The Winners of the 2020 Annual Poetry Contest are announced!
In collaboration with the Farmington Public Library with generous support from Jared Ranger from Western Maine Financial Services and the Susan and Fritz Onion Foundation, the tenth annual Franklin County Poetry Contest has winners! Thank you to ALL the poets who participated.
First Place: Margaret Bremner, Why?
Second Place: Xavier Judkins, The Tree
Third Place: Avery Pratt, Great Grammie
First Place: Katrina Machetta, A Crazy Dream
Second Place: Alyana Savage, untitled
Third Place: Alexandria Tripp , C.I.R.E.F.
First Place: Mikayla Brown, Spring
Second Place: Chenoa Jackson, Done For Her
Literacy Volunteers Adults
First Place: Anna Crockett, Not Knowing
Second Place: Liz Hodgkins, My Amazing Mom
Third Place: Mary Jordan, Wish You Were Here
First Place: Andre Cormier, Mother, May I Revolution
Second Place: Nancy Romines Walters, What Caused It
Third Place: Dave Mitchel, Reflection
Judge's Remarks: Laine Kuehn
The Franklin County community is lucky to have a contest like this, especially now. It is important to have a place to which people can contribute their voices, and while part of the thrill of a contest is to submit knowing that you may not place in it, I feel outrageously fortunate knowing I get to read to every entry.
I believe that poetry is a unifying force (and I believe that everyone can, and should, write poems). These last few months have been incredibly difficult for many, but I believe they also offer moments to slow down, moments of self-discovery, and the time to try to find language to talk about the things that move around inside us and matter to us most. As Mary Oliver wrote in her poem “The Uses of Sorrow,” “Someone I loved once gave me / a box full of darkness. // It took me years to understand / that this, too, was a gift.”
So many voices sang through the poems submitted to this contest this year: voices of resistance, of self-investigation; young, curious voices and old, bright ones; voices which have been silenced and voices celebrating their sound. There were love poems, poems about deep familial bonds, poems of place, poems of quiet and unrepeatable moments, poems with a deft hand of rhyme and form, poems exploring private sorrows and dark places, poems probing deep confusion and poems which howl joy.
A subset of those voices are represented in these winning poems. They speak for themselves. While we cannot gather in person to hear them together, I hope two things: that we read them aloud to the people in our lives so that they can come alive off the page and in the mouths of people, as some poems are meant to do, and that each of us write a poem in the coming weeks—even if it’s a small one, just for us.
To enter, submit no more than one poem by Friday, May 15, with a cover letter listing the poet’s name, category entered (see listed above), contact information, and the title of the poem(s) submitted so that poems can be read anonymously. Cover letters need not include biographical information. Only submissions which follow this criteria and are submitted by May 15 will be considered.
All poems must be original and previously unpublished. Poems will not be returned, so please do not send originals or a SASE. Simultaneous submissions are accepted; please note on the cover letter and notify Literacy Volunteers immediately of acceptance elsewhere.
To submit entries:
In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, we are asking poets to make every effort to submit their poems digitally. Thank you.
Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mail to: FPL, 117 Academy St., Farmington, 04938