Thank you for participating in the 2023 Summer Contests sponsored by the Poetry Society of Vermont. This year we received 180 entries, a record number. Many of our judges remarked on the quality of the poetry and the difficulty of selecting winners. The winning poems are listed below, along with the names of the poets. Also included are the winners of the Davis and Peach awards; these awards are given for the best poem in the current issue of The Mountain Troubadour.
Yours in Poetry, Juliana Anderson, Contest Co-Chair Carol Milkuhn, PSOV Vice President
Carol and Arnold Abelson Award Judge: Baron Wormser Winner: The Sparrows of Mariupol by Philip Coleman Second Place: Judged by Judith Janoo
Mary Margaret Audette Memorial Award Judge: April Ossmann Winner: Word Salad by Matthew Dickerson Honorable Mention: Eve Sues Apple for Trademark Infringement by Sarah Snyder
J. Richard Barry Memorial Award Judge: Sydney Lea Winner: This Poem Wants a Home by Sarah Snyder Honorable Mention: The Black Van by Judith Janoo
Marian Gleason Memorial Award Judge: Angela Patten Winner: The One at the Wheel by Mary Donnelly Honorable Mention: Gambling by Cindy Hill
Goldstein Memorial Award Judge: Dianalee Velie Winner: Liberty New York 1977 by Cindy Hill Honorable Mention: Fran’s Hands by Mary Donnelly
Laura J. Spooner Memorial Award Judge: Nancy Richardson Winner: Spring by Ann Cooper Honorable Mention: Still There by Sarah Snyder
Chris White Memorial Award Judge: Neil Shephard Winner: The Biopsy by Cindy Hill Honorable Mention: Wanting to Defy Gravity by Sarah Snyder
The Corinne Eastman Davis Award and the Arthur Wallace Peach Memorial Award are given for the best poem in the current issue of The Mountain Troubadour.Click on the links to read the winning poems.
In Buffy Aakaash’s Untangling the Knots, we learn such essential skills as “How to Start a Fire,” “How to Undress,” and even “How to Pet a Cat.” But we are given surprise after surprise, as we discover vivid metaphors for deeper life lessons. Even though the title promises untangling, the “necessary fettered entanglement” of love, desire and authentic living is what this collection celebrates. And it does so with heart, honesty, and imagination, the stuff of life and poetry...
~Maxima Kahn, author of Fierce Aria, teacher, and firekeeper
In May the PSOV lost one of its oldest and most beloved members, Inga Potter. Inga joined the PSOV shortly after she moved to Vermont in 1972. Over the years she served in many roles on the Executive Council, including President, Troubadour editor, and Executive Secretary.
Inga frequently wrote about her Swedish heritage; in one of her poems, “Busy Hands,” she explores the joy of Swedish baking. As you will see, I referenced Inga’s poem when I wrote “No Regrets.”
After I moved, I meant to still visit, again coax my car up that mountain road, take in the view of that sun-drenched Valley while anticipating the feast ahead: shortbread, homemade jelly and clotted cream, tea cosseted in a quilted cozy then poured into hand-painted porcelain, antique cups reminiscent of things past.
But I didn’t find the time. I let those afternoons slip away, along with those views of Vermont pastures and the poems I shared with my friend– until a phone call, just a word or two, connected me to darkness and to death.
So it’s only now I pull out chapbooks long hidden in musty corners of closets, rediscover her verses extolling the exotic scent of ground cardamom kneaded into the dough of vetebrod– not to mention the impossibility of Swedish Spritz, those fragile cookies I balanced so lightly in my hand.
There is a certain place on a back road where I always drive slowly to see over the guardrail into the wetland, just in case. One quiet afternoon it is there in the marsh close to the guardrail. I pull ahead to park, quietly climb out of the car with my camera on my shoulder.Continue Reading Stalking the Great Blue