College Poetry Contest

The Lyric College Poetry Contest is open to undergraduates enrolled full time in an American or Canadian college or university

First Prize ~ $500
Second Prize ~ $150
Third Prize ~ $100
Honorable Mention ~ Year’s subscription and bragging rights

SUBMISSIONS GUIDELINES

Poems must be original and unpublished, 39 lines or less, written in English in traditional forms, preferably with regular scansion and rhyme. We welcome up to three poems per student.

Winners are announced and published in the Winter issue of The Lyric.

Entries may be sent by mail to Tanya Cimonetti:

The Lyric College Contest
c/o Tanya Cimonetti
1393 Spear Street
South Burlington, VT 05403
Inquiries and information available at tanyacim@aol.com

2016 was our last year accepting email entries.  All entries must be submitted between September 1 and December 31 with the following information on each poem:

  1. Student’s name and complete address
  2. College’s name and complete address

We look forward to receiving beautifully structured and inspiring work from America’s  colleges and Universities!

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2019 WINNERS

First Prize – MOURNERS IN THE WAKE OF WIND AND RAIN by Amanda Trout, Pittsburg State University, Kansas

The locusts host their midnight matchmaking
in screeches shaped to pulsing melody;
a song composed for lonely souls to sing.

Young leaves, once brightened by the glow of spring,
give way to flame and fall more lost than free.
Still locusts host their midnight matchmaking

despite this lack of shelter.  Bluebirds wing
at branches to rip leg away from knee
and cull the chorus those lonely souls sing.

September storms gather their grey and fling
spears to the earth.  Wings lie among debris.
The locusts stall their midnight matchmaking

for this one day.  They know the ground will bring
stampedes of feet, a final night to be
before soles end those songs the lonely sing.

She props the window open, listening
when humming fills all air with eulogy.
The locusts host their midnight matchmaking.
A voice echoes the lonely song they sing.

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Second Prize – TOMBSTONES by Thalia Otero, Southwest Minnesota State University, Minnesota

A while back, I drove to Getchell Graveyard.
At least here, peace forever hums in soft
decibels.  Chatting crows, too, keep a hushed
melody.  Up ahead, the stones that hid
among the lofty grass were drenched in weeds.
I sheared the furry moss and scrubbed the grime
away.  I jammed a towel into an “e
and scooped up sticky mold.  The marbled cracks
like spider veins reveal a name.  Amy
Jones.  Who last spoke of her name?  Who thinks
of her?  I cleaned the next, the next, and the next one
until I got to yours and only brushed
away the twigs.  You said: Forget about
me.  Never, Pa.  I’ll prune the purslane sprouts,
the tangled bramble riddled with wintergreen
berries, steer the fiddlehead ferns into
a winding curl, and only then, I may rest.
Before I left, I walked to your grave.  I lit
a candle, placed a yellow rose in a can
of Sprite, and even then, you fussed about
a speck of dirt I missed, a leaf unscathed
from doom.  The crows began to caw your cries:
clean them again, again, again, again.

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