Winners are Announced for
The Eleventh Annual Poetry Contest
First Place: Emma Arnold, In The Dark of the Pale Moonlight
Second Place: Margaret Bremner, Unity
Third Place: Hallie Parlin, The Wind
First Place: Jack M. Volterman, Fictional Characters
Second Place: Rita J. Baker, Abyss
Third Place: Kasy Brault, Family Fun Time
First Place: Mikayla Brown, Once More
Second Place: Elizabeth Beaudette, My Dad
Students of Literacy Volunteers
First Place: Anna Crockett, Pinewood Angels
Second Place: Joanna Ladd, Learning in Important to Me
Third Place: Lorrie Chicoine, My Dog Casey Rae
First Place: Wendy Morrill, We’re All Millionaires
Second Place: Elizabeth Cooke, Today
Third Place: Sally Speich, The Flow of Life
Gratitude for poetry contest sponsorship is expressed to
Western Maine Financial Services and Susan and Fritz Onion.
For something special this year,
we wrote a list poem,
listing the entire collection
of this year's poetry contest submission titles.
(All titles unedited but one; a name removed. All titles separated by commas or periods.)
2021 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.”
It was especially beautiful to see themes in each category, and among the whole group! It seems like on every level we are all responding deeply to relationships, we are all looking more closely, breathing more deeply, noticing the shifts of light. Through it all, the kids in the first category bring their wisdom and their humor, too.
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.
Poetry Contest Judge, Laine Kuehn Biography:
Laine Kuehn is a poet, woodswalker, and deep listener. Laine graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington in 2014, where they majored in Creative Writing and served as intern at the Beloit Poetry Journal; since then, Laine coordinated programs with the Maine Humanities Council, volunteered for 5 years on the steering committee of the Belfast Poetry Festival, co-edited and produced several issues of a literary magazine, organized formal and informal readings, and remains deeply committed to the work of writing, workshopping, reading, and celebrating poetry in all its forms throughout Maine and beyond. They believe that poetry lives inside and beneath everything and takes many forms, and strives for a world where everyone feels free, curious, and able to find it.
Prizes: Gift Certificates
First: $20 at Devaney Doak & Garrett Booksellers, Second: $15 at Twice Sold Tales Bookstore, and Third: $10 at Phillips Public Library Store.
To enter, submit no more than one poem by Friday, March 31, 2021, with a cover letter (separate from the poem so that poems can be read anonymously), listing full name, category entered, email and mailing address, phone number, and the title of the poem. Cover letters need not include biographical information. Only submissions which follow this criteria and are submitted by March 31 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 pandemic, we are asking poets to make every effort to submit their poems digitally. Thank you.
Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mail to: Literacy Volunteers, 129 Seamon Rd., Farmington, 04938
All winners will be notified by April 12 and invited to the virtual celebration on April 30.
Winning poems will be published.