Congratulations to all our winners in the third annual Provo Poetry contest! We received over 200 poems! It was difficult whittling them down to the top ten finalists, but we did it! Then we sent those finalists off to our judge Star Coulbrooke and she selected the winners. We’re still selecting poems to be included in our POEMBALL machines and will send those acceptances out sometime in the next month or so. See the list of winners and finalists below.

We had originally planned a reading and celebration with Speak for Yourself open mic in downtown Provo, and we will likely still do so in the future, so watch for that in coming months. The posters of the all the finalists poems have been printed and will be displayed at a future Provo Art Stroll as well.

1st PLACE WINNER OF $100 CASH!

Victoria Childress for: “City Spring”

Judge’s comments: This multi-layered comment on the facets of a cityscape rising from the ravages of winter, with everything from “pollen graffiti” to “a crop of food carts” proving the release of all that has waited frozen in time and emotion, is brought to a profusion of color and fragrance before it ends, surprisingly, in a somber intellect, the “druidic circles of deer.”

2nd PLACE WINNER OF $50 CASH!

Dayna Patterson for: “Our Lady of the WIC Check”

Judge’s comments: A stunning, credible sensitivity in this praise song to one of the most prevalent and stigmatized conditions of American experience, entirely observant of detail, transforming each from the quirky and the mundane to the beautiful, to pure joy, “praising all the way home.”

Two honorable mentions receive a $25 gift certificate to Pioneer Book:

Rob Carney for “Why We Have Spiders”

Judge’s comments: What we think we don’t want, what we get, what we give up, described in winsome imagery.

Dayna Patterson for “[Pummel my tough heart, oh Mother-Goddess]”

Judge’s comments: The images here are fascinating, an incredible modern motherly feminist take on the old Donne classic.

Finalists (in no particular order)

“Forwards” by Maria Rosa Mills
“Héloise to Abelard” by Natasha Sajé
“I. In the Style of Emily Dickinson” by Victoria Childress
“One Morning” by Maurine Haltiner
“to the twelve muskrats moving in a line behind my chain link fence at dawn in Salt Lake City on the first of September 2019” by Natasha Sajé
“Why We Have Blue Jays” by Rob Carney


Want to know more about Provo Poetry? Follow our websiteFacebook, or Twitter. Open mic poetry readings happen the second Tuesday of every month at Pioneer Book. Click here for more information.

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