2020 Poetry Contest-Call for Submissions

"Snapshots in Time"








Compose a poem on the theme of “Snapshots in Time.”

· New Hampshire Poets may submit one (1) original unpublished poem inspired by the theme. 

· Poems should be typed in a 12-pt, or larger font.

· Poems should be no longer than one, “8.5 inch by 11 inch,” page. 

· Poets should submit by mail (address below). Send two (2) copies of your poem: one copy including your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address. The second copy should have no identifying information.

· The winning poets will be notified (by telephone or e-mail) by March 20th and will be invited to read their poem at the April 3rd event described below.

· Contestants who want to receive a list of contest winners should also submit a stamped, self-addressed envelope with their entries. There is no fee for submission.

· Submissions should be mailed by March 10, 2020 to Dianalee Velie, PO Box 290, Newbury, NH 03255, (603) 938-2734, dianaleevelie@aol.com.

· Members of the Center For the Arts’ Literary Arts Guild are not eligible for this contest.

· There will be 3 winners in the adult category: First, Second and Third.

· There will be one winner in each of the following categories: High School, Middle School and Elementary School.

· The judge for the contest will be Alexandria Peary**, Poet Laureate of New Hampshire.

The winning poets will be honored and invited to read their poems in a public celebration of 

poetry at The Meeting Room of the Newbury Town Offices, 937 Route 103, Newbury, NH 03255 

Friday, April 3, 2020 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Public invited ~ Refreshments served ~ No charge for admission ~ Donations welcome!


**  Our newly appointed New Hampshire Poet Laureate, Alexandria Peary, will do a poetry reading and book signing immediately following the Awards Presentations.

To see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion, all in one.

-John Ruskin-


2019 Poetry Contest

2019 Contest Winners


Back Row: Ala Khaki -Contest Judge,  Autumn Siders- Third Place Adult Category Winner, Mary Anker- Second Place Adult Category Winner, Gabriel Smith -High School Winner

Front Row: Lotus Gregory -Elementary School Winner, Tobin Smith -Middle School Winner, Katherine Leigh -First Place Adult Category Winner

photos by Robert J Popp


2019 Winning Poems-Adults

The Universally Besieged

 Katherine Leigh, First Place Adult  

   Sad assignment, that of giving birth to a sterile baby 

in a barren world, all countries shaken to their cores.

   Takes a certain jaded courage to saddle up with only 

hope enough for the slight remainder of what was 

originally a full journey.

   Yet we travel, pay the hand to pass us through 

borders, open gates at night to the glint of coin and 

bullet over bodies of our daughters, bones of our sons.

      Listening to our plight has a color;

          help, a shade of grey.

   Carved into me is the bravery to move by moonlight.

   The ‘besieged’ talk around the potato table about a 

possible rebirth of remnants of family fled from damaged 

culture, in a faraway imagined-place we may, easily, 

never see.

   So to mold a new future, to hold onto old traditions, 

to carry embers of flame, to embolden sinew under the 

burden of relentless intensity.

   That is each waking moment if we curl for a drift of 


   We take time to thank Allah or Jesus or Quan Yin, 

the ancestress energy,  the generative offspring.

   Believers, we bend our bodies to include moon and 

sun, to reinforce as artists of our daily lives, of our 


           ourselves as stars.

cancer creations

Mary Anker -Second Place Adult

a mother recovers

her nine-year-old body

reacquaints itself


barely unspooling

pulls years out of seconds

bald head worn proud

trips to Boston 

pilgrimages pursuing

a holy grail 


in a chemo chair

alien face eyebrows and lashes disappear

inside elevators

fear stands 

elbow to elbow

hollow strangers


eyes do the communicating 

kitchen table 

a studio 

scissors, sayings

paint brushes, pens, journals, cards

watercolors, words



love holds 

after long nights 

of floating blue

the sky of light 


 I Could

Autumn Siders-Third Place-Adult

I Could I could sit and watch 

as you scream and shout. 

I could back away 

and let you sort it out. 

I could hear those words, 

Muslim, illegal, fag, Jew 

but pretend they are just words 

not to do with me but with you.


I could go home 

and just wait my turn 

until your hate becomes murder 

and these words boil and churn. 

I could wait until 

those screams turn to fists 

and look on in horror 

as blood fiercely mists. 

I could do all this 

but then am I to blame 

when the headline this week 

is another soul has been maimed? 

I could stand up 

and make my voice heard, 

stand beside a fellow human 

and push back your bitter words. 

I could stand up 

and you could stand down 

and realize that differences 

are what make the world go ‘round. 

I could lecture you on love 

but you are just so full of hate, 

so instead I’ll show you love 

and all it can create. 

2019 Winning poems-Students

 The Power of Creation

Gabriel Smith -High School 

This world would most certainly cease to exist,

Had it not been for our Creation, our Genesis.

What makes us what we are is what we do, 

And any idea without creation, could be quite askew.

For we are creators, in everything, and every day, 

Someone had the idea, and put it into play,

From your new recipe

To a song melody

All that you can see

Was made by someone just like you or me.

Do you think Da Vinci thought his paintings

Would be famous, and fascinating?

His “Mona Lisa” is the most renowned – 

Even centuries later, it still wears the crown.

From design and innovation

To the plane you ride to your vacation, 

To towering cities and works of art, 

From the car that won’t jumpstart, 

To the curriculum that you use in school

And the tools that do the work for you, 

Whatever it is you need to do,

It was made to make life easier, and you can do it, too.

You may not win a Nobel prize,

It even may be criticized, 

But don’t give up, you’re not the only one, 

Our work on Earth is never done.


Tobin Smith -Middle School 

Our beautiful country has existed 

For 239 years to date.

If not for groundbreaking people, 

Would we be brave enough to make?

Think of Leonardo Da Vinci, 

With his wonderful thoughts and dreams.

If not for people like him, 

We would be in the Stone Age, it seems.

Just imagine if Wilbur and Orville

Had stuck to making bikes,

If they hadn’t wondered, hadn’t made,

Would we ever have taken flight?

Imagine if good ol’ Walt Disney had

Never decided to make cartoons.

If he hadn’t made his movies,

Would we have shows with bug buffoons?

If Thomas Jefferson, a president,

Had never taken up in arms

The clever idea to write down

The declaration of freedom from English laws?

Yes, there’s no doubt that if we

Did everything in convention

We’d never come up with the 

Fantastic word of something new: INVENTION.

So let us not relinquish

The good courage to create,

And take the job to do

Things new: more importantly, MAKE.


Lotus Gregory-Elementary

The tree branches sway in the milky glow of the full moon, 

Casting a dancing shadow across the moss strewn earth.

This tree was different from the others in every way.

The branches protruded at odd angles, 

the trunk was covered in knots and it was many feet shorter than the others.

It's beauty resonating in the air.