Though nearly 50 poetic entries filled our mailbox, only a fraction of these metaphors and similes arrived in prose form. Happily, among the submissions we discovered some standout works.
This year’s contest winner, Connie J. Aiken’s “Tomato Sandwich,” uses a summery lunch request to transport readers through time, back to drippy ice-cream cones and a haze of charcoal smoke from the grill. Aiken expertly weaves mouthwatering imagery with bittersweet nostalgia in simply crafted lines like “She desired the right tomato.”
Second-place winner Charles Andrew Hacskaylo, Jr. sent in the darkly humorous “Lawn Sofa,” a Charles Simic-esque poem that, in a handful of lines, takes us to a debauched, otherworldly party where the unwelcome guests are “reliant on [his] outdated records.”
Alicia Donaldson’s third-place entry, “Spikes,” offers a bleaker, edgier landscape. The poem races, unhampered by punctuation, down a highway perhaps literal, perhaps imagined: Either way, phrases like “my blood wailing cacophonous grind” hurl the reader to a breathless finish.
For the winning poems in full, read on.
— A&E Reporter Alli Marshall