Wow! This was a hard contest to do. I received so many amazing poems. It was fun to find out about so many of you and what poets inspire you to pick up a pen and keep writing, and writing.
I had requested no names on the poems, preferring to judge blind. For several years I judged slam competitions, some of them with thousands in prize money. At first it wasn't too hard, poets came in from all over the country and they were all strangers. Judging was all about the poetry and performance. Then I began to know the poets personally, connected between slams. When they returned to compete, judging became much harder. I struggled to know I was giving scores only on the quality of the poetry and not letting personal like for and respect of the poet influence me.
I have come to know many poets here, some are personal favorites, and some I have connected with beyond the soup. I wanted to be sure I was not giving scores based on personal feelings so those that entered with names attached received honorable mention. Their poems were just too good to not mention.
I am sorry if anybody is upset over their poem not placing, or the placement it received. Remember these are only my thoughts. Another would probably choose differently.
Many hugs and thanks to everyone who participated.
Here is the list of winners:
Actually I can't figure out how to get the list of winners on this blog. Thought I could copy and move but that doesn't seem to be working. I am not very computer savvy. Guess you will have to look at the list itself.