Oregon Poetry Association Spring 2019 Contest Winners

OPA congratulates all the winners below, and thanks them
and all the poets who entered for sharing their work.

Watch for individual poems to appear in Poet’s Spotlight over the coming weeks.

Poet’s Choice — John Sibley Williams, Judge

1st Place: “Maps” by Jennifer Dorner, Klamath Falls, OR

2nd Place: “passing” by Deborah Akers, Portland, OR

3rd Place: “Observing the Arsonist” by Colette Jonopulos, Denver, CO

1st Honorable Mention: “Awaiting the Child” by Carol Ellis, Forest Grove, OR

2nd Honorable Mention: “I.” by Tamarah Rockwood, Bainbridge Island, WA

3rd Honorable Mention: “I Want to Speak Norwegian” by Linda Ferguson, Portland, OR

Members Only — José Angel Araguz, Judge

1st Place: “Lake Ridge Drive” by Jennifer Dorner, Klamath Falls, OR

2nd Place: “Birding” by Carol Lantz, Corvallis, OR

3rd Place: “Roadtrip, Interstate 65” by Sallie Ehrman, Ashland, OR

1st Honorable Mention: “Jill Reaches Maturity” by Ann Magill, Ashland, OR

2nd Honorable Mention: “Once” by Sherri Levine, Portland, OR

3rd Honorable Mention: “Killjoy” by Lucy Cotter, Portland, OR

New Poets — Stella Beratlis, Judge

1st Place: “Falling Stars” by Meli Broderick Eaton, Bend, OR

2nd Place: “The Bus Stop Has a Sense of Slow-Down” by Peter Schettkoe, Eugene, OR

3rd Place: “All eyes” by Linda Golaszewski, Portland, OR

1st Honorable Mention: “Freefall” by Lucy Cotter, Portland, OR

2nd Honorable Mention: “Question for Mary Oliver” by Linda Budan, Newberg, OR

3rd Honorable Mention: “Gefilte Fish” by Barry Vitcov, Ashland, OR

Traditional Form – Ghazal — Kathleen McClung, Judge

1st Place: “Slippage” by Eleanor Berry, Lyons, OR

2nd Place: “For a Distant Friend” by Delia Garigan, Hillsboro, OR

3rd Place: “Hiraeth from an Oregon beach to a lost island” by Amelia Díaz Ettinger, Summerville, OR

1st Honorable Mention: “Albert on a Bicycle: A Ghazal” by Robert Eastwood, San Ramon, CA

2nd Honorable Mention: “Be Still” by Nancy Knowles, La Grande, OR

3rd Honorable Mention: “Late, November” by Zach Zeman, Sacramento, CA

Theme–Climate — Nancy Carol Moody, Judge                        

1st Place: “Loaded trunk falling down a flight of stairs like choir birds” by Shari Crane Fox,
Portland, OR

2nd Place: “Assemblage. The Anthropocene” by Michael G. Smith, Santa Fe, NM

3rd Place: “Impending Water Shortage: Facts & Incantations” by Khadija Anderson, Altadena, CA

1st Honorable Mention: “I Promise to Keep These Promises” by Jennifer Dorner, Klamath Falls, OR

2nd Honorable Mention: “Anthem for the Anthropocene” by Alida Rol, Eugene, OR

3rd Honorable Mention: “Ode to the Worst Air Quality in Two Decades” by Hillary Tully,
Eugene, OR

2018 Fall Contest, Theme – Harvest, 1st Place Winner

the mountain in the evening
by Brad Canfield

my grandfather had a black mountain and he picked asparagus in his garden just in front of the mountain he pulled each stalk from the dirt with his thick dirty fingers and dropped it gently into an old coffee can shunk. shunk. shunk. each stalk was a like piece of the evening because the sky grew darker as he picked and i think he looked like he was coming up out of the soil while he picked and i also think he looked like he was growing out of the soil and into a mountain

Judge’s comments
In three readings of this set of poems, my first choice never changed. The winner, “the mountain in the evening,” caught me with its simplicity, brevity, and a powerful transformative metaphor balanced on the word because. This in a five-line prose poem with the moody feel of Raymond Chandler.
—Michael Hanner

Brad Canfield lives in Philomath, at the foot Mary’s Peak, and has been writing poetry for 18 years. He recently spent two years living in southern Ethiopia with his wife, their two sons and the family dog, at the foot of Mount Demota. His experience in Africa deeply impacted his approach to poetry and has pushed him to write poems focused on the metaphysical aspects of living in Oregon as compared to living in Ethiopia.

2018 Fall Contest, Theme – Harvest, 2nd Place Winner

Payday
by Joshua Boettiger

I figured I was
a forever henchmen,
slinging clay one
handful at a time
from an endless
bank of red earth.

But now, look—
it’s late Fall and
I got pockets
lined with loot.
I’m thick in the
right places.
The trimmers
are back in town
with their sticky
fingers and dull eyes.
Stand back, boys.
There’s enough
to go round.

The katsura tree
smells like burnt
sugar. Its heart-shaped
leaves rain gold
upon the patient.
I said,
I am blessed.
You said, No.
You are lucky.

Judge’s comments
“Payday” mixed common language (“Stand back, boys.”) in short lines. It created for me a mix of the weary laborer and the joyful Sisyphus that Camus describes walking back down the hill. It’s September and October. Its language: lined with loot, sticky.
—Michael Hanner

Joshua Boettiger’s poems and essays have appeared in Parabola, San Pedro River Review, and Zeek. He is a contributing author to the forthcoming anthology, Neither Here Nor There: The Many Voices of Liminality. He teaches poetry at Southern Oregon University’s Young Artists Institute, and at workshops through the Oregon Poetry Association. He is also a rabbi, a teacher of Mussar (Jewish Ethics) and Meditation, and a timber-framer. He lives in Ashland, Oregon.