Ist Place, “Los Liones Canyon” — Patricia Farrell

2nd Place, “The 24th of January (The Invasion of Ukraine)” — Suzanne Pearce

3rd Place, “Stage 4” — Alanna Pass

1st HM, “Poem about a Song” –Jessica Kolman

2nd HM, “My Brother a Moment” – M. J. Cody

Judge’s Comments:

What is wonderful about judging the “New Poets” category is that absolute joy is evident in the use of rhythm, rhyme, painting a picture with words, and the love of poetry’s special language, which distinguishes it from prose. What also emerges to some degree in the work of new poets is an uncertainty with titles and line breaks, trying to make rhymes work, and lack of consistent specificity of detail. But the poems that stand out most strongly to this reader, are the poems that show confidence and mastery of craft of our “special language.” The poets who have written the winning poems are “new poets” in name only.

“Los Liones Canyon” is imbued with loss, specificity of language, each image is well-chosen and the use of “you” and “I” is evocative.

In the “The 24th of January,” through strong imagery, we enter the poet’s sorrow and incredulity that there is another war, this time, a war in Ukraine, that we feel powerless to stop.

“Stage 4’”s title invites the reader right into the poem and the specificity of language creates  the situation’s pathos.

“Poem about a Song” shows an excellent use of anaphora.

In “My Brother A Moment,” through the use of poignant details, a moment of recognition is captured.   


Los Liones Canyon – 1stPlace, Patricia Farrell                                                                                                                                                                                                   

That summer night you had me sleep in the studio

where your brother had died

his narrow single bed

smoke-imbued cracked grand piano

hot wind gusted

the broken bamboo screen banged and sighed

all night a mockingbird sang

from the canyon chaparral

he lived alone but for a brown mutt

and so many crystal balls that the room once ignited

rigid in the narrow bed          

impaled in a moonbeam

I wait for a spirit to appear

for the mockingbird to cease

for the moon to set

Patricia Farrell lives in rural Yamhill County, Oregon, tucked on 15 acres on the western edge of the Willamette Valley. She has always enjoyed writing, but has only recently begun writing poetry and essays to capture the wonders and despairs of living in this beautiful world. Trained as a biologist, wetland scientist, and landscape architect, she tends to focus her writing on our relationship and emotional connections with plants, animals, and the land.


The 24th of February (The Invasion of Ukraine) – 2nd Place, Suzanne Pearce

In the morning the snow fell silently and obscured our vision.

We drank our coffee in the dark.

The only light was the television which occasionally spat bits of images across the room.

They sometimes splattered against the window in a kind of explosion of color

Startling us with violence.

We watched the television with the sound turned down

As if that could blur reality like the snow blurred our sight.

In disbelief we witnessed the machineries of war roll back from the dead.

They had, we thought, been buried along with the innocent in mass graves.

Nightmares from a dark, weary time.

Unfounded prevarications justify the moment, but not the end

When incendiary words run like gasoline across borders

Exploding into the lives of people whose world cannot be retrieved.

Silently we watch not knowing what to do or feel

As another madman releases his plague on humanity.

Suzanne Pearce is 67 years old and recently retired after 42 years in Banking and has for the last couple of years been involved with a small writer’s group, Molalla Fellowship of the Pen. She has written poetry all of her life, but this is the first contest she has entered.


Stage 4 – 3rd Place, Alanna Pass 

The hiss/swish of her oxygen unit keeps time

like a hydraulic clock in the background

We converse and laugh

carefully avoiding the minefield of reality

the dark mist that surrounds us all

Her lashless eyes morphine heavy

Her head chemo bald

A nasal cannula that hangs from her nose

connects her to a lifeline of oxygen

Her decline shocks me

There is no longer room for miracles

How can I help in her mortal struggle?

All I can do is prepare a homecooked meal

with apple crisp for dessert

We savor it in the company of family

around the table in the warmth of my kitchen

Maybe that is enough

Alanna Pass is a mixed-media artist that discovered writing late in life. She blogs at and about sustainable living at . A retired middle school science teacher, she writes and makes art in her rural Oregon home.


Willa Schneberg is a poet, ceramic sculptor, interdisciplinary artist, essayist, curator and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, in private practice. Her new poetry collection, entitled The Naked Room, illuminates issues pertaining to mental health. She is the author of five prior collections, including In the Margins of the WorldStorytelling in Cambodia and The Books of Esther. Among the honors she has received are the Oregon Book Award in Poetry, the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund Award, inclusion in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror Nineteenth Collection, two fellowships in Poetry from Literary Arts, Inc., residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell and Kathmandu, Nepal, and poems on the Writer’s Almanac.

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