It’s February, so you know what that means: we’re throwing open the doors on our annual International Poetry Contest! As with last year, contest submissions are $15 for up to 5 poems per entry. Enter as many times as you want.
One Grand Prize winner will receive $1000 and publication, and all Finalists will be published as well. Thirty Merit Award winners will receive a copy of the Fall issue.
When we shifted our preferred submission mechanism to Submittable, we received some emails expressing concern about that decision. We have never used the system to “make a profit”–charging no more than we absolutely have to in order to pay for the platform. We understand that some people find the system impersonal, and we still strive to make our interactions with every one of our poets as humane and attentive as possible.
We also made the decision to shift our editorial processes to blind review–to further support our long-standing mission statement to “publish poems, not poets.” As poets ourselves, we are always committed to making the process as fair as it can be. We only accept a tiny percentage of the submissions we receive, so each year we find ourselves rejecting many excellent poems. We often agonize over our choices.
Despite our primary shift to online submissions, we have continued to accept regular mail submissions in an attempt to be as inclusive as possible. Each year we have some people, like those who are incarcerated, who have no other means of sending us work.
And then came the pandemic.
Currently, we have no access to any submissions received by mail since early March. When the university shut down, we could no longer get mail. All the mail is being held in a central site. If you are one of the poets who has submitted work to us by regular mail, we can only promise to read them whenever it is safely possible to do so. Since we have no way of knowing who you are, we hope this message finds you.
In the meantime, because we have the online platform, we are able to continue to read submissions online. We are also able to do other editorial and design work remotely. Hopefully we will all stay safe and well and be able to continue to bring you excellent poetry in these difficult times.
Kurt wins the $1000 prize, and his poem, along with the wonderful poems by the other Finalists, will appear in the fall issue. Congratulations to Kurt and to all of the Finalists! You make Atlanta Review awesome!
Kurt Luchs has poems published or forthcoming in Into the Void, Right Hand Pointing, and The Sun Magazine. He won the 2017 Bermuda Triangle Poetry Prize, and was the First Runner-Up for the 2019 Fischer Poetry Prize. He has written humor for the New Yorker, the Onion, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, as well as writing comedy for television and radio. His books include a humor collection, It’s Funny Until Someone Loses an Eye (Then It’s Really Funny) (2017 Sagging Meniscus Press), and a poetry chapbook, One of These Things Is Not Like the Other (2019 Finishing Line Press). More of his work, both poetry and humor, is at kurtluchs.com. He lives and works in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he has no outstanding warrants.
“Mexican Tongue,” JD Amick
“[Letter of Love] to Ojīchan,” Aozora Brockman
“Self Portrait with Rubble,” Sylvia Foley
“A pledge to the dead requires no proof,” Jennifer L. Hollis
“Corpse,” Dana Jaye
“Meditation on a Trash Fire in My Backyard,” Robert J. Keeler
“Quantum Heart,” Kathleen Kirk
“Waiting for Mother’s Geraniums,” Pingmei Lan
“One Intimate Morning,” Belle Ling
“Nighttime in Jericho,” Jo-Ann Mort
“Stones without People and the Art of the Mulberry,” Adele Ne Jame
“Consumption of a Black Hole and Sweat Bees,” John Nieves
“Thin Places,” Edward Nudelman
“Thought Experiment,” Edward Nudelman
“Apples, Crabapples,” David Rock
“Sometimes, Briefly,” Kelly Rowe
“Unscrolling,” Joan Roberta Ryan
“Spring Freeze,” Joan Roberta Ryan
“Dead Woman’s Hollow Road,” Nicole Santalucia
“What White Lies Beneath,” Heidi Seaborn
“Prelude to a Resurrection,” d.r. shipp
“She Zuo Bin’s Rite of Spring,” Mary Spalding
“Where We Call to Nest,” Felicia Zamora
“Turbulence: Night Flight to Cairo,” Kristin Zimet
This year, two poems submitted for the Dan Veach Prize for Younger Poets were so exceptional, they both had to win. That’s right: we had a tie! Both Ivy Marie Clarke, for her poem “Where to Find Poetry,” and Rema Shbaita, for their poem “Palestine is Upsidedown” will win the $100 prize, and their work will appear in the Fall issue. Congratulations to Ivy and Rema, and to all the Finalists!
Rema Shbaita is a graduate of UC, Riverside and a former Co-Editor in Chief of The Mosaic Art & Literary Journal est. 1959. They don’t consider dandelions weeds and they’re allergic to grass. They enjoy media about found families and slap-dash friendship groups. They’re working on getting into a PhD program for educational research.
Ivy Marie Clarke is an emerging writer and photographer from Georgia, where she is studying Creative Writing and English Literature at Mercer University. She is currently a preceptor for English classes at her university and an intern at Macon Magazine.
“Hills (for Bia),” McKenzie Hurder
“On the Edge,” Christine Kannapel
“Self Portrait with a Hare,” Reuben Gelley Newman
“Self Portrait as Expatriated Sapling in North Beijing,” Benjamin Stallings
Last year’s International Poetry Contest winner, Carlos Andrés Gómez, will be in Atlanta to promote his new poetry collection Hijito at Spoke ATL on Sept. 13th. Can’t make the reading? Check out his book.