Poetry Contest Announcements, 2021 by Sharon Ackerman

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It is always the same with judging contests: Lots of fine poems, only a few winner slots. That funnel can be challenging and a bit capricious, poems of equal merit tossed between editors for some final, defining strength. Let me take a moment to thank each and every contest submitter for entrusting co-editor Frederick Wilbur and myself with your work. We do not use screeners thus every submitted poem was read by both of us with respect and appreciation.

Here are the chosen winners for the poetry contest with editor comments listed below:

First Place:

Why My Father Cannot Lay a Stone Wall by Gina Malone
Eds- “A fine portrait with a lesson at the end. A portrayal of how life’s temporality leaves us with loose ends.”

Second Place:

Treatment Team by Victoria Korth
Eds- “Gritty portrait of secondary trauma that ends with a gentle nod towards grace”

Third Place:

The Pepper Jar by Luisa Giulianetti
Eds- “Her imagery of moon, nightshades, and harvest lead us effectively to the speaker’s grief”

In addition, there are six Honorable Mentions to be congratulated:

Apologizing to Ferlinghetti by William Prindle
Eds- “delightfully mirrors the beat poets and iconic City Lights Books in San Francisco”

Mr Abraham by Victoria Korth
Eds- “Complex poem that manages to portray the connecting point between two disparate people”

Forgive Me by Zeina Azzam
Eds- “A list poem that widens into a theme of self-forgiveness that we liked”

Dear Mi-Kwon by Elizabeth Nowak
Eds- “Lovely depiction of the realities of an immigrant’s experience”

Mourning Doves by Nate Jacob
Eds-“A strong lyrical poem with fresh imagery”

I Want to Give Him a Chance by Sara Biel
Eds- “We liked the author’s unique use of form and repetition”

We will begin publishing the winning poems in the Spring 2022 Streetlight issue. Speaking for Fred and myself, we have emerged from this contest, as others, fully thankful for the presence and support of our readers and poets. And though this may sound trite, it is worth repeating that you make this world a better place.


Sharon Ackerman
Sharon Ackerman is poetry co-editor at Streetlight Magazine. Her poems have appeared in the Cumberland River Review, Atlanta Review, Northern Virginia Review, Hippocrates Poetry in Medicine Anthology and various others. Her poetry collection Revised Light is available from Main Street Rag Publishing Company.

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