The poems AVLtoday readers submitted to our first poetry contest

We challenged our readers to write a poem using only words from our newsletter — think you could do it?

We challenged our readers to write a poem using only words from our newsletter — think you could do it?

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This April, we ran a poetry contest to celebrate National Poetry Month, challenging you, our readers, to craft a poem using only the words that appeared in one of our newsletters (here’s the original contest guidelines + newsletter if you want to give it a try).

Turns out, y’all are poets and we didn’t even know it — we were beyond thrilled to read 30+ original, creative, and awe-inspiring poems Ashevillians created from our newsletter copy. Check out the poems below, and don’t forget to vote for your favorite out of our top five finalists.

Our finalists

“Denatured Haiku” by Susan A.

How you match and mix

The words you use to instill

Fiction in my love

“Foragers” by Leah S.

Ramp season comes.

First, we’ll pick a direction for the hunts.

Those that move, exploring,

will learn the brook

and the rock

and the plants

to guide:

following pathways

to the question she just provided.

She’ll celebrate mountain morning,

our happy years building

a French Broad River poem,

the nature of words calling out

from here, the mountain,

and here, the field,

every pretty spring afternoon.

Today, the chestnut will bloom,

this last new sign,

to discover you need but little:

cups of rain,

hands of light.

“It Is Science Exploring You” by Jessica M.

Your eyes are the twilight that light my way

Your hands guide the tall mountain

Your love is solar

You are the fortitude in all nights and each day

Every word from you is fireworks

The direction you’re on is colorful

You exhibit a simple balance, unlike the world today

The plants and animals call you home

Highlighting the resilience of you

To clarify what is meant to say

Nature is in you and around you, a lifespan in bloom

It is science exploring you

“Along the River” by Connie C.

Love, plan ahead

This poem has eyes that craft a warning

My words turn a simple circle

Through rock and rain

Crossing pathways with the spring

Plants pull in the light and bloom

Opening to their bravery

You found them calling

Don’t forget this mountain season

Or the track we take along the river

As you fly home

“How to Watch a Sunrise” by Adam T.

Enter from the colorful fields

Of morning.

Seven grey birds circle high

To the west, call

Your name. Narrow

Your eyes to see

The river turn

Your meditation from words

To form. Free all symbol

From poets.

You will learn

How everything can clarify,

Redeem you.

Share the covered hour

Only with the mountain

Cast your vote for your favorite poem out of our five finalists.


“An Asheville Haiku Celebrating Spring” by Mark C.

Asheville - spring ramp up

Rare birds present their story

Celebrate nature!

“Bragging puppies” by Sean H.

Hello RAD science!

Asheville is community.

Please love, and subscribe.

“AVL Haiku” by Greg G.

Asheville poetry

Bragging rights for the winners?

Just send banana!

“Haiku on Asheville” by Madison B.

Asheville, what a kick,

Unique creativity home,

Hoppy and bluesy

“Today” by Edwin B.

pretty Asheville bloom

bluesy bragging hoppy brew

artisanal view

Acrostic Poems

“Asheville Poem” by Valerie H.

A poem about a place that is a poem? A challenge!

S ubmit to the nature bedlam

H ere is bluesy rock and brewing.

E very road-the artistic shows.

V alue a museum.

I nteresting community and spirit.

L overs of the more simple.

L earn the city and the people.

E njoy and celebrate Asheville!

“Acrostic Served Here” by Sarah S.

After popping in the Green Banana for cocktail hour

Vegan Ashlea, happy Laura, the bald artistic spy and you

Learn an upcoming Asheville expo will be

Total bedlam.

Outdoors yoga with hoppy fenced-in puppies below massive fireworks shows,

Dog and pony steeplechase races around rare historic sculpture,

At twilight the titular debut of bluesy rock with a content warning.

Your only question: Is there free name brand swag?

Psst…fact: this is your one and

Only chance for the trio and you to be attendees and

Earn bragging rights in this lifespan.

Must not be missed!

Poems about Asheville

“An Asheville Blossom” by Clint B.

Come April,

Asheville appears

in bloom

unlike any other city—

hoppy drinks

form artisanal crafts

for locals and tourists

on the hunt

for a 2 BD, 1 BA

below $200,000.

Yesterday’s rain

races down

every mountain

while poets

pick out words

between acres

of nature


with poetry.

All are invited

to cocktail hour

on the open patio

to celebrate

award-winning creativity

with artistic individuals,

scientists, students,

chefs, and recreation lovers

who make Asheville

a unique peak

of interest

to people

around the world.

“AVL Bedlam” by Vivian B.

This bites.

A light rain at the Arboretum

dogs leashed, fenced-in

Asheville tourists nursing,

a French Broad parent calling kids cute.

You’re invited to this fun stuff;

to keep track of your limitations

narrow your form and direction

like animals…puppies providing a testimonial

to the spirit of resilience.

Open to all

a massive tailgate

one-of-a-kind demonstrations

a laboratory to plan ahead

for five years of Western Carolina bluesy meditation and erasure.


It couldn’t be more simple —in the spirit of fast-paced fun—

an AVLtoday poetry contest to celebrate more then one

Ways residents present their story to learn how Asheville is their home

Highlighting in strong language with words that appear only in this poem!

From bragging rights on beer, award-winning chefs, and peak mountain blues

You’ll find arts, crafts, comedy + everything in between that is featured on the news.

The grand City of Asheville makes her most interesting proposals to friends, family and community —

Providing exceptional opportunity —

to question, to instill hands-on learning, to share, to take part, to be cultural, to move, to help out, to award initiative, to be humane.

“40% chance of rain” by Joan D.

Psst! Ready?

It’s that time,

in advance

just around the corner

Bluesy summer

green popping bloom

is calling hello,

energy upcoming

Fireworks not,

just a little ramp up

the turn of the year

a solar crossing

Grey closed space,

appearing to move out

on its own fast-paced road trip,

its peak narrow

Bring it on!

that bald grand spirit

original every season

that one-of-a-kind

local mix calling


Circle the people,

bring them a sign of strength

with the help of some

(of course) fun stuff

Eyes on Asheville,

exceptional community

quality craft

history brand new

“We’re Already Here” by Starla K.

Solar exposure popping plants into their exceptional open.

Animals are hoppy to celebrate the colorful neighborhood.

Birds prize their eggs as Spring spirit bites our exploring nature...

We should road trip to anywhere!

And tailgate with beer and fireworks and a fast-paced cocktail hour! 100% bedlam!

Not today?

Any friends love twilight yoga with a meditation?

We’ll enjoy Asheville Spring in our backyard. 💗

Poems about nature + love

“Just Another Eagle seeking Freedom” by Victoria R.

Hello Sanctuary,

Eye spy bravery in a season of twilight

Calling all to open pathways forward

Submit to the spirit of meditation

Get to know yourself

Narrow the VOICES filled with limitation

Quality and creativity are just around the corner

And can’t wait to debut

The lifespan of happy times discover new habitats

Find your resilience

Fly how you please

Be the eagle featured for exploring the exception

And everything in between

Circle the Sculpture of fortitude

Question the symbol of FREE

Forget the spirit of submission

Hideaway in colorful love

Representation invited

Fireworks appear like the spring in bloom

You’re officially fair game

Share your exclusive stage

Redeem community fenced-in yesterday’s story

Make a safe space to celebrate

Every EAGLE must be FREE!

“Survivor of an Erasure Poem” by Hannah C.

The rules are simple:

Craft a winning submission.

So here it is:

Spring is in bloom,

A mural of mountain

And brick-garden cities

And light rain—

It’s April once more— and you aren’t here.

Two years before, you invited us

To a museum, every

Exhibit featuring nature, European cities,


The year before that, a cute bungalow

With a fenced-in backyard, three puppies,

A grand-opening to us.

And now?

Every road trip is a poem,

The process of erasure,

Highlighting the fact that

In crossing us out

Only one can remain.

“Reflections From The Sunflowers” by Hannah J.

You are more to all that see

or forget how simple

the limitation of your rights

can craft bedlam

We’ll wait while some will not

submit to the rules of the game

They’re of use to pull yourself

in the fair direction

into the mix

excluding the rule

We can’t be

behind every spirit of quality

your course appears unlike them

in an open throw

you turn once

and enter a season of exception

to please the last ones out

And you find the erasure


crossing today’s readers—

And winning the process

“Some Direction” by Jackson W.

She plants her stuff on the road,

Still nursing a beer.

The Asheville debut comes,

With the French Broad below.

A bluesy singer and bassist,

From just up the mountain.

An artistic community,

Their pathways narrow.

After twilight, a start:

Opening with an original.

To tourists and locals,

Admission is free.

But to the artist,

A lifespan and plan,

Are in the balance.

Buttons that say:

“Nature,” “Love,” and “Energy.”

A sign in the case,

Reading help out please!

It’s empty for now.

The trip ahead,

Like a rare eagle,

Or big river crossing;

Fiction, really.


Today, the artist found:




Spirit, unlike before.

Will an opportunity appear?

With Spring upcoming,

New chance to provide,

Some direction.

To see the way through.

“Who Can Love the Spirit Young?” By Christin N.

Every fact is a vehicle for fiction.

The park is closed only the hour

you don’t have a home

while a few

throw a million at the fields.

For them, it’s easier to own, to buy

(how do you love?) a mountain,

the right to title its bald grey

birds fly from, Hideaway Cove

and stage an artisanal garden.

Inside a crossing light, a new bird

makes a door in the mortar of its egg.

On a continent we can’t see,

match tip blues bloom tall

like little fireworks in a game

for the last square of space rock.

Notes of a bassist ribbon

up the once narrow avenue

to the great world. People appear

comfy and cute as buttons

although free

as laboratory animals.

“The Stirring” by Kirsten W.

We missed our only sister

– a singer named Caroline –

Missed her pretty words

and summer tunes.

Pathways form a story

a direction –

Now with limitation.

Plans just off-season

a narrow year not scheduled,

a lifespan west of spring.

Thursday afternoon

the massive river calling:

Spirit, turn and clarify.

You’re invited to appear

Before our twilight eyes.

Between door and hour,

continent of would

And only at the crossing

she’ll appear.

An Eagle will circle

around the host.

April rain will fly

Until a million plants

are found here

Hosting a word garden.

Little creek cutting a course

to track our great

and open language

Anywhere words enter this space

and instill warning:

Words of the sister

are not fiction anymore

Calling in our green fields.

“The Fireworks Are For You” by Sarah S.

Be interesting today.

Pull your one-of-a-kind spirit out

from its brick and mortar,

out from its fast-paced, high-stakes

virtual world

into the space of style and

fun-filled original tunes.

You and your pretty interior world

are fair game in this city.

Bragging rights aren’t just for

the finalists.

“No Contest” by Nancy S.

Fenced-in pretty favorite

will spy birds from below

on a low-stakes road trip

to a twilight bungalow.

The artist must tour inner

space, celebrate equity,

and bring strong language

to a bluesy hideaway.

An eagle can fly from any

building to discover freedom

in a river of air, sanctuary

on a rock, and love in a bloom.

“Mud Season” by Whitney A.

The narrow winning of a western April at the Cullowhee house

all bloom and brick block

and birds there

in the Highland

on the hunt


save a leashed few with their little eyes

who spy rain coming

Carolina rain

a 3 hour twilight

on this mountain afternoon


my Hi-Wire, green ribbon love




“Creative Path” by Karen D. + Karen M.

Bluesy twilight

Exploring the interior river

Opening pathways to the bedlam spirit

Poets celebrate creativity

Artistic sixth sense of originality opening

Inside fireworks popping one-of-a-kind ideas

A directional language in bloom

To know a sanctuary of meditation

“What’s Important?” By Glenn N.

Walks on pathways to a high peak,

April in bloom,

A road trip with a friend,

An afternoon in nature,

See the eagle fly in a circle,

Scoop up a massive dinner.

Enjoy highlighting a day with any of them,

All will move on in place and time.

There is no need for that kind of limitation on new found love.

Poems that put the free in free verse

Untitled poem by Elizabeth G.

bluesy meditation on spring

interior season of rain

solar steeplechase of the spirit

colorful resilience redeems

“Submit your Poem Here” by Nick B.

Mix and match words

Highlight titles

Crossing out words Makes the Process Easier…

Poetry is

a six-story building

named “bedlam”

“Ideas” by Megan B.

Rules and bedlam,

fair spirit pull free from time,

bloom between the brick and mortar.

Comes and call, new eyes open,

more unlike what has been.

Pretty, young form- a warning,

hideaway strength ready to kick or bites or hunt,

also nursing bravery for love, to be held, and help.

Nature rare, a will, meant to be.

“While Visiting an Old Friend and Her Dogs after Her Husband’s Sudden Death, I Laugh at Sadie Who Snoops in My Purse for Candy, but It’s Sam, the Dog with Dementia, Who Breaks My Heart” by Barbara C.


An original prize.

Simple spirit in bloom.

Say Hello to our four-legged Pop Up.

Symbol of bravery + fortitude,

brick and mortar of the bungalow,

meditation circle + fireworks

+ everything in between.

To clarify:

My little eyes spy in this dog

a sanctuary of bedlam space,

directional marker closed,

mix + match of fact + fiction.

Admission is not free

+ eye for one, love it.

“The Chase” by C. Fairview

Dogs will require its first event — the six-story building. Will be leashed at a courtyard — dogs also spring prize eggs into the chestnut boys. The eagle bites the bookmark. A brick races a house. The pop up cheese fenced-in a world chef rewards vegan kids for free high-stakes birds mix and match… reading the cheese kids hunt local companies.

“A Rose Banana Challenge” by R. Fairview

The banana is in a challenge on fri. April 15 for dogs cute birds. Everything has bragging rights, and prize eggs. Dare the chef have an egg on ahead. Winning has this boys name on a six-story building.

“A testimonial from a French Broad on a Hi-Wire” by Patty M.

One-of-a-kind day egg hunt. The Editorial Team highlighting words to craft a debut with the help of a four-legged friend.

Eye spy with my little eyes: solar panels – cute and convenient and pathways to equity … dogs on yoga mats - puppies will be provided.

The race course a massive pony ride for the great adult egg hunt & hoppy hour. Egg hunts aren’t just for kids anymore. Invited bedlam on Eagle Street. Readers announced – The French Broad on a Hi-Wire winning bragging rights – prize vegan cheese. Second Place – Grey Eagle.

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