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Read the winning poem from our 2024 poetry contest

We challenged our readers to turn one of our newsletters into a poem — here’s what you came up with.

shelves of colorful books at malaprop's books and cafe

Drumroll, please.

Photo by AVLtoday

This month, we ran a poetry contest to celebrate National Poetry Month. We challenged our readers to craft a poem using only the words that appeared in one of our newsletters (here are the original contest guidelines if you want to give it a try).

While prose is our newsletter’s bread and butter, it turns out that you all certainly aren’t op-prose-d to verse; we received several creative, intriguing, and beautiful poems that we narrowed down to our top four finalists.

Check out the poems below, including the contest winner our readers voted for.

Winner: “Poiema” by Ruth Ann S.

A poem will ask you to see--
to keep and not to forget,
like a favorite fungi,
an original style,
the here and now.
You order, turn, and craft the words,
form the happy and the full,
name the narrow and the need.
And in this process,
honor limitation--
wait
for the direction to appear
and find at last
that you, yourself, are the poem.

Finalist: “Dearest April” by Leah S.

At last, come spring,
everything we missed
will turn golden.

We’ll learn new words,
fling grateful songs
like seed,

Ready to celebrate
the small things, the simple:
the rabbit,
the fungi,
the lark.

And play in the creek of marvel,
this party happy with grace,
this day here,
honey we savor.

May spring make your favorite poems.

Finalist: “Ode to Mushrooms” by Susan P.

Fungi dearest,
Debut your renditions in every direction.

Break out the theater -
Your unique, vibrant, amazing exhibition.

Pop up perfectly golden, red and black,
Showcasing a crackle top head.

Melding the organic dead
To make every custom form and design.

Mix and match how you please,
Highlighting your ultimate creativity.

We celebrate your signature style,
And marvel at your dressed masterpieces.

Come up my favorite gems,
Release your artistic charms
For all to savor.

Finalist: “Cinquain for the Sun” by Laura W.

Eclipse:
A night at day.
The river water is
Golden gems, singing songs about
Shadows.

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