Blog Posts

Annual Contest Winners for 2021

Category 1: Margo LaGattuta Memorial Award: Judge: Joy Gaines-Friedler

1st I’d Have Painted Him in Altenburg,… Lynn Pattison, Kalamazoo, MI
2nd Antinomy Thom Porter, Woodhaven, MI
3rd Reverie at Slack Time Dr. Emory Jones, Iuka MS
HM Premonition Lori Zurvalec, Grosse Pointe, MI

Category 2: Chancellor’s Prize: Judge: Eric Torgersen

1st How Will I Find Absolution Diana Hart, Kalamazoo, MI
2nd Current Resume Art Curtis, Bellaire, MI
3rd You Don’t Know Colleen Alles, Grand Rapids, MI
HM The Girl with a Green and a Brown Eye Nadia Ibrashi, Troy, MI

Category 3: Founder’s Prize: Judge: Russell Thorburn

1st Michigan State Fair 1960’s Roberta Brown , Royal Oak, MI
2nd Skinny Dipping at Cranbrook Janice Zerfas, Eau Claire, MI
3rd Leaving Tawas, July 3rd Christian Belz, Pontiac, MI
HM New Buffalo Cassandra Caverhill, Ann Arbor, MI

Category 4: Barbara Sykes Memorial Humor Poem: Judge: Elizabeth Kerlikowske

1st You Probably Are One Too Laura Sweeney, Bloomington, IL
2nd Learning to Sit Ann Weil, Ann Arbor, MI
3rd Shifting Gears Milton Bates, Marquette, MI
HM Not Yet Robotic Robert Erlandson, Birmingham, MI

Category 5: George Dila Memorial Prose Poem: Judge: Robert Fanning

1st Toad Dawn McDuffie, Detroit, MI
2nd Home Visit Patricia Barnes, Wyandotte, MI
3rd Churned Terry Jude Miller, Richmond, TX
HM Sea of Stars Simon A. Thalmann, Kalamazoo, MI

Category 6: Nature: Judge: Alinda Wasner

1st Wingbound II: Elegy Shy of Lamentation Barbara Saunier, Marne, MI
2nd Call Winter Home Patricia Barnes, Wyandotte, MI
3rd Swarm Warning Iris Underwood, Leonard, MI
HM Japanese Maple Diana Dinverno, Troy, MI

Category 7: Love: Judge: Sue William Silverman

1st The World Will Always Welcome Lovers Barbara Saunier, Marne, MI
2nd What Her Eyes Did Randy K. Schwartz, Ann Arbor, MI
3rd Bringing Late Lorraine Jeffery, Orem, UT
HM A Sort of Love Poem John Jeffire, Macomb, MI

Category 8: Music: Judge: M. L. Liebler

1st Song and Dance Nadia Ibrashi, Troy, MI
2nd Music Ellen Lord, Charlevoix, MI
3rd The House That Jack Built Sold On Jazz, Diana Cornell, Spring Lake, MI
HM Player of Player Pianos, a Love Poem, Sophia Rivkin, Southfield, MI

Category 9: Loss: Judge: Zilka Joseph

1st New Widow Ellen Lord, Charlevoix, MI
2nd Mothers Claire Scott, Oakland, CA
3rd Noise Trek Janice Zerfas, Eau Claire, MI
HM there, then David Fitch, Lathrup Village, MI

Category 10: Women and Science: Judge: Diane DeCillis

1st Fluids Leak Like Rivers Nadia Ibrashi, Troy, MI
2nd I Am a Standard Candle Janice Zerfas, Eau Claire, MI
3rd Brushstrokes and Stars Carla Dodd, Waterford Township, MI
HM Peggy Whitson Patricia Barnes, Wyandotte, MI

Congrtulations winners and thank you to all who entered!

WordView at Lowell Center for the Arts


WordView is a series of workshops and discussions exploring the practice of collaboration between the visual and literary arts, culminating in a juried exhibition in the LowellArts Gallery, from January 8 to February 19, 2022. Click the logo above to learn more.

WordView is presented in partnership with the International Society of Experimental Artists and the Poetry Society of Michigan with funding in part from Michigan Humanities, an affiliate of the National Endowment For the Humanities.

Deep Freeze / Emory D. Jones

I am not going to say it is cold,
But when you milked the cows,
They gave ice cream,
And you could knock over
Any frozen goat.

The chickens hatched penguins,
And the horse snorted

The windows of the house
Glazed over,
And as the inside heat
Melted the ice,
It became running rainbows.

The thermometer
Plunged to ten below zero,
And the trees exploded
Like cannon shots.

Now that was cold,
And if you believe me,
I will tell you another
Tall tale.

Emory D. Jones / Iuka, MS

New Sponsors for 2021 PSM Poetry Contest


The Detroit Writers’ Guild (DWG) is sponsoring a new category, “Music,” in honor of Faruq Z. Bey, a visionary of Detroit’s modern jazz scene, saxophonist, flutist, composer and poet. The Detroit Writers’ Guild was founded in 1983 for black authors in the Detroit Public School system. Today, the DWG has grown and now invites a diversity of community writers in the Detroit area to impact literary arts in all of its extraordinary forms and mediums. The DWG non-profit 501(c)(3) organization is led by M.L. Liebler as president.

An endowed category recently added to the PSM Contest is “Women and Science” sponsored by Dr. Kathleen Decker. Poems should focus on the accomplishments and struggles of these women or even yourself. Lucile E. Thompson Decker was born in Grand Rapids in 1927. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Michigan State University in 1948, a Master’s degree in Chemistry from MSU and a PhD in Chemistry from MSU. Lucille and Kathleen were the first mother/daughter members of the American Chemical Society. She managed to raise two children while pursuing a full-time scientific career when many women were still homemakers.

Denise Sedman was great friends with Patricia A. Kearny and was an admirer of her poetry. Kearney passed at age 67 in March of 1999 and had a book of poetry published posthumously called “Skirting the Pain.” She was very active in the poetry scene and would often sing at readings. Denise Sedman is sponsoring the “Love” category in her honor. Denise has been a supporter of the Detroit Writers’ Guild since its relaunch in 2017, and a long-standing member of the Poetry Society of Michigan. Her poems are often written in prose about human issues in day-to-day living. She is an award winning poet and short story writer.

Honorary Chancellor Eric Torgersen taught Writing for 38 years at CMU. He has published seven books and chapbooks of poetry, most recently In Which We See Our Selves: American Ghazals, Mayapple Press; two novellas, and Dear Friend: Rainer Maria Rilke and Paula Modersohn-Becker, Northwestern University Press. He is married to the quilt artist Ann Kowaleski. He is sponsoring the 2021 “Chancellor’s Prize.”