2023 Poetry Contest Winners by Fred Wilbur

Photo of white flowers with green leaves
Photo by Fred Wilbur

It is our pleasure to announce the Winners and Honorable Mentions of the annual Streetlight Magazine Poetry Contest.

How did we arrive at our choices? We read a lot of poetry. We are both writers/poets. We have, no doubt, the same aspirations for our work as those submitting to this contest.  We are sensitive to every entrant’s intention and effort.

Sharon and I do not use screeners so we separately read every anonymous entry independently. We then present each other with our preferred dozen or so and begin the back-and-forth process of willowing. In this process we often discuss the compelling aspects of the piece and inevitably the weaknesses of others.

We honor three ‘place’ winners and additional Honorable Mentions, though it must be said that each entry is considered for ‘regular’ posting.  We want those submitting who may not ‘place’ to read our choices and agree that we selected poems they wish they had written themselves.

First Place: Linda Parsons for “Digging”

Second Place: Patricia Hemminger for “Considering My Last Carbon Footprints”

Third Place: Joyce Compton Brown for “Apology for Ralph’s Mule”

Honorable Mentions:

Joan Mazza for “We Left My Father and Sister at Home”

John Beck for “The Driver”

Tyler Phelps for “Dolphin with Number”

We encourage perseverance and wish for writing success for every participant.


—Sharon Ackerman and Fred Wilbur

Sharon Ackerman
Sharon Ackerman is poetry editor for Streetlight Magazine. Her poems have appeared in the Atlanta Review, Southern Humanities Review, Appalachian Places, Still: The Journal, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Cumberland River Review and various others. She is the winner of the Hippocrates Poetry in Medicine contest, London 2019. Her poetry collection, Revised Light, is available through Main Street Rag Publishing.

Frederick Wilbur
Frederick Wilbur received his BA from the University of Virginia and an MA from the University of Vermont. He has authored three books on architectural and decorative woodcarving. His two poetry collections are As Pus Floats the Splinter Out and Conjugation of Perhaps. His work has appeared in many print and on-line reviews including Shenandoah, The Atlanta Review, The Comstock Review, The Dalhousie Review, Rise Up Review, and Mojave River Review. He was awarded the Stephen Meats Award by Midwest Quarterly (2017).

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