The Chicagoland Poetry Contest
is one of the longest-running literary traditions in Chicago.

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Winners of the Poets & Patrons 61st Annual Chicagoland Poetry Contest

 
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Winners’ List 2017

1.       RELIGIOUS POEM: In Memory of John Mahoney

Sponsors: Deirdre Mahoney, Eileen Mahoney, and Georgina Milsted

Judge: Rebecca Kanan

1st - Wilda Morris, “A Prayer for Red-Winged Blackbirds,” Bolingbrook, IL

2nd -  Linda Wallin, “The Soul Quilt,” Palatine, IL

3rd- Gordon Smith, “The Timeless Stream,” Hot Springs, AR

1st HM-  David Nekimken, “To All Ports Universe,” Chicago, IL

2nd HM-   Judith Tullis, “Big Rock,” Indian Head Park, IL

3rd HM - Jerri Hardesty, “Jesus Wept,” Brierfield, AL

 

2.       HUMOROUS POEM: In Memory of Glenna Holloway

Sponsors: William Marr and Barbara Eaton

Judge: Barbara Blanks

1st-  David Nekimken, “It’s a Numbers Game,” Chicago, IL

2nd-  Wilda Morris, “Seeking Help for Depression,” Bolingbrook, IL

3rd-  Dee Bowlin, “Too Many Birds!” Roanoke, VA

1st HM-  Joyce Shiver, “House Proud,” Crystal River, FL

2nd HM-  Beverly Stanislawski, “Popeye’s Power,” Crown Point, IN

3rd HM- Elise Kazanjian, “5 Days in September,” San Francisco, CA

 

3.       FORMAL VERSE:  In Memory of Maria Digregorio

Sponsor: Charlotte Digregorio

Judge: Kathleen McClung

1st-  Wilda Morris, “Mary Starbuck’s Letter,” Bolingbrook, IL

2nd -  Barbara Blanks, “Beyond the Veil,” Garland, TX

3rd -  Rose Ann Spaith, “Three Arts,” Columbus, OH

1st HM Caroline Johnson, “Ancient Cento,” Willow Springs, IL

2nd HM-  Joyce Shiver, “The Empty Cradle,” Crystal River, FL

3rd HM-  Gordon Smith, “The Ballad of Emmett Till,” Hot Springs, AR

 

4.       FREE VERSE: In celebration of all past, present, and future poets.

Sponsors: Donna Pucciani and Susan Moss

Judge: Ellaraine Lockie

1st-  Caroline Johnson, “Skiing,” Willow Springs, IL

2nd-  Catherine Moran, “Finding the right place,” Little Rock, AR

3rd-  Gordon Smith, “My Father was Right,” Hot Springs, AR

1st HM Judy Bond, “Artist’s Block,” Rockford, IL

2nd HM Mary Downs, “Old Age,” Naperville, IL

3rd HM Debbie Crawford, “I am Facebook,” West Frankfort, IL

5.       SOCIAL CONSCIENCE:  In Memory of Russell F. W. Smith and Wiltrude Smith

Sponsor: Jared Smith

Judge: Ellaraine Lockie

1st-  Donna Pucciani, “Unravelling,” Wheaton, IL

2nd- Robert Meek, “The Feast,” Palos Heights, IL

3rd-  Barbara Blanks, “The Right to Be Human,” Garland, TX

1st HM Maureen Tolman Flannery, “Surgical Strikes,” Evanston, IL

2nd HM Wilda Morris, “Sisters in Silence,” Bolingbrook, IL

3rd HM Mark Hudson, “The Social Conscience of Vincent DePaul,” Evanston, IL

 

6.       MINIATURE POEM: Sponsors:  Barbara Eaton and Beth Staas

Judge: Gay Guard-Chamberlin

1st-  John McBride, “The Rose, and More,” Bettendorf, IA

2nd Catherine Moran, “Stranded,” Little Rock, AR

3rd Kate Hutchinson, “Finding Your Better Self,” Palatine, IL

1st HM-  Judith Tullis, “Coyote Storm,” Indian Head Park, IL

2nd HM-  Donna Pucciani, “Reverie,” Wheaton, IL

3rd HM-  Sara Gipson, “Christmas Joy,” Scott, AR

 

7.       NATURE: Judge: Rebecca Kanan

1st-  Wilda Morris, “The Wild Creatures,” Bolingbrook, IL

2nd-  Robert Meek, “Salt,” Palos Heights, IL

3rd-  Curt Vevang, “Gazing Out My Window,” Palatine, IL

1st HM Judith Tullis, “Autumn Soiree,” Indian Head Park, IL

2nd HM-  Maureen Tolman Flannery, “If a Tree Falls…,” Evanston, IL

3rd HM-  Kate Hutchinson, “Thumbelina,” Palatine, IL

 

8.       MIDWEST THEME : Judge: Alan Harris

1st-  Rose Ann Spaith, “Barn circa 1900, Builder Unknown,” Columbus, OH

2nd-  Maureen Tolman Flannery, “Newly Acquired Farm, First Spring,” Evanston, IL

3rd-  Barbara Blanks, “Drop by Drop,” Garland, TX

1st HM-  Bonnie J. Manion, “Mowing,” Hoopeston, IL

2nd HM Pauline Mounsey, “Plowing Memories,” Sun City West, AZ

3rd HM-  Gail Goepfert, “Tethered to the Land,” Palatine, IL

 

9.       SHAKESPEARE: Sponsor: Kate Hutchinson

Judge: Larry Turner

1st-  Joyce Shiver, “The Music of the Words,” Crystal River, FL

2nd-  Beverly Stanislawski, “Hey, Shakespeare!” Crown Point, IN

3rd-  John McBride, “Tabloid Bard,” Bettendorf, IA

1st HM-  Maureen Tolman Flannery, “Reading at Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore, Paris.”

2nd HM Dee Bowlin, “The Role of a Lifetime,” Roanoke, VA

3rd HM Mark Hudson, “1599,” Evanston, IL

 

10.   SPECULATIVE POETRY: Sponsor: Catherine Moran

Judge: Beth Staas

1st-  Maureen Tolman Flannery, “Ask Death to Help You Care for His Body,” Evanston, IL

2nd-  Rose Ann Spaith, “Journal Entry of Ari,” Columbus, OH

3rd-  Wilda Morris, “Summer of the Imagination,” Bolingbrook, IL

1st HM-  Marjorie Rissman, “Tree House Dreams,” Highland Park, IL

2nd HM Mary Downs, “Moonstruck,” Naperville, IL

3rd HM-  Gail Denham, “Alice’s Descent,” Sunriver, OR

 

11.   LOVE: Sponsors: Jenene Ravesloot and Tom Roby

Judge: Catherine Moran

1st-  Caroline Johnson, “Exile,” Willow Springs, IL

2nd Maureen Tolman Flannery, “Love in the State of Puebla,” Evanston, IL

3rd-  Gail Goepfert, “The Pinch of Love,” Palatine, IL

1st HM-  Joyce Shiver, “Raspberry Tea,” Crystal River, FL

2nd HM-  Raymond Peringer, “Love’s Hurt,” Toronto, ON, Canada

3rd HM-  Sarah HaBa, “Swallows,” San Francisco, CA

 

12.   CHICAGO, THE ARTS: Judge: Patricia Eaton

1st-  Donna Pucciani, “Two Photographs,” Wheaton, IL

2nd Maureen Tolman Flannery, “Chicago Offspring,” Evanston, IL

3rd-  Diane O’Neill, “Nighthawks,” Chicago, IL

1st HM-  Wilda Morris, “Reflections on ‘Pastoral Scene with a Shepherdess Milking a Goat.’”

2nd HM- Jenene Ravesloot, “Lifeboat, After a Bronze Sculpture by Jeff Koons,” Chicago, IL

3rd HM Caroline Johnson, “Triptych in Color,” Willow Springs, IL

 

13.   CHICAGO, any aspect: Judge: Marian Weidner

1st Bonnie J. Manion, “Lullaby of the Ghetto,” Hoopeston, IL

2nd-  Beth Staas, “Seasoning,” Oak Brook, IL

3rd- Judith Tullis, “Chicago Family 1945,” Indian Head Park, IL

1st HM-  Caroline Johnson, “Into the Woods,” Willow Springs, IL

2nd HM-  Marjorie Rissman, “Montrose Harbor,” Highland Park, IL

 

14.   THE POETRY OF GWENDOLYN BROOKS: Judge: Barbara Eaton

1st-  E.Tavon Briggs, “Bronzeville,” Chicago, IL

2nd David Nekimken, “Gwendolyn Brooks’ Chicago,” Chicago, IL

3rd Maureen Tolman Flannery, “Taggers Need to Name,” Evanston, IL

1st HM-  Sheila Elliott, “For Gwendolyn Brooks,” Oak Park, IL

2nd HM-  Wilda Morris, “I Spent the Day with Gwendolyn Brooks,” Bolingbrook, IL

3rd HM-  Kate Hutchinson, “Listening to Gwendolyn Brooks,” Palatine, IL

Past winners’ lists ⟶