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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