James Hearst Poetry Prize

James Hearst

[B]urned in the bold air above you
in Black Hawk County
are the proudest words we can speak:
Here is a man.

Let the earth be lucky.

from Paul Engle’s poem “James Hearst” in the ...

Shawn Pittard's poem, "Fall Creek" was an honorable mention in the James Hearst Poetry Prize in 2009. His poem is featured in ...

We who are poets know that the reason for a poem is not disclosed until after the poem exists.

                                          —Thomas Merton

TO HISTORY—

You will not remember me.

And I will not remember...

 

This poem was written quickly, in response to the murder of twenty young students and six educators by a deranged shooter at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012.  The world was horrified by this event; outpourings of grief dominated the news and social media; and like many people I felt a need to respond in some way,...

Chelsea Henderson's poem "Errata" won second place in the 2010 James Hearst Poetry Prize.

A note from the author: I wrote "Errata" the summer after my second year of college, a summer that was difficult and emotional in many ways.  I read Simic's "Errata"---which inspired my somewhat shameless take on his poem---and something about the emotional compression, the barely-muted desperation and longing, in his poem really struck me.  In writing "Errata," which I wrote in about 30 minutes...

Travis Mossotti's poem "The Dead Cause" won first place in the James Hearst Poetry Prize in 2009. His poem is featured in issue 294.2, Spring 2009 and can be still be purchased through our online store. ...

Devi Laskar's "The All-Saints, Ga., Overeaters Support Group (meeting 18)" was a finalist in the James Hearst Poetry Prize in Spring 2011.

The All-Saints, Ga., Overeaters Support Group
(meeting #18)

First we talk about watermelons—
a modern, American reference...

Thursday Throwback featuring Susan Terris with "Before Cortéz" from issue 295.2

Susan's poem "Before Cortéz" was a finalist in the James Hearst Poetry Prize in 2010.

Thoughts from the author: "I'm always interested in the plight of women past and present and in women's potential for power. I have an inordinate admiration for women who find a way to use this power to change their lives. Yes, I admire the  women who do not simply Ophelia-like cave in and choose servitude or death...

crowley

“Aleister Crowley Lipogram” is written in a form that excludes one or more letters of the alphabet. A few years ago, my friend Wisconsin poet Mark Zimmermann further refined the lipogram by developing first-person...

I was in an online poetry boot camp and had a few hours to come up with that Tuesday poem. Everything I had written that day stunk like raw fish baking on a dry dock. I overheard my children discussing their favorite movies at the time. My oldest said “Little Mermaid” and my middle said “Sleeping Beauty” and my youngest said “Snow White.” When I asked my youngest why, she said the wicked stepmother had the best laugh. And a poem was born.

Devi Sen Laskar's poem first appeared in...

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