Rejoice, World Class Poets of the East Bay

I am so happy to report that our first annual poetry contest was a terrific success. Even though the window for submissions was relatively brief, we received a good number of them—so many in fact, it was a challenge to rate them in the few days available to do so.  

Before I get to the punch line in announcing our winner, I would like to express my thanks to all of the poets that took the time to submit their work. I hope you all know that when it comes to artistic expression in any form—be it poetry, painting, photography, prose, music, or something else—ratings of any kind are always, purely subjective. It was obvious to everyone here at ALIVE that sincere, creative effort went into every poem we received, and we enjoyed reading each and every one, without exception.    

I must confess that our contest was the brainchild of the award-winning poet / writer / editor, Nadine Lockhart of Poetry Flash. Although we’ve received numerous, unsolicited submissions from poets over the years, it was Nadine’s enthusiastic, creative approach that motivated us to embrace the idea for this annual contest. We leaned heavily upon Nadine’s enormous knowledge and talent in judging the poems we received, and cannot thank her enough for all of the work she invested to help make this month’s ALIVE special.

Ironically, of the dozens of submissions that we received, it just so happens that one of the very first ones submitted was unanimously chosen as the winner of our contest. It is “Zephyr” by Ricardo Tavarez of Oakland. Congratulations, Ricardo!

In addition to Ricardo’s poem, we felt that two others deserved honorable mention: “Cesar Chavez,” by Juan R. Sequiera of Pleasant Hill, and “With Every Step I Take,” by Avotcja of Emeryville.

Thanks again to all of you who participated in our first poetry contest. We look forward to seeing more of your creative work next year!

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