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The Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest is


Until Further Notice. 


Announcing the Winners of the 40th Annual Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest!


 (Selected by Lisa Zimmerman)
1st Place: "The Widd'er Woman" – Jessica Glover
2nd Place: "For wrapping trees in cellophane" – Xan Roberti
3rd Place: "Novena for the Nameless" – Kelly Lynn

Honorable Mention:
"Phoenix" – James K. Zimmerman
"Doing the Dishes, 1966" – Julia Meylor Simpson

Finalists (all finalist poems will appear in Off Channel) 
“A Father’s Favor” – Leland James
“Pictured You Again” – E.P. Schultz
“From My Grandfather’s Journal: June” – Susan Brown Norris
“Poetic Alchemy” – Gayle Rein
“Spinster” – Constance Snyder
“Wild hearts” – Nancy Schaefer
“Last Present: for My Daughter, Alex” – Nan Trahan
“Nothing Sacred” – Jessica Glover
“The museum of truth to you” – Xan Roberti
“Vengeance” – Nancy Cook
“Relation” – Salvatore Marici
“shark’s teeth” – Kerry Rawlinson
“fear of falling” – Kerry Rawlinson

Selected by Laura Madeline Wiseman

1ST Place: “On Stieglit’s Gable and Apples” – Beth McDermott
2nd Place: “Will” – Beth McDermott
3rd Place: “Cow blessing” – Nancy Schaefer

Finalists (all finalist poems will appear in Off Channel)
“Gather at the river” – Betty Benner
“Colliding Spheres” – Gayle Rein
“Build a bridge” – Gayle Rein
“Everything is Burning at the Wayside Stop” – Tony Ledtje
“Winneshiek Homecoming” – Tony Ledtje
“Sea Wrack” – Timothy Walsh
“Threshing Day” – Ellen Kelley
“Garden Musings” – Ellen Kelley
“Connected with Her Own Skin” – Nan Trahan
“Bee Charmer” – Kelly Lynn
“Blood Memory” – Nancy Cook
“Why Some Things Never Hatch” – Nancy Cook
“Fate of a Sicilian Orange” – Salvatore Marici
“The Verdigris Wind Vane” – Salvatore Marici

Selected by Richard Stahl

Winner: “Fireworks” – Therese Guise

Finalists (all finalist poems will appear in Off Channel)
“Cedar Road” – Beth McDermott
“Reorienting” – Nancy Cook
“Foreclosure” – Nancy Schaefer
“Behind the museum at Sibley Park Zoo, Mankato, Minnesota” - Betty Benner
“Miracle at the Main Street Tap” – Jean Tucker
“Rutherford County” – Jean Tucker


Congrats to all of the winners, honorable mentions, and finalists!


MWC will not be running the Mississippi Valley Poetry contest in 2014. We will have more information about the contest and the future of Off Channel later in the future. Thanks for you interest.




of the 39th ANNUAL



The MWC would like to congratulate all of the winners, honorable mentions and finalist of both our Regional and National contests


NATIONAL CONTEST (selected by Nate Pritts)


1st Place: Carrie Nassif, “In the beginning I had breathed other air”

2nd Place: Stephen Danos, “On Abandoning Grandeur”

3rd Place: Steve Biehler, “Midwest Vision in February”


Honorable Mention: Nicole Borg, “Balboa Park, 1999”

                                      Stan Zubiel, “Isaac Hill Cemetery”


REGIONAL CONTEST (selected by Chad Parmenter)


1st Place: Salita Bryant, “Persephone in Love”

2nd Place: Kat Stromquist, “Known Knowns and Known Unknowns”

3rd Place: Kate Hutchinson, “The Park District Honors Gloria Groves for Twenty

Years of Service”


Honorable Mention: Salita Bryant, “Near the River Where Water is Born”

                                      Joan Wiese Johannes, “On Learning That the Earth the Earth

Has Shifted on its Axis”

                                      Mary Louise Holten, “Darfur”


All of these poems, along with the other 50-plus regional and national finalists will be published in the annual anthology Off Channel (Midwest Writing Center Press). 



Thanks very much to all of our generous MVPC sponsors:

Fidlar Doubleday, Inc.
Shea Doyle & Hannah Morrell
Dr. Nancy Schaefer

Dale G. Haake & Maria C. Lucas-Murillo
Hedy Hustedde
Joe Chambers

Ryan Collins
Helen & Richard Stahl

Duffy DeFrance


Check back soon for more information about the 40th MVPC!  Thanks!



About The Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest
The Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest began in 1972 and has become a premier contest in the U.S. Funded by donations, grants, and entry fees, the contest operates through the Midwest Writing Center, a non-profit parent organization, and volunteer poets, writers, and artists.


2012 Judges:

Regional Judge:

        Chad Parmenter received his Ph.D. in English and Creative Writing from the University of Missouri. His poems appear in numerous venues including Best American Poetry, Harvard Review and Black Warrior Review. His chapbook, Bat & Man: A Sonnet Comic Book, is available from Finishing Line Press. Parmenter is currently Visiting Assistant Professor at Luther College in Iowa.


National Jude:

        Nate Pritts is the author of five books of poetry. His latest book, Sweet Nothing, is described by Publishers Weekly as "baroque and irreverent, banal and romantic." POETRY Magazine called his third book, The Wonderfull Yeare, "rich, vivid, intimate, and somewhat troubled." Pritts' work has appeared in many journals, including Gulf Coast, Boston Review and Rain Taxi. He is the founding and principal editor of H_NGM_N, on online journal and small press.


Submission Guidelines for the 2013 40th Annual Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest Coming Soon!


Get your copy of Off Channel 2012 here!

Off Channel 2012




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