I am pleased to announce the winners of our first annual contest to make sure that every state in the Union is represented by a poet. I want to start by saying how surprised I was by both the quantity and quality of poetry submitted. I'd also like to say that some States--for whatever reason--received a larger volume of quality submissions (particularly New Jersey and Arizona), which made it very difficult to decide the poets laureate for those states. In fact, I couldn't make a final determination for the state of Arizona, feeling that the final two poems were impossible to choose between. So, I made the decision to award the state of Arizona two poets laureate. I know, that seems unfair to all the other states, but the Muses have spoken and gifted the poets they deemed necessary to gift. Arizona must need a little extra poetry right now.
So, thank you to everyone for participating in the contest. You are doing a service to the one-fifth of the U.S. that suffers alone in a dark corner of poetry deficient Statehood.
Without further ado, here are the winners of our contest:
Arizona: Rebecca Furlano Losing My Mother and Michelle Lawrence Down Reflection
Hawaii: Chronos The Sleep That We Dream Of
Massachusetts: Eva Ting Open Casket
Michigan: Steph Tower of Babel
Missouri: Rob E You Must Be Misstaken
New Jersey: Jill James Puberty
New Mexico: Kasey Martin Spun
Ohio: T.M. Baird The Flock
Pennsylvania: Adam Struble What Crazed Eyes Have Already Seen
Washington: Alexis Youngs I Used to Love My State of Origin But Now I Have My Doubts
Congratulations to our new poets laureate. In the weeks to come you can expect to see an introduction to each of our poets as well as their prize-winning poems.