Villanelle Contest Results

Literary Nest Villanelle Contest Results, March 2020

A big round of applause for the winners and all the contestants for their commendable effort.

Photo by form PxHere
WINNER
In Which the Golem Sucks Eggs Dry Each April By Zoë Ryder White

The judge Annie Finch says about the poem:
This accomplished poem presents a distinctive and multilayered view of the world, interweaving Jewish folk tradition, the realm of imagination and the unconscious, and human relationships. At the same time, not only does it satisfy the requirements of the villanelle form with skill and grace; it does so in a way that feels, not like an obligation, but like a mutually enriching embrace. As with all good formal poems, we feel as if the form has taught the poet something, not just vica versa. Finally, it meets the fundamental test described in my book A Poet’s Craft: “The key to a good villanelle is to come up with two [repeating] lines that are genuinely attracted to each other but also completely independent of each other, so that their final coupling will feel both inevitable and surprising.”

RUNNER-UP
Harriet Tubman Villanelle By Shontay Luna

The judge Annie Finch says about the poem:
This poem is graced by deep restraint and a generous simplicity. The rhymes are fresh and original, and each one weaves so skillfully into the sentence it is part of that it feels necessary. The concreteness of the imagery lends freshness to the form and brings a new take to a familiar story. And when the two repeating lines meet together at the end, their meanings reflect on each other in a new way, giving each of them an inspiring new meaning.

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Hard R By Marc Darnell
And the Window is a Sky By Elizabeth Mercurio
Griefsong By Nicole Callihan

Congratulations to all the winners. A big thank you for our extraordinary judge, Annie Finch.
And thank you all who submitted to the contest.

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