Kicking off National Poetry Month with short poems from our community of writers
This April marks the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month, and to celebrate, the CN&R is proud to publish the winning entries from its annual Poetry 99 contest, featuring the works of poets of all ages who penned 99 or fewer words. (For more ways to take part in NPM, visit www.poets.org/national-poetry-month.)
Once again, we let the experts—the 1078 Gallery Literary Committee—read through the hundreds of entries and select the winners and honorable mentions. Here’s what they had to say about their process and this year’s crop of poems:
“As always, there were many wonderful Poetry 99 submissions to choose from. When narrowing down the top three in each age category, we looked for a cohesive theme, the poet’s use of metaphor and simile, strong imagery, attention to fluidity and rhythm, concision in the language and overall composition.
We selected a variety of poems that best reflect these poetic devices in each age group. We delighted in the playfulness, were moved by the gravity of some, and hope that those submitting will continue to write, find a community of other writers to share their work with and read widely in the vast world of classic and contemporary poetry.”
Notes: In the high school honorable mentions, there is a student, Michael, from Table Mountain School in Butte County Juvenile Hall who made the cut. The student’s last name has been omitted to protect his anonymity.
Additionally, to ensure unbiased consideration, author names were removed from poems before being given to the judges.