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I. Poetry Contest Results

We were thrilled with the participation in this year’s Poetry Contest. Despite the pandemic—perhaps to spite the pandemic—entries arrived from all across the country, and the quality of the poetry that came in truly lifted our spirits. Our sincere thanks to everyone who sent in an entry.


We are very pleased to announce the winners in this year’s Contest:


First Place ($500 and the 2020 Malovrh-Fenlon Poetry Prize) went to Bob Wickless of Reidsville, NC for his poem “The Beautiful Blue Marlin.” Bob’s new chapbook Almost Happy (from Orchard Street) was also released in June. Information about the collection is included in the following section.


Second Place ($300) was awarded to Joanna McKethan of Dunn, NC for “Home Stretch,” and Third Place ($200) went to Jeanie Mortenson of Ludington, MI for “Angels Unnecessary.”


In addition to these three prize-winners, the following were selected as Finalist poems:


“Sublimation” by Mac Gay of Columbus, OH

“Los Angeles” by Tobi Alfier of Torrence, CA

“The Gustatory Zeal of Falling Snow” by Glen Mazis of Marietta, PA

“Day Hike, Whidby Island” by Peter Ludwin of Kent, WA

“The biggest thing you never saw coming is air” by Will Nixon of Kingston, NY

“Vespers” by David Cummings of Menlo Park, CA

“The Boy and Big Foot” by Nancy Cavers Dougherty of Sepastopol, CA


The following were the Semi-Finalist poems:


“For Marti” by Duane Niatum of Seattle, WA

“Bums Wake to Carillon Music” by Bob Wickless

“The Sign in the Creperie Says ‘Look Up’” by Judith Kennedy of Marietta, PA

“Mother and I Play Scrabble” by Craig McVay of Columbus, OH

“Trek to Elk Falls” by Lew Forester of Arvada, CO

“Blue Ridge Hiking Paths” by Sue Spirit of Zionville, NC

“Past His Garden With its Perfect Rows” by Katharyn Howd Machan of Ithaca, NY

“Fascination” by Bill Glose of Yorktown, VA

“After G.M. Hopkins” by Estelle Solomon of El Cerrito, CA

“The Sacred Sickness” by Amy Irish of Lakewood, CO

“The Path” by Ben Onachila of Brevard, NC

“Was a Turtle” by Nancy Cavers Dougherty


The following were the Honorable Mention poems:


“Guidelines for Nirvana” by Sue Spirit

“Stardust” by Bill Glose

“Peonies” by Ann Gingrich of Wilmington, OH  

“Learning How It Is” by Pat Anthony of Fontana, KS

“Brookgreen Gardens” by Diane Pinckney of Charlotte, NC

“The Eighth Dwarf” by Will Nixon

“Bogwoman on Snowmelt” by Deborah Doolittle of Jacksonville, NC

“The Dream of Odysseus” by Eric Machan Howd of Ithaca, NY

“Remembering Canid Nights” by Glen Mazis

“Alligator” by Diane Pinckney

“Things Slight” by Mark Taska of Albany, CA

“Sequestered Spring” by Lew Forester

“Of Duck Butts, Beauty, and Not Forgetting to Smile by Frank Coons of Denver, CO

“Visiting a Nursery After Many Years Away” by Peter Ludwin of Kent, WA

“Nocturne-Contaminated” by John Millkereit of Houston, TX

“The Response” by Calvin Green of San Jose, CA

“Bible Food” by Eleanor Lerman of Long Beach, NY

“The Underpass” by Elaine Zimmerman of Hamden, CT

“Respect the River” by Wendy McVicker of Athens, OH

“Blue Parakeet” by Judith Kennedy


II. Quiet Diamonds 2020


The forty-two poems above (from thirty-four different poets) make up Quiet Diamonds 2020, this year’s edition of our annual poetry journal. This year’s edition, our third, prompted award-winning poet Will Greenway to write: “These poems are proof that good poetry begins in the real, but soon begins to hover above the quotidian and rise into a spiritual zone that leaves the ordinary behind and below. They may begin in nature in all its beauty, but soon reveal the beauty of the supernatural as well. Keep these by your bed with your other treasures, the quiet diamonds.”


We believe that Quiet Diamonds 2020 will further enhance the growing reputation of the journal. As with the first two editions, this year’s QD presents work from well-established and already highly-regarded poets (including a winner of the National Book Award for Poetry) alongside poems from a wide range of other established, emerging, and exciting new writers.

Quiet Diamonds 2020 will be published in September. Pre-release orders can be made now for $12. As of October 1st, the journal will be on sale for $15 a copy.


III. New Publications


In the past three months, Orchard Street has released the following new poetry chap books:


“Almost Happy” by Bob Wickless of Reidsville, NC

“The Diamond Light of an Almost Morning” by Larsen Bowker of Blacksburg, VA

“Sea Changes” by Duane Niatum of Seattle WA

“Joy in the Tomb of Hunting and Fishing” by Craig McVay of Columbus, OH


Information about each of those titles is included in the release announcements below.


bowker announcement


mcvay annoucement


niatum announcement


wickless annoucement


IV. Coming Soon


In early autumn of this year, the following new titles will be published by Orchard Street.


“The Body is a Dancing Star” a chapbook from Glen Mazis of Marietta, PA.

“Gwen and the Big Nothing” a poetry chapbook from Mary Ann Honaker of Beckley, W.VA

“Step Close In” a poetry chapbook from Gary Boelhower of Duluth, MN

“Sunlight in the Stream” a poetry chapbook from John P. Kristofco of Highland Hts., OH

“The Alex Chronicles” a collection of short stories from John P. Kristofco