Posted May 30, 2018.

2018 Spring Contest, Theme–Borders and Boundaries: Honorable Mentions and Judge’s Comments

Honorable mentions:

1st Honorable Mention: “Crossing” by Helen Puciloski, Rainier, OR

2nd Honorable Mention: “Territory” by Cynthia Jacobi, Newport, OR

3rd Honorable Mention: “Unfinished Things” by Marvin Lurie, Portland, OR



Judge’s comments

I was drawn to the category, Borders and Boundaries, because it is a subject that I ponder often and I often have lived in between places: countries, regions, cultures. These poems didn’t disappoint. The poets explored a lot of ground, figuratively and literally. And it was fun to explore with them.  The poems that really stuck with me were those that took me someplace. The first-place poem reminded me of many Greyhound journeys: “Cross-Country Bus” captured the sounds, and the exhaustion, of those journeys as well as the simple beauty of “moonlit hills rise and fall like ocean swells.”

The poem in second place, “Muggins Discover His New Boundaries,” is a wry look at the joy, sorrow and discovery of the older cat, told with gentleness and humor. I smile every time I imagine the poor “Holstein-spotted cat” sliding down the fence. Third place “Something There Is” just wouldn’t let go and had me caught between perfect clarity and then “that thing you see from the corner of your eye.” The honorable mentions had those specific images that ground a poem, make it touchable and real and, for me, very enjoyable.


—M. E. Hope

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