JMRL/WriterHouse poetry contest results

Writing poetry can be playful, cathartic, celebratory, and immersive. Writing poetry is good for our critical thinking, language skills, and creativity. Writing is also one of the best ways to prompt us to look at the world from a different perspective. Through writing, we build empathy. Today, we are pleased to present our top two poems from this year’s JMRL/WriterHouse poetry contest:

Winning poem by Matt Dhillon
Runner-up poem by Michael Monaco

Each year, JMRL partners with WriterHouse to host a poetry contest for adults. There is so much to uncover and savor in these two winning poems, from identity and perception, surprise and newness, to the significance of change on our interior lives and concrete worlds. These poems are filled with texture, noise, and the sound of silence. We want to thank all the writers who submitted poems!

We were so honored to have highly decorated poet Lisa Russ Spaar judge our contest this year. The eighty-nine entries we received made it a highly competitive event. This year’s theme of transformation evoked some amazing poems that especially spoke to the complex times in which we are living and the power of the creative mind to cope with the challenges of our ever-changing landscape.

If you are interested in writing, we encourage you to check out JMRL’s free writing programs. Northside Library hosts a writing group on the first Wednesday of every month. The next meeting is Wednesday, 12/7 at 7 PM. Louisa Library hosts a writing group on the fourth Thursday of every month. The next meeting is Thursday, 12/15 at 4 PM (the third Thursday due to the holiday season). You can also check and for more activities, events, and information about writing and community.

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