2017 Spring Contest, Theme – Oregon/Pacific NW: Honorable Mentions

These poems were submitted for the spring 2017 contest themed category judged by Charles Goodrich, but were omitted from Verseweavers 22. Any future reprints of Verseweavers 22 will include the Oregon/Pacific Northwest category. They will also be Included in the upcoming Verseweavers 23 to be published late spring 2019.

Honorable mentions
1. “What to Love” – Sherry Wellborn — Eugene, Oregon
2. “We only had fourteen days of summer in 2002” — Charlotte Van Werven – Salem, Oregon
3. “How to Care for Roses” – Toni Hanner – Eugene, Oregon


Oregon Poetry Association Spring 2018 Contest Winners

Poet’s Choice — Armin Tolentino, Judge

1st Place: “Knowledge of Good and Evil” by Penelope Scambly Schott, Portland, OR

2nd Place: “Fishing Indian Creek” by Marri Champié, Kuna, ID

3rd Place: “Persephone” by Carol Clark Williams, York, PA

1st Honorable Mention: “Monday after Rain” by Michael Hanner, Eugene, OR

2nd Honorable Mention: “Fourth Wave” by Linda Ferguson, Portland, OR

3rd Honorable Mention: “Spinning Song” by Toni Hanner, Eugene, OR


Members Only — Tim Whitsel, Judge

1st Place: “Ghazal in June” by Louise Barden, Corvallis, OR

2nd Place: “Today I Am Venus” by Shawn Aveningo Sanders, Beaverton, OR

3rd Place: “The Steens” by Janna Roselund, Oakland, OR

1st Honorable Mention: “No Bonsai Anymore” by Brigitte Goetze, Philomath, OR

2nd Honorable Mention: “The Fixer” by Toni Hanner, Eugene, OR

3rd Honorable Mention: “Rudy” by Linda Ferguson, Portland, OR


New Poets — Connie Post, Judge

1st Place: “Coals” by Welkin Azure, Eugene, OR

2nd Place: “the cherries were ripe” by Linda Golaszewski, Portland, OR

3rd Place: “Crow Proprietors” by Judy Richardson, Eugene, OR

1st Honorable Mention: “Pocket Change” by Ward Anderson, Ashland, OR

2nd Honorable Mention: “Pie and Coffee” by Donna McNeil, Springfield, OR

3rd Honorable Mention: “Gastropoda Magnifico” by Julie K. Caulfield, Beaverton, OR


Traditional Form–Sonnet — Amy MacLennan, Judge

1st Place: “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” by Hanna Litwinowicz, Portland, OR

2nd Place: “Sonnet for the 25th Wedding Anniversary” by Carolyn Martin, Clackamas, OR

3rd Place: “We Can Always Talk about the Weather” by Alida Rol, Eugene, OR

1st Honorable Mention: “For Albert” by Joan Dobbie, Eugene, OR

2nd Honorable Mention: “Death of an Archaeologist” Marri Champié, Kuna, ID

3rd Honorable Mention: “Kaizen” by Sue Parman, Hillsboro, OR


Theme–Borders and Boundaries — M. E. Hope, Judge                         

1st Place: “Cross-Country Bus” by Charlotte Abernathy, Ashland, OR

2nd Place: “Muggins Discovers His New Boundaries” by Dave Harvey, Talent, OR

3rd Place: “Something There Is” by Kim Hamilton, Ashland, OR

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


Winning poems and judges’ comments will appear under “Poet’s Spotlight” beginning May 15th.

2107 Fall Contest New Poets: Honorable Mentions and Judge’s Comments

Honorable mentions:

1st Honorable Mention: “Memorial Day” by Joanna Rose, Portland, OR

2nd Honorable Mention: “Fostering a Better World” by Jennifer Rood, Grants Pass, OR

3rd Honorable Mention: “After Midnight” by Stephanie Striffler, Portland, OR



Judge’s comments

I thought a lot about meaning as I read these poems. I thought about how language creates meaning, how humans create language, and how, despite how frail the letters words are made of, how inadequate the sounds of words are to represent the wide world, still meaning is made by one person who makes marks on a paper and understood by another person who looks at those marks with her eyes. It was a pleasure to read every poem entered and respond to the images, sounds and intent of each one.

We understand the world by naming the things in it. We make meaning of those names by arranging them on the page in beautiful patterns—thank you to all who did that work and entered it into this contest.

It is a daunting task to make a choice of the top six. If you entered this contest, you may be interested in how I managed the choice: I read through all the poems three times. The fourth time through, I made myself separate out the weakest half. Those poems were generally less ambitious or had multiple errors or flat language. I then read through the top favorites again and again, taking out the poems with logic problems or with too many linking verbs or overrun with adjectives, until I had eight remaining. Then I spent quite some time reading the remaining eight and making the impossible task of rating them—it’s an imperfect system, judging poems, and I worry my own taste influenced the final decisions. I do love inventiveness and imagination! If your poem is not a winner this time, please keep writing poems! Writing poems is a way of making meaning in the world, and as the world gets more complicated, we need more and more of us taking notes and making beauty out of disorder!

Lisa Allen Ortiz