NORTHAMPTON, Mass., April 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Winning Writers is pleased to announce the results from its 20th annual Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest, judged by Soma Mei Sheng Frazier with assistance from Michal ‘MJ’ Jones.
Maurya Kerr of Oakland, California won the Tom Howard Prize of $3,000 for a poem in any style or genre, for “Orion”. Tamara Panici of Washington, DC won the Margaret Reid Prize of $3,000 for a poem that rhymes or has a traditional style, for “Elegy for Childhood Written in a Language I Did Not Yet Speak, Addressed to the God I Once Knew”. These two winners also each received a two-year gift certificate from Duotrope, the contest co-sponsor. 2,495 poets competed from around the world.
“Orion” weaves a dream within a dream, in which the narrator’s young son enters her room with oracular pronouncements, trying to rearrange the family archetypes into a constellation that can describe his journey out of childhood. Mother, father, child; deer, hunter, hounds? Frazier said, “We are the ones who stumble after meaning, after message, to find it standing naked in the night—stronger, brighter, surer than expected. Wiser and humbler too.”
“Elegy for Childhood…” ponders the fall of the sparrow and creates a new language for divine absence. Frazier said, “The poem sings out in happiness and sorrow. Its methodically jumbled form, at once certain and sracmbled [no, that’s not a typo!], reflects our thrashing attempts to put things in order; to understand what and why and how we are, and in whose image, if anyone’s, our world was made.”
Ten Honorable Mentions of $200 went to Alfredo Aguilar, jason b. crawford, Jane Ebihara, James Evans, Richard Haney-Jardine, A.D. Lauren-Abunassar, Jed Myers, Dion O’Reilly, Liz Schroeder, and Gail Thomas. All the winning entries and the judge’s remarks are free to read online.
The 2023 contest is open now through September 30, 2023. The prize pool is increasing to $9,000. After several years of outstanding service, Ms. Frazier is handing off the final judge role to Michal ‘MJ’ Jones. MJ will work with the contest’s new assistant judges, Briana Grogan and Dare Williams. See the contest guidelines.
Founded in 2001, Winning Writers has been named one of the “101 Best Websites for Writers” (Writer’s Digest, 2022). In addition to the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest, Winning Writers also sponsors the Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest, the North Street Book Prize, and the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest (no fee). All of these contests are recommended by Reedsy.
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SOURCE Winning Writers