pieces by Cindy Phan11th grade, Skyline High School, UT
  • orchids by Emma Lee6th grade, James Weldon Johnson College Preparatory Middle School, FL
  • A Language All Their Own by Amaela Bruce11th grade, New Tech Academy @ Wayne High School, IN
  • Bag of Bones by Kristen St Louis10th grade, Ethel Walker School, CT

Announcing Winners of the 25th Statewide Poetry Contest

Fairbanks Arts Association’s Statewide Poetry Contest is a celebration of poetry writing in Alaska and invites participation from writers of all ages, elementary school and up. Celebration of winning poems are traditionally featured in April during National Poetry Month. The contest aims to encourage, publicize and reward the writing of high quality poetry in our great state.

2020 Statewide Poetry Contest winners were selected by this year’s judge, Ishmael Hope.

Judge: Ishmael Hope

Ishmael Hope, an Inupiaq and Tlingit poet, actor and Indigenous scholar, served as the lead writer for the video game Never Alone (Upper One Games). He has published two poetry collections including Rock Piles Alone the Eddy (Ishmael Reed Publications) and played the character Atka in a feature film, Frontera Azul: The Blue Frontier (Patria Productions).

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Recent publications include Poetry Magazine, Indian Country magazine and Native Voices: Indigenous American Poetry, Craft and Conversations (Tupelo Press).


Fairbanks Arts is pleased to announce this year’s winning poems:


1st Place: Solstice through Aperture by Summer Koester (Juneau) 2nd Place: Wainwright by Susan Slocum Dyer (Dillingham) 3rd Place: When To Write a Poem by Margo Waring (Juneau)

Honorable Mention: Celebration by Richard Stokes (Juneau)


1st Place: Memorial by Darcy Misel (Fairbanks) 2nd Place: Sublimed by Dakota Rummer (North Pole) 3rd Place: Transformation by Isabel (Homer)


1st Place: Ode To Music by Matthew Lawhorne (Delta) 2nd Place: Where I’m From by Matthew Lawhorne (Delta) 3rd Place: Listen To The Trees by Teagan (Talkeetna)


1st Place: Sea Life by Luke Decker (Fairbanks) 2nd Place: Cancer by Brielle Vent (Fairbanks) 3rd Place: The White Dog by Zinia (Fairbanks) Honorable Mention: The Spooky Night, War by Magdalene Addis (Fairbanks)

PLEASE NOTE: Fairbanks Arts’ communications originally indicated announcement of 2020 Statewide Poetry Contest winners in late March with a reading in early April.

Due to COVID-19 disruptions, this reading did not take place and we apologize for the delay in announcing this year’s winners.

Thank you for your patience as we navigate these uncharted waters and make adjustments to our programs and schedule.

While circumstances did not allow us to accommodate a reading this year, we invited the poets to share a video reading of their winning poem. We invite you to enjoy those videos here!

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest, to our judge Ishmael Hope, and congratulations once more to the winners of this year’s contest! Fairbanks Arts programs are made possible by individual and corporate contributions, the City of Fairbanks Hotel/Motel Bed Tax, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska State Council on the Arts and Fountainhead Development, Inc.

2017 High School Poetry Contest Winning Poems – Lewis Center for the Arts

Learn more about the Princeton University High School Poetry Contest …


Joseph Felkers Caledonia, MI


Nature gives you two loud gunshots & a large lemonade & tells you: that’s it. Learn to love it or leave it. You decide to learn to love it, & three weeks later another gift; This time it’s in your state, and without any damn ice. Again, Nature gives you the same ultimatum. There are two ways out—by bullet or by mouth—and you & I

  • both know which way you’d prefer.
  • Bullet holes in Time Magazine pages from used magazine cartridges
  • are the numbered dots we connect for fun. I trace from 6,740 to 6,741
  • & it’s just July & it’s just deaths & it’s just America. I grew up with
  • firearms in my house. When I was younger, punishment
  • meant going to the rifle range with my state trooper
  • father. Bullet holes in Time Magazine pages
  • are the constellations of my zodiac—I am

not a Capricorn. I am a Remington. Have you ever

spent time pondering Washington stars? Remind me

once more. My memory is hazy. When you’re out here in Michigan, kids

  1. speak in Morse code & nicknames. When you’re out
  2. here in Michigan, kids speak in lipstick & fish scales. Out here
  3. in Michigan, kids fly the confederate flag & you know
  4. it must be about race, because we were once a part of the Union,
  5. so you must not want to secede. I can tell you the difference
  6. between a mass & a serial & a spree, & it’s not the candy. We are

millennials. We know a cold case when we see one.


Darius Christiansen New Orleans, LA


Leave it to the birds to be the ones that can fly. The mantis sits in her rare position–notice her march along the balsam pear vine.

  • There’s been talk about the nigger with the gnat
  • in his eye, he washed up one day on the coast of the town. Eyes pecked out at the corners, folk said he came from the southernmost

tip of Mississippi. In the end, his parents wanted him to resemble mortar.

  1. So, they poured his ashes where they claimed his name– along the roots of an oak.
  2. Now, if you would excuse me
  3.       I need to set out to find my own
  4. body, being spat on, and baptized in the sunrise, I’ve realized, that I opened myself just to be embarrassed in front of you.
  5. People have noticed my change of gait, the way I lean to the side when the wind blows against my fragile frame.
  6. That’s just the underbelly and the sternum arching to fill in the gaps, left by my father’s misunderstanding.

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