2019 Spring Contest Winner: 1st Place, Theme–Climate

Judge’s comments

I ultimately awarded first place to “Loaded trunk falling down a flight of stairs like choir birds” for its unrelenting imagery and the author’s broad perspective on the theme.

—Nancy Carol Moody

Poet bio

Shari Crane Fox comes from Cherokee, Lakota, Blackfoot and Irish roots. She holds advanced degrees from the University of Arizona, UCSD, and Stanford. She has received finalist and honorable mentions, most recently in the Oregon Poetry Association and Patricia Dobler contests. She believes raising three children solo to be her most significant achievement. She recently moved to Portland with a Pomeranian-Chihuahua rescue named Bernie, and to prove fairytales come true, married her high school sweetheart.

2019 Spring Contest Winner: 2nd Place, Theme–Climate

Judge’s comments

My second-place choice, “Assemblage. The Anthropocene,” successfully employs the device of a visual artwork (the assemblage of the title) to imagine a geographical reality in urgently enjambed and insistent language.

—Nancy Carol Moody

Poet bio

Michael G. Smith’s poetry has been published in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Cider Press Review, Crannóg, Labletter, Nimrod, The Santa Fe Literary Review, Sin Fronteras, and elsewhere. No Small Things was published by in 2014. The Dippers Do Their Part, a collaboration with visual artist Laura Young of haibun and katagami from their Shotpouch Cabin residency, was published in 2015. Flip Flop, a collection of haiku co-written with Miriam Sagan, was published in 2017.

2019 Spring Contest Winner: 3rd Place, Theme–Climate

Impending Water Shortage: Facts & Incantations

by Khadija Anderson

Over 5 billion people could suffer water shortages by 2050

Money washed in clear rain water cannot be stolen


To spill water while carrying it from the spring or brook is an omen of sorrow

Global demand for water has increased six-fold over the past century


Water quality is deteriorating because of runoffs of fertilizer and other chemicals

Washing your hands in water in which eggs have been boiled, is a certain way to get warts


Drought and soil degradation are now the biggest risk of natural disaster

Throw a baby’s bath water under a green tree and the baby will thrive  


If two people wash together they will have bad luck unless one of them spits in the water

80% of all wastewater is being discharged without treatment


Climate change will make wet regions wetter and dry regions drier

A drowning person cannot drown until he has gone under the water for the third time


Droughts are the greatest threat from climate change

If it rains while a bride and groom are going to or from church, they will have a life of unhappiness


A river takes one drowned soul as its yearly toll

Wrap yourself in the skin of an animal just killed, lie down beside a waterfall,

and the future will be revealed to you


Water scarcity can lead to civil unrest, mass migration and conflict

If rain falls on a coffin, the soul of the departed has arrived safely


Judge’s comments

The third-place selection, “Impending Water Shortage: Facts & Incantations,” is an inspired scheme of couplets which surprisingly pairs alarming environmental facts with endearing folkloric superstitions. 

—Nancy Carol Moody

Poet bio

Khadija Anderson, Muslim, mother, poet, and Anarchist lives in her hometown of Los Angeles. Her poetry has been published in many online and print journals and anthologies. Her first book of poetry, History of Butoh, was published in 2012, and a chapbook, Cul-de-sac: an american childhood is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press. Khadija runs a monthly social justice themed literary series, Poets & Allies for Resistance, in Pasadena, California.