2023 Poetry Contest

Contest Sponsors

Ain’t Got No Press • B. J. Buckley • Barbara Simmons • Betsey Cullen • Betsy Mars • Bill Cushing • Bruce W. Niedt • Caffeine Media Inc. • Calling All Poets Series, Inc. • Carol Clark Williams • Carrie Magness Radna • Catherine Campbell • Charles A. Perrone • Charlie Brice • Christian Garduno • Compulsive Reader • Dana Ravyn • Daniel S. Irwin • David C. Kopaska-Merkel • David Flynn • David Leo Sirois • Diane Jackman • Eastern Shore Writers Association • Erika Dreifus • Frank Mundo • Frogg Corpse • Greg Bell • Hanoch Guy • Hélène Cardona • J R Turek • J. Barrett Wolf • James Croal Jackson • Jan Harris • Jane Seskin • Jennifer M Phillips • Joan C. Fingon • Joe Caperna • Joey Polisena • John Dorroh • Judith Alexander Brice • Karen Poppy • KB Ballentine • Kristy Snedden • Larry Bubar • Latorial Faison, Poet & Author • Layla Lenhardt • LB Sedlacek • Lines & Faces • Lisa Rhodes-Ryabchich • Lynne Bronstein • Mariko Kitakubo and Deborah P Kolodji • Mary Beth Hines • Melissa R. Mendelson • Nancy Murphy • Nancy Shiffrin • Neil Leadbeater • Patrice M. Wilson • Rachel R. Baum • Randal A. Burd, Jr. • Rolland Vasin • Ron Kolm • Sean J Mahoney • Simple Simons Press • SONIC CHIHUAHUA Zine • Southern California Haiku Study Group • Space Cowboy Books • Steven Deutsch • Stick Figure Poetry Quarterly • Susan Tutors • Suzanne Ondrus • The Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) • Tova Hinda Siegel • Unlikely Stories/Unlikely Books • Venetian Spider Press • Voices Israel Group of Poets in English • Waide Riddle • Winning Writers

Winners

First Place: Heidi Kasa (Austin, Texas) writes fiction and poetry. Kasa’s short story “Mechanical Mommy” is forthcoming in The Mixed Bag of Tricks anthology from Murasaki Press in November 2023. Her chapbook, Split, was a finalist for a Black Lawrence Press award in 2019, and was published from Monday Night Press in August 2022. Kasa’s story “Robot You” was shortlisted for a Fractured Lit award in 2021. Her stories “Ghosts Are Hungry” and “Some Kind of Light” were semifinalists for The Ghost Story flash fiction competition in 2022. Her artist poetry book, Seaweed, was sold at City Lights bookstore in San Francisco. Kasa’s writing has appeared in The Racket, Meat for Tea, The Raw Art Review, Monday Night Lit, The Cobalt Cafe, and Ab Terra, among others. She works as an editor and lives in Austin.

Second Place: Nicole Adabunu (Chicago, Illinois) is a writer currently undergoing her MFA in poetry at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop as an Iowa Arts Fellow. She is the recipient of a 2021 Academy of American Poets University Prize, and her poems have appeared on Poets.org, Writer’s Digest, and The Greensboro Review.

Third Place: Victoria Melekian‘s (Carlsbad, California) stories and poems have been published in many literary journals. Her story “What I Don’t Tell Him” aired on National Public Radio. She has twice won a San Diego Book Award. She lives with her husband.

Read their winning poems here.

Entry Guidelines

The 2023 Poetry Super Highway Contest is now closed for entries. The deadline to enter was the evening of Saturday, October 7th at 12:00am (pacific).

We’ll announce the winners first on Sunday, October 22 at 2pm (pacific) in a special edition of Poetry Super Highway Live streamed to our Facebook page, and then afterward in our emailed newsletter (sign up in the box on the top of the right column of this page) and on our website.

The 2023 Poetry Super Highway Contest will open on Sunday, July 23rd. Watch this space for details on how to enter.

  • The Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest is open to all human beings on planet Earth. (except for the three judges)
  • Enter as many poems as you’d like.
  • Poems may be of any style, length, or subject matter.
  • Previously published poems are accepted. However, because the contest is judged blindly (with names removed from the poems) if a judge recognizes a poem from somewhere, they have the right to mark it as ineligible.
  • This contest is separate from weekly Poet of the Week consideration and the same poems may not be submitted for both.
  • There is a One Dollar Per Poem (US Funds Only) entry fee.
  • Poems are sent to the three contest judges with your name removed. The judges score each poem from 0-5 using quarter point intervals. (0, .25, .5, .75, 1, 1.25, 1.5, etc…)
  • Poems are sent to judges only after you fill out the Contest Entry Form and we have received your entry fee.


To enter gather your poems into a single document (either Word .doc, .docx or RTF).

  • Do not include your name in the document.
  • Please use a basic font such as Times New Roman, Helvetica or Arial.

Click here to go to the entry form.

Deadlines Etcetera

  • The deadline to enter is Saturday, October 7th, 2023 at midnight (pacific)
  • If you are paying by check, the deadline for postmarking your entry fee is Saturday, October 7, 2023.
  • Regardless of when you postmark, your entry fees must be received by Wednesday, October 11. So if you are mailing your entry fee (after filling in the contest entry form), please account for the amount of time it will take for your it to travel between your home and Los Angeles.
  • This is a not-for-profit contest. All of the collected entry fees will be divided between the top three scoring poems.
  • Once your entry fee is received, your poems will be sent with your name removed to the three judges who will score them 0 – 5 (5 being best).
  • If you have any questions or need any of the contest details clarified, please e-mail Rick@PoetrySuperHighway.com

Prizes

First Prize: 50% of the entry fees collected plus winning poem featured on the PSH website.

Second Prize: 30% of the entry fees collected plus winning poem featured on the PSH website.

Third Prize: 20% of the entry fees collected plus winning poem featured on the PSH website.

In addition, contest sponsors Rolland Vasin donated $500 which will be added to the prize pot divided by the three winning poets. Also, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, we are able to supplement the cash prizes with an impressive array of prizes of interest to poets and writers. Our goal is to be able to send every single person who enters the contest something.

Additional Prizes:

Ain’t Got No Press
https://www.poetrysuperhighway.com
1 copy of the book “The Low Country Shvitz” by Rick Lupert
10 E-Book Copies (pdf) of the book “Ekphastia Gone Wild”

B. J. Buckley
https://wild4verses.wixsite.com/b-j-buckley
3 “Surprise Packages” of Current Literary Journals

Barbara Simmons
1 copy of the book “Offertories: Exclamations and Disequilibriums” by Barbara Simmons

Betsey Cullen 
2 copies of the award-winning chapbook “We Hold the Bones” by Betsey Cullen

Betsy Mars 
1 copy of the book “Unsheathed: 24 Contemporary Poets Take Up the Knife” edited by Betsy Mars

Bill Cushing 
https://www.mywriteronline.net/ 
2 copies of the book “Just a Little Cage of Bone” by Bill Cushing

Bruce W. Niedt 
https://bniedt.blogspot.com 
1 copy of the book “The Bungalow of Colorful Aging” by Bruce W. Niedt

Caffeine Media Inc.
upyourars.com
2 copies of the book “Up Your Ars Poetica Anthology” edited by Susan Peters and Morgan Driscoll

Calling All Poets Series, Inc. 
www.callingallpoets.net
2 copies of the Calling All Poets 2015 Anthology
2 copies of the Calling All Poets 2020 Anthology

Carol Clark Williams 
lucybeanstalk.wordpress.com 
1 copy of the book “Unpacking for the Journey” by Carol Clark Williams

Carrie Magness Radna 
https://carriemagnessradna.com
1 copy of the book “Shooting Myself in the Dark” by Carrie Magness Radna

Catherine Campbell 
https://www.facebook.com/cath4simplicity?mibextid=LQQJ4d
1 copy of the book “The Lotus” by Catherine Campbell
1 copy of the book “Daisy Chains” by Catherine Campbell

Charles A. Perrone 
charlesaperrone.blogspot.com 
1 copy of the book “Seven Faces: Brazilian Poetry since Modernism” by Charles A. Perrone
1 copy of the “North/South Appalachia, Poetry and Art volume 2” anthology

Charlie Brice 
1 copy of the book “Flashcuts Out of Chaos” by Charlie Brice

Christian Garduno
https://linktr.ee/ChristianGardunoWriter
2 copies of the poetry chapbook “Fog & Bone” by Christian Garduno

Compulsive Reader 
https://compulsivereader.com
1 one-month Compulsive Reader website and newsletter Ad (worth $40)

Dana Ravyn
https://www.danaravyn.com
1 $50 gift certificate to Thrift Books

Daniel S. Irwin 
1 copy of book “Hogwash de Guano” by Daniel S. Irwin

David C. Kopaska-Merkel 
https://dreamsandnightmaresmagazine.blogspot.com/
3 one-year (three-issue) PDF subscriptions to Dreams and Nightmares magazine

David Flynn 
1 copy of the book “One Month” by David Flynn

David Leo Sirois 
https://reverbnation.com/davidleosirois
2 copies of the book “Humbledoves (Poems to Pigeons & Plants)” by David Leo Sirois

Diane Jackman 
www.dianejackman.co.uk
2 copies of the book “Lessons from the Orchard” by Diane Jackman

Eastern Shore Writers Association 
https://www.easternshorewriters.org/
3 copies of the Bay to Ocean Journal 2022, edited by Tara Campbell

Erika Dreifus 
https://erikadreifus.com
1 copy of the book “Birthright: Poems” by Erika Dreifus

Frank Mundo 
https://amzn.to/3NUy0Nx
2 copies of the book “Eleven Sundry Flowers” by Frank Mundo

Frogg Corpse 
3 copies of the book “The Mourning Hour” by Frogg Corpse

Greg Bell
1 copy of the book “Looking for Will: My Bardic Quest with Shakespeare” by Greg Bell

Hanoch Guy 
http://www.hanochguy-kaner.com/
1 copy of the book “Springtime in Moldova” by Hanoch Guy

Hélène Cardona 
https://helenecardona.com
2 copies of the book “The Abduction” by Maram Al-Masri, Translated by Hélène Cardona

J R Turek 
1 copy of the poetry marathon collection “DogSpeak” by J R Turek
1 copy of the poetry collection “24 in 24” by J R Turek
1 copy of the full-length poetry collection “Midnight on the Eve of Never” by J R Turek
1 copy of the full-length emblematic & form poems collection “Imagistics” by J R Turek
1 copy of the full-length poetry collection “B is for Betwixt and Between” by J R Turek
1 copies of the full-length poetry collection “A is for Almost Anything” by J R Turek

J. Barrett Wolf 
https://www.facebook.com/J-Barrett-Wolf-Poet-Wordsmith-41521019065
1 copy of the book “Kissing The Moon From Your Back -Poems of Love and Longing” by J. Barrett Wolf

James Croal Jackson 
http://www.jamescroaljackson.com
1 copy of the book “Our Past Leaves” by James Croal Jackson

Jan Harris 
3 copies of the book “Mute Swans on the Cam” by Jan Harris

Jane Seskin 
https://www.olderwisershorter.com
2 copies of the book “Witness to Resilience: Stories of Intimate Violence” by Jane Seskin
2 copies of the book “Older Wiser Shorter: An Emotional Road Trip to Membership in the Senior Class” by Jane Seskin”

Jennifer M Phillips 
1 copy of the chapbook “A Song of Ascents” by Jennifer M Phillips

Joan C. Fingon 
1 copy of The Drunken Honeybee: A Collection of Haiku and Senryu Poetry” by Joan C. Fingon

Joe Caperna
https://www.josephcapernamd.com/
1 copy of the book “The Oxford Book of American Poetry by David Lehman
1 copy of the book “The Norton Anthology of Poetry” by Margaret Ferguson Ph.D.
1 copy of the book “A Poetry Handbook” by Mary Oliver

Joey Polisena 
https://scorchedfeathers.com
2 copies of the book “All Shards and Paste” by Joey Polisena
1 large “Poetry” unisex t-shirt
2 wood poetry signs (4×6)

John Dorroh 
1 copy of the book “Swim at Your Own Risk” by John Dorroh
1 copy of the book “Personal Ad Poetry” by John Dorroh

Judith Alexander Brice
2 copies of the book “Imbibe the Air” by Judy Brice

Karen Poppy 
karenpoppy.com
1 copy of the book “Diving At The Lip Of The Water” by Karen Poppy

KB Ballentine 
www.kbballentine.com
1 copy of the book “Spirit of Wild” by KB Ballentine
1 copy of the book “Edge of the Echo” by KB Ballentine
1 copy of the book “Almost Everything, Almost Nothing” by KB Ballentine
1 copy of the book “Gathering Stones” by KB Ballentine plus canvas tote bag with same book/author title on it

Kristy Snedden
1 $25.00 gift certificate to Amazon.com

Larry Bubar 
1 copy of the book “War Vol I” by Larry Bubar
1 copy of the book “War Vol III” by Larry Bubar

Latorial Faison, Poet & Author 
www.latorialfaison.com
1 copy of the book “Mother to Son” by Latorial Faison
1 copy of the book “28 Days of Poetry Celebrating Black History Volume I” by Latorial Faison
1 copy of the book “28 Days of Poetry Celebrating Black History Volume II” by Latorial Faison
1 copy of the book “28 Days of Poetry Celebrating Black History Volume III” by Latorial Faison
1 copy of the book “I Am Woman” by Latorial Faison

Layla Lenhardt 
laylalenhardt.com
4 Copies of the book “Mother Tongue” by Layla Lenhardt

LB Sedlacek 
https://www.lbsedlacek.com
1 copy of the poetry book “Night Swim” by LB Sedlacek
1 copy of the poetry book “Trust Me, It’ll Be Fun: West Virginia Poems” by LB Sedlacek

Lines & Faces 
www.linesandfaces.com
1 copy of the book “In the Pace of the Path” by Alan Bern
1 copy of the book “Greater Distance” by Alan Bern
1 copy of the book “Waterwalking in Berkeley” by Alan Bern

Lisa Rhodes-Ryabchich
https://lisarhodesryabchichpoetryblog.wordpress.com/
2 copies of the book “ Breaking Out of the Cocoon” by Lisa Rhodes-Ryabchich
2 copy of the chapbook “We Are Beautiful Like Snowflakes” by Lisa Rhodes-Ryabchich
2 copies of the book “Peripeteia” by Lisa Rhodes-Ryabchich
2 copies of the book “ Dear Blue Harp Strumming Sky” by Lisa Rhodes-Ryabchich
2 copies of the chapbook “ Opening the Black Ovule Gate” by Lisa Rhodes-Ryabchich 

Lynne Bronstein 
2 copies of the book “Nasty Girls” by Lynne Bronstein

Mariko Kitakubo and Deborah P Kolodji 
Deborahpkolodji.com
2 copies of the book “Distance” by Mariko Kitakubo and Deborah P Kolodji
1 copy of the book “highway of sleeping towns” by Deborah P Kolodji
1 copy of the book “Indigo” by Mariko Kitakubo

Mary Beth Hines 
https://www.marybethhines.com
1 copy of the book “Winter at a Summer House” by Mary Beth Hines

Melissa R. Mendelson 
2 copies of the book “This Will Remain With Us” by Melissa R. Mendelson

Nancy Murphy
www.nancymurphywriter.com
2 copies of the book “The Space Carved by the Sharpness of Your Absence” (Gyroscope Press) by Nancy Murphy

Nancy Shiffrin 
https://www.NancyShiffrin.net
1 copy of the book “Game With Variations” by Nancy Shiffrin

Neil Leadbeater 
2 copies of the book “Journeys in Europe” by Neil Leadbeater and Monica Manolachi

Patrice M. Wilson 
pmwilsonpoet.com
1 copy of the book “Hues of Darkness, Hues of Light” by Patrice M. Wilson
1 $15.00 Gift Certificate to Amazon.com

Rachel R. Baum 
https://www.rachelrbaum.net/
1 copy of the book “Funeral and Memorial Service Readings Poems and Tributes” by Rachel R. Baum

Randal A. Burd, Jr. 
http://www.sparksofcalliope.com/memoirs-of-a-witness-tree/
2 signed and numbered copies of the book “Memoirs of a Witness Tree” by Randal A. Burd, Jr.

Rolland Vasin 
$500 added to the prize pot shared by the top three scoring poets

Ron Kolm 
5 copies of the book “The Bookstore Book: A Memoir” by Ron Kolm

Sean J Mahoney 
2 copies of the book “Politics or Disease, please…” by Sean J Mahoney

Simple Simons Press
www.simple-simons-press.com
1 copy of the book “Streetlight Sonata” by JR Simons
1 copy of the book “The Naked Truth” by JR Simons
1 copy of the book “Mad As Hell: An Anthology of Angry Poems” edited with an introduction by JR Simons
1 copy of the book “Hope Springs Eternal: An Anthology of Hopeful Poetry” edited with an introduction by JR Simons

SONIC CHIHUAHUA Zine 
www.SapphosTorque.com
3 sets of two issues of SONIC CHIHUAHUA Zine (publisher’s choice of issues)

Southern California Haiku Study Group 
Socalhaiku.org
1 copy of the book “Red Paper Parasols” edited by Kathabela Wilson, Marcyn Del Clements, and Lorraine A Padden

Space Cowboy Books 
https://spacecowboybooks.com/
1 copy of the book “Complete Poems 1965-2020” by Michael Butterworth
1 copy of the Audiobook CD + Digital Download “Selected Poems 1965-2020” by Michael Butterworth
1 copy ofthe book “Time’s Arrow” by Jean-Paul L. Garnier
1 copy of the book “Utopian Problems” by Jean-Paul L. Garnier

Steven Deutsch 
stevieslaw.wordpress.com
2 copies of the book “Brooklyn” by Steven Deutsch

Stick Figure Poetry Quarterly 
stickfigurepoetry.com
2 copies of the book “Twists: Gathered Ephemera (Expanded Edition)” by Darrell Parry
2 copies of the book “Find Me in the Iris” by E.Lynn Alexander

Susan Tutors 
1 $15 gift certificate to Writers Ink

Suzanne Ondrus 
http://suzanneondrus.com/
1 critique of 3 of your poems via email

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) 
Sfpoetry.com
2 digital memberships to the Science Fiction Poetry Association

Tova Hinda Siegel 
1 copy of the book “Uncertain Resident” by Tova Hinda Siegel

Unlikely Stories/Unlikely Books 
https://www.unlikelystories.org/
3 copies of the book “Dora/Lora” by Larissa Shmailo
3 copies of the book “Here, Which Is Also a Place” by Mark DuCharme
3 copies of the book “Handling Filth: Simple Sabotage Field Manual” by Jared Schickling
3 copies of the book “White Van” by Meg Tuite
1 copy of the book “ASHES AND SEEDS” by Michelle Greenblatt
1 copy of the book “brain : storm” by Michelle Greenblatt
1 copy of the book “Ghazals 1-59 and Other Poems” by Sheila E. Murphy and Michelle Greenblatt

Venetian Spider Press 
venetianspiderpress.com
1 set of Three books from the Venetian Spider Press catalogue including: “EROica” by William F. DeVault, “City of Hammers by R. Nikolas Macioci” and “Rattle and Numb” by John Burroughs

Voices Israel Group of Poets in English 
VoicesIsrael.com
3 copies of the 2021 Voices Israel poetry anthology

Waide Riddle 
https://www.amazon.com/author/waideriddle
1 copy of the book “The Power of Summer!” by Waide Riddle

Winning Writers 
https://winningwriters.com 
2 copies of the book “Poems to See By” by Julian Peters

Meet Your Judges

Watch a live conversation with all three judges sharing insights into what they’re looking for when scoring your poems on Sunday, August 6 at 2pm (pacific) / 5pm (eastern) on Facebook HERE or afterward on our website here.

Watch a conversation with all three judges sharing insights into what they’re looking for when scoring your poems on Facebook HERE or on our website here.

Ashley Cline (Carney’s Point, New Jersey)

An avid introvert, full-time carbon-based life-form & aspiring himbo, Ashley Cline’s poetry has appeared here, & also there. A two-time Pushcart nominee & Best of the Net 2020 finalist, she is the author of four chapbooks of poetry: “& watch how easily the jaw sings of god” (Glass Poetry Press, 2021), “electric infinities” (Variant Lit, 2023), & “cowabungaly yours at the end of the world” (Gutslut Press, 2023) are available now, while “should the earth reclaim you” (Bone & Ink Press) is forthcoming. Once, in the summer of 2019, she crowd-surfed an inflatable sword to Carly Rae Jepsen, & her best at all-you-can-eat sushi is 5 rolls in 11 minutes. Twitter: @the_Cline. Instagram: @clineclinecline. Linktree: @ashleycline.

Ashley Cline
Jan Harris (Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom)

Jan Harris lives in Nottinghamshire, UK.  Her poems have appeared in literary journals including Acumen, Atrium, and Poetry Wales, and in various anthologies, including several e-books published by Poetry Kit. Her poems also feature in the Iamb poetry archive.  Jan was awarded third place in the Wales Poetry Award, 2019 and came second in the Poetry Superhighway 2022 Competition. Her first collection, Mute Swans on the Cam, was published in July 2020 by Oversteps Books. 

Jan Harris
Kathrynn Axton (Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada)

Kathrynn Axton is a poet, spoken word artist, Indigenous advocate and nationally certified Canadian addictions counsellor. She is the author of Uncultured Girl (That Writer Kwe Publications, 2017) and was awarded fourth place in the 2022 PoetrySuperHighway summer contest.  Her poetry has been featured on AllPoetry Spotlight, Bywords, PoetrySuperHighway, The Peregrine Journal and elsewhere. Her editorials have been featured in Native Hoop Magazine, and elsewhere. When she is not writing she spends her time dedicated to supporting the development and implementation of therapeutic communities within the correctional system as a Team Lead with Rosc Solutions Group in Alberta, Canada. 

Kathryn Axton

Contest Calendar

  • July 23: Contest begins
  • July 31 – August 6: Judges featured as Poets of the Week
  • August 6, 2:00 pm (pacific): PSH Live Judges Event: Live broadcast (Via Zoom and Facebook Live) where Judges will have the chance to read poems and discuss the contest and you can call in live and ask them questions. More info coming soon on how to tune in.
  • October 7: Final deadline for contest entries. (Entry fees must be received or postmarked by October 8 or they’ll be returned.)
  • October 13: Judges deadline for returning scored poems.
  • October 20: Second round scoring deadline (in the event of tied scores.)
  • October 22, 2:00pm (pacific): PSH Live Event: “Winners Announced” in a special broadcast via Zoom. Watch it live and if any of the winners happen to be listening, they’ll be invited to call in and read their winning entries live on the air.
  • October 23 – 29: Contest Winners featured as Poets of the Week.
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