23rd Kenai Peninsula Writers Contest: Poetry winners

After a seven-year hiatus, the Kenai Peninsula Writers Contest returns for its 23rd year. Coordinated by the Homer Council on the Arts, the contest was open to literary artists of all ages on the Kenai Peninsula. The judges were Kim Fine, De Patch, Lyn Mazlow, Melissa Cloud, Shellie Worsfold, Debi Poore, Mae Remme, Linda Martin, Ann Dixon, Justin Herrman, Nancy Lord, Mercedes Harness, Wendy Erd, Rich Chiappone and Tom Kizzia.

Winners received prizes by sponsors Tom Bodett & Co., Homer Bookstore, River City Books and the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. Winners represent communities throughout the borough, including Anchor Point, Homer, Ninilchik, Nikiski, Kasilof, Kenai, Soldotna and Tyonek.

The winning stories, including second- and third-place entries, are online at the Homer Council on the Arts website at www.homerart.org/wcwinners.


First place, adult/open

Put a face on it

by Jon Crocker

62 toys in my daughter’s toy box.

42 have faces. Have smiles. She

picks one up, smiles back.

Shakes it. It jingles. She

talks to it

Are you my mama?

No answer. She

holds another.

Do you like me?

I don’t try to stop her: this

is how we learn to pray.

First place, grades 10-12

Absence of My Father

by Rian Ofstad

You’re like trying to see a ghost in a mirror.

All I end up seeing is the problems that you cause,

The pain that you created,

And your absence in my life.

You’re a ghost that’s always present.

I never fully get to see you or your intentions;

But you never let me forget that you’re there.

You’re always on my shoulder hovering around.

You think you have a say in my life. But

yet you never want to be a part of it.

You have become something I want,

Something I need but can never have.

You have haunted me, my entire life.

You’re the ghost I have always wanted,

You’re the ghost

And your name is Dad.

First place, grades 7-9

A Chickadee

by Eli Robinson

In a forest in fall, a chickadee calls

A call of preparation

In a forest in winter, a chickadee twitters

A twitter of contentment

In a forest in spring, a chickadee sings

A song of happiness

In a forest in summer, a chickadee hums

A hum of relaxation

First place, grades 4-6

Boat Kids

by Ruby Gervais

Out on deck

every set they’re ready

head on

gloves on

boots on

working steady

pickin’ fish

getting splashed

and it’s blowin west 20

they don’t care

cause they want their money

hold the flashlight

run for tools

run the hydros (sometimes)

tie it up

let it go

yee haw

grab the line

watch a nine year old

outwork grown men

they’ll show you how it’s done

and be in bed by 10

one kid on the corks

one kid on leads

they make it look easy

cause it is, they said!

sriracha on their carrots

legos out

work done

swimming every day at sunset in the sun.

First place, grades K-3


by Wylder Johnson

Fast they swim

Intelligent fishermen nab

Big ones


Hard to catch

Interesting to watch in shallow water

No bananas on the boat:

Bad luck!

Good to gobble!

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