2020

1st Place Winner

Gregory Hagan / Madisonville, Ky
A Reader Deconstructs “The Lady Or The Tiger”

Sweat beading on his brow from God knows what,
Heart hammering chest, toes curled in biker boots,
Ankles cocked for an about-face, his gut
Downside up: no doubt his cohorts , The Brutes,
Would not be pleased to see him, so unlike
Marlon Brando, in pleather without words
Before this woman glaring at his bike—
A cherry red Vespa, one for the birds.
And now he grins and wipes his fenders clean;
She uncrosses her arms as he extends
A copy of “The Lady” to the queen
With glittering eyes. Will they make amends?
She cocks her stilettos from Paul’s Boutique;
He drops his shorts and turns the other cheek.

2nd Place Winners

Jennifer Stephenson / San Angelo, TX
Snooze Button

Sophia Maltese / Cheswick, PA
Elisabeth

Rozann Kraus / W Stockbridge, MA
The Talking Animal Party

Jax Garrett / Milwaukie, OR
Teeth

Latoshia Hopewell / Seymour, TN
Pending Vending Machine

Stella Rigden / Coloma, WI
Reality Check

Shelly Sizer / Charlottesville, VA
Horizon

Margery Carole Foster / Ellenville, NY
Eggs of Glass

Rylen Whitaker / Fairport Harbor, OH
Your Spine

Ra Risen / Buffalo, NY Dear
Ineffable Prince
Philippa Scroggins / Montclair, NJ
White Marble

Seth Pierce / Bellingham, WA
Neuronal Death

Emily Brosier / Springfield, OH
Snyder Park

Carol Ruth / Powell, OH
Quag

Sasha Fuller / Warrensburg, MO
The Dandelion and I

Taylor Gaudette / Norman, OK
The Coyote and the Albatross

Hannah Ford / Lebanon, OH
The Folly of Man

Abby Crabtree-Eads / Portland, OR
Mary Jane

David Huff / Auburndale, FL
The Gift

Sydney Duncan / San Francisco, CA
Medicine

3rd Place Winners

Mark Mandel / Austin, TX Only
Now

Enrique Orozco / San Antonio, TX
Untethered

Christian Childers / Hopkinsville, KY
Sunday Morning Muse

Madhumitha Sriram / Falls Church, VA
Mind and No Matter

Patti Ann Patton / Grass Valley, CA
Orchidaceous

Charles David Poole / Prescott, AZ
Voice in the Dark

R. D. Schneider / Vero Beach, FL
Message From A Captive

Ray Loveland / La Vista, NE
Perversity

Lin LeCompte / Austin, TX
Aurelia

Trinity Richardson / Naples, FL
Ecdysis

Hana Ismaiel / Laurel, MD
Curbside Stranger

Daphne Boyd / Altadena, CA
The Red Man

Luke Engler / Lakewood, CO
Hilarion Sanctity

Jeffrey White / Elkhorn, WI
Prolixity

Carly Matt / York Haven, PA
Immunodeficient

Jo Serey / Glendale, AZ
Going After Mistletoe

Dean Prodan / Cleveland, OH
The Forbidden Fruit

Amanda Freidlander / Chicago, IL
A Depressive Episode in a Railway Car

Darryl Monteiro / Fall River, MA
Hidden Girl

Douglas Noel / Aiken, SC
Juste pour Danser

Eleanor Anderson / Brainerd, MN
Sweet Dreams

Dave Schmidt / San Diego, CA
The Covid Cube

John Holliday/ Indianapolis, IN
Sonnet 1

Rachel Smith / Port Royal, VA
The Archer

Theo Castellano-Wood / Austin, TX
Weeping Tree

Nicholas Shaleen / El Paso, TX
FolkTale

Madison Stone / Tecumseh, OK
As Is Poetry

Samantha Ortiz / El Paso, TX
Caramel

Sara Spinner / Springfield, NJ
Seven Second Love Poem

Sydney Brown / Hamden, OH
The Lonely Spaghettio

Grace Haak / Phoenix, AZ
Nope

Violette Akpona / Germantown, MD
Beyond the Veil

Thomas Rosini / Gladwyne, PA
The Hermit

Miki Harvey / Pasco, WA
Absence

Leah Najimy / Savoy, MA
Midnight Rain

Jessica Lecorchick / Browns Mills, NJ
Throw Me a Line

Ned Eckhardt / Ellington, CT
Quest End

Andrea Defreitas / Denton, OH
Mycelium

Joseph Scariano / Imperial, CA
My Photograph

Benjamin Garst / Perrysburg, OH
This Is There and This Is Now

Jewelia Brindel / Fort Wayne, IN
Horsepower

Lauren Shahan / Davie, FL
Nostalgia Is a Narcissist

Lindsay Hamilton / Long Branch, NJ
Omnipresence

Terry Russell / Tullohoma, TN
Lilacs

Maeve Heaney / Kirkwood, MO Sorry,
Tuesday

Siriveena Nandam / Coral Gables, FL
Aromatherapy

Willow Martin / Pine Grove Mills, PA
Beer Breath

Jess Rivera / Bayport, NY
Catacomb Garden

Siri Palreddy / Avon, CT
The Antithesis of a Lie

Sebastian Mayfield / Celeste, TX
The Comprehensive Tempest
Emily Scarpati / Howard Beach, NY
Soul Food

Paul Hertelendy / Piedmont, CA
The Tree That Dares to Question

Drew Duglan / San Diego, CA
Father and Son, Pahsimeroi Upon

Daril Bentley / Elmira, NY
Saguaro

Jana Wrenn / Marietta, GA
The Weeping Willow

Catherine Black / Lexington, SC
Floodlights

Elizabeth Cook / Poughkeepsie, NY
Breath

Poet Fauth / Fort Salonga, NY
William Carlos Williams Pets My Dog During Plague

Skyla Tate / Paragould, AR
Falling Asleep in Class

Shannon Tower / North Richland Hills, TX
Lad or Lass, What Is Your Guess

Eleanor Murphy / Worcester, MA
A White, Unwashed Window Sill

Erin Jeon / Irvine, CA
Koreatown

Belen Tesfaye / Arlington, VA
Journey

Elisabeth Anderson / Miami, FL
Tragicomedy in Vermont

Julia Heinrichs / Leawood, KS
The Fun House

Joanne Krayer / Hatfield, PA
Marshmallow Fluff

Nicolette Acosta / Studio City, CA
Skin of a Survivor

Kenneth Watters / Abita Springs, LA
(fic)tion in Consensus

Angeni Lieben / Lafayette, CA
The Song of a Flute

Eric Cohen / New Market, MD
Solstice (Rictameter)

Katherine Gierhahn / Downers Grove, IL
Toxicology

Truman Harris / Skokie, IL
Midnight Rust

Arce Mckeilla Malabunga / West Palm Beach, FL
My Little Cottage

Anthony Di Virgilio / Stoneham, MA
The Bancroft Burglar

Ava Kominski / Enola, PA
Intertwined

Tracy Hauck / Pasadena, TX
Insatiable Love

Hyunjun Chang / Sewickley, PA
A Merry Migrant

Wayne Michell / Red Oak, TX
How Do You See It?

Gail Arbucci / Massapequa Park, NY
Under One Roof

Caroline Steele / Harlingen, TX
Apalachacola Oysters

Joseph H. Kempf / Indianapolis, IN
Sunday Morning Musing

Ray Wolbert / Hillsboro, WV
Mystery Writer

Kirk Anderson / Athens, TN
A Blueberry Muffin

Ron Matros / Mesilla, NM
Ode to the Cretan Runner

Patricia Falter / Sudbury, ON
Pandemic Hair

Tabitha Bryner / Prescott, AZ
Paintings, Poems, and Paper Maché

Kaitlyn Stitch / Whitestown, IN
Hazy Recollection of the Sun

Jennifer Larkin Milazzo / Ponte Vedra, FL
Lockdown

Jennifer Barradale / Middletown, NJ
Cat Scratch

Brigitt Molina-Alvarado / New York, NY
Ode to a Pencil

Jake Beilleux / Raleigh, NC
Plight of the Fraser Fir

Mack Cooper / Boston, MA
The Wandering Jew

Diana Emmons / Stoneham, MA
The Actor, a Self-Portrait

Sourish Jasti / Holmdel, NJ
Indeterminant

Nancy Stere / Julian, PA
Miss Tomato

Hattie Honey / Cohutta, GA
The Boy

Paige Snuffer / Willowick, OH
Poltergeist

Haley Morris / Albany, OR
Memoir of Margaret Montgomery

Joseph Decelle / Mesa, AZ
Crinoline Cage

Connor Landreth / Garden City, ID
Yellow Pine, Black Oak