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Announcing the Winners of the Second Voyage of the Mind Poetry Day!

by | The Poetry Deck | 2 comments

Before I announce the winners, a few words.

First of all, this second Voyage of the Mind Poetry Day was an amazing experience for me! I loved reading all of the entries and seeing all the poets who participated read and comment on each other’s work. I got to see community in action. It was wonderful. I can’t stress that enough.

I want to thank each and every participant. There were ten entries. I encourage you to read all ten poems in the comments of the second Poetry Day announcement post! 

A word on the judging

For the judging of this second Voyage of the Mind Poetry Day, I got a helping hand from the grand prize winner of the first Voyage of the Mind Poetry Day, Randall McNair, @McNairPoet on Twitter. You can check out his prize-winning poem here! I’m very thankful that he helped me out in this way — it was an invaluable contribution to the smooth running of this second Poetry Day. When I hold a third Poetry Day, I’ll be looking for the help of a new judge… perhaps the grand prize winner from this time around, if he’s willing! We shall see. At any rate, let’s get to the meat of this post.

The three runners-up

Randall ordered the three runners-up and also provided some editorial notes on each poem, which I’ll present here.

The first runner-up shout-out goes to the poem “Bursting Free” by Lily Iona MacKenzie, who is the author of three novels and a poetry collection. Visit her blog here, and read her poem in the Poetry Day announcement. On it, Randall said the following:

A well-crafted poem that beautifully weaves current events into a sparse tapestry of images which point “like a finger / skyward.” The economy of language and effectiveness of the imagery of the Lily of the Nile nearly pushed this poem to the top of my favorites list.

The second runner-up shout-out goes to the poem “To Be Beautiful” by Jan Steckel, who you can find on Twitter @horizontalpoet or here on her website. Read her poem, again, in the Poetry Day announcement. On this poem, Randal had to say:

What can one say when reading this poem, but wow! This is clearly a practiced poet who knows how to drive concrete images for effect, like these lines: “Each nipple she paints with ground rubies, / reddens my lips above and below.”

The final runner-up shout-out goes to the poem “The Nature of Moments” by Todd Osborn. You can find Todd on Twitter @HeaventreeR (he’s a close Twitter friend of mine and very friendly!) as well as on his website. Read his poem in the Poetry Day announcement. Randall had the following to say about his poem:

This poem is well-written and looks great on the page. It also has a nursery rhyme feel to it. Specifically, it conjures up (in my mind) the story of the three little bears:


“Three moments exist.
One is the moment you live,
another is a moment soon to be.


The other is past.
It exists only to serve.
Memory serves when you are truly free.”


Another solid poem by a talented poet.

To all of the competitors, Randall has the following comments:

In all, I was very impressed with the quality of work submitted to this edition of the Voyage of the Mind Poetry Day Contest and I thank you all for your submissions! A few quick notes of suggestion: if you find yourself rhyming ask yourself, “Does the rhyme scheme hold up? Is it consistently applied? Am I writing a sonnet? If so, am I sticking with the format or branching out from it? And if so, why? What do I hope to achieve with my rhyme scheme?”


Second, when formatting a poem be sure to remove the ALL CAPS to start new lines unless you have a reason to leave them in. This is not the 18th or 19th century and that old convention is passe. That said, write well enough and you can still be a grand prize winner!


Finally, to those not selected in this round, I would like to say that you should keep on putting pen to paper because I promise you, the more often you get your thoughts down onto the page, the greater the likelihood that one day soon you will create something magical, burst out of your cocoon to behold your beautiful color and, like a monarch, spread your wings and fly.

Another big thank you to Randall for his beautiful words and for judging this second Voyage of the Mind Poetry Day.

The grand prize winner

After his deliberation, Randall presents the grand prize to Adam Gibbs, who you can find @AdamGibbs03 on Twitter. Adam was actually one of the runners-up in the first Voyage of the Mind Poetry Day competition — you can find his poem in the announcement for that competition. He won the grand prize here for his poem “Late September in Ohio,” which you can read in the announcement for this second Poetry Day. On this spectacular poem, Randall had the following to say:

This poem delivers concrete and interesting images in each of the three stanzas, beginning with:


“With my mind as empty
As the passenger seat next to me.”


continuing with:


“I drive those long-forgotten back roads

That are everywhere in Ohio,

Roads that will be as surprised as I am

When they get to where they are going.”


and ending with


“On the map of my life,

This is where everything starts to collide,

Where the setting sun starts to smolder,

And the strange orange twilight

Becomes a short, crackling fuse

On the end of a long crimson summer.”


What an amazing image to end a poem with! I loved this poem and can’t wait to learn who the talented poet is. 

I also loved Adam’s poem and think that his victory is certainly deserved! Thank you for your effort, Adam! I’ll be reaching out to you with info on how you can claim your $15 prize.

If you’re interested in more of Adam’s work, you can check out his novella “Dumb Luck,” available through Unsolicited Press.

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A big thank you…

… to everyone, the poets and the readers and the judge, who participated in the second Voyage of the Mind Poetry Day. It wouldn’t have been Poetry Day without you! There will be another Poetry Day before long, though I can’t give specifics on when yet. I hope you’ll stay tuned to find out the theme and that you’ve enjoyed the experience. Again, you can read all the entries here.

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