Thursday, February 20, 2020

2020 Annual Poetry Contest - Submissions Due by 31 July 2020


Submissions Accepted March 1st – July 31st, 2020 
$100, $50, $25 Cash Prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Places, 
Plus Publication in the California Quarterly, Vol. 46, No. 4 (2020 Winter) 
Reading fees: Members, $3.00/poem; Non-members, $6.00/poem 

Winners will be announced in September 2020. Submissions are now welcome of original poems with 80-line (two-page) limit per poem.

Send a cover letter with all poet information and a list of the submitted poems, as well as one copy of each poem with no poet identification, and a check for the reading fees to: 
CSPS Annual Contest Chair 
3371 Thomas Drive 
Palo Alto, California 94303 


 Kaecey McCormick is the 2020 Contest judge. She is an author, artist and educator who was named 2018-2020 Poet Laureate for the City of Cupertino. She holds degrees in Anthropology & Psychology from UCLA and the University of Maryland, and an MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University. Her poetic work has been featured in numerous journals & anthologies. Her recent chapbook, Pixelated Tears is currently available and her book The Creativity Blueprint is forthcoming in late 2020. 

Angeles National Forest, December 2019


by Kaecey McCormick

We sit on the cool rocks and watch the stars swing past the moon
kicking up the dirt, dropping pixelated tears as they go.

It’s seeing this with you against the silhouette of our grief:
the burned dreams, the small mounds of dirt under too-large stones,
our fingers reaching for each other’s in the dark.
Their laughter breaks through the glass of our memories,
turns our shroud to dust, tugs at our lips and pulls up the corners.
It dries our eyes with handkerchiefs sewn from patchwork dresses
dyed in kindergarten colors and the mood shifts, floats us toward the harvest moon – 

raises our eyes from the dead.

I’m watching you smile as you watch their joy and a quiet thrill grabs
my throat because I know what we have though not enough is enough.
And my fingers
as they stroke the soft flesh on the inside of your arm
whisper thanks.

Big Tujunga Wash, January 2020


2019    Lisa Rosenberg, Judge. 1st Prize to Robert Keeler for "Stone, She".

2018    MaryLee McNeal, Judge. 1st Prize to Peter Parker for "Moonlight".

2017    Kevin Hearle, Judge. 1st Prize to Claire Scott for "Before".

2016    Neshama Franklin, Judge. 1st Prize to Claire Scott for "To Her

Earlier Information back to 2012:

Nature Photos by Maja Trochimczyk from Big Tujunga Wash, Angeles National Forest.