Poetry Contest Winners

Photo of rows of colored thread
Photograph by Fred Wilbur


This year’s contest was our first as co-editors and we are pleased to announce our selections.  We want to thank all participants, without whom we could not sponsor this contest. Kudos to each and every one.

From our perspective, performing the task of judgement was both arduous and rewarding. We read and re-read and, because the two of us have peripheral preferences, we sifted back and forth to arrive at firm agreements. The compensation was in our exposure to a variety of work from personal love-angst, to political assessments, from poems filled with egocentric seriousness to sly humor. There is much fine work being created across age groups, ethnic backgrounds, religious persuasions, sexual preferences and so on, though all poems were read blind!

Making choices based on only three poems per entrant is much different from judging whole manuscripts. Nonetheless just three poems, more often than not, indicate dominant content concerns of the poet, their stylistic preferences, and the breadth (or limits of) their command of our wonderful English language. We endeavored to have open minds, putting prejudices aside, to decide which poems we thought compelling.

We are happy to announce the first prize is awarded to Susan Muse for Renegade, the second prize to Charlotte Rea for Elegy to a Young Copperhead, and third prize to Wendy Jean MacLean for Beehive Hut Near Dingle.

We also want to recognize six poems which earned our attention and respect:

Ray’s Fig Trees by Dereck Kannemeyer

Visiting My Mother After Her Layoff by Erik Wilbur

Yogurt with Honey by Ion Corcos

History Lesson by Susan Muse

Out of Range by Patricia Hemminger

Hello Icarus by Gary Beaumier.


The three winning poems and finalists poems will be published in Streetlight Magazine in the Spring issue.


—Sharon Ackerman and Fred Wilbur, co-editors

Sharon Ackerman
Sharon Ackerman earned an MEd from the University of Virginia. Her poems have appeared in the Northern Virginia Review, Atlanta Review, Poetry Virginia, Heartwood and several anthologies. She is the winner of the Hippocrates Poetry in Medicine international contest, 2019. She is poetry editor for Streetlight Magazine.

Frederick Wilbur
Frederick Wilbur’s poetry collection is As Pus Floats the Splinter Out. He was awarded the Stephen Meats Poetry Award from Mid-West Quarterly, 2017. He has work in Shenandoah, The Comstock Review, Green Mountains review, Atlanta Review, and many others, both in print and online.

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