The Al Savard Contest
Dec 1st to Jan 30th

The Lynn DeCaro
Poetry Contest

Jan 15 to March 15th

The Connecticut Poetry Award
April 1st - May 31st

The Connecticut River Review Poetry Contest
Aug. 1 to Sept 30


Connecticut Poetry Award Winners

The Connecticut Poetry Society is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 Connecticut Poetry Award.  Judge Lori Desrosiers selected the following poems:

1st prize: “Fortune’s Rest” by Nancy Clarke Otter                                           

2nd prize: “After Her Death, the Wicked Witch of the East Gives Dorothy Her Blessing” by Rose Cole

3rd prize: “Encounter” by Gene Grabiner

Honorable Mentions: “The Four-Minute Speed-Dating ‘Me Too’ Man” by Jacqueline Williams, “The Green Post” by Lydia Suarez, “She Sweeps the Past” by Eileen Malone, and “A Last Visit” by Laura Altshul

Desrosiers described the winning poem this way: “This poem about Fortune, the slave from Waterbury, Connecticut, is both an elegy and a superbly crafted poem, combining beautiful language and surprising images, with the repeating words giving it a liturgical feel.” 

Of the second prize poem, Desrosiers said, “This is a delight to read for its language, humor and great twist of an ending.”

Our judge complimented the third prize poem for “its sense of place, the concision of the narrative, and the sheer joy of the read.” 

About the judge: Lori Desrosiers’ first full-length book of poetry, The Philosopher's Daughter was published in 2013. A chapbook, Three Vanities, was published in 2009. Her MFA in Poetry is from New England College. She is editor and publisher of Naugatuck River Review, a journal of narrative poetry.


Poetry Contests Sponsored by the Connecticut Poetry Society

Deadline    Contest Name Prizes         Entry Fee
Closed Al Savard Memorial
Ct poets only 
$100, $75, $50 $10*
Jan 1 to March 15th Lynn DeCaro– Ct H.S. student $75, $50, $25 none
April 1st - May 31st 0 The Connecticut Poetry Award   $400, $100, $50 $15
Aug. 1 to Sept 30 Connecticut River Review  
Contest (not book submissions)
$400, $100, $50 $15


Poets who won a prize in one of the contests sponsored by CPS last year are
not eligible this year.

Simultaneous submissions are permitted if we are notified immediately
when a poem has been accepted elsewhere.


Winners of the 2013 Lynn DeCaro Poetry Contest

The Connecticut Poetry Society is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Lynn DeCaro Poetry Contest for high school students.  We had the largest group of submissions ever, so the competition was tough. Judge Rhett Watts selected these poems:

1st  Prize: “Small Greatness” by Joscelyn Norris of Roxbury, Westover School
2nd  Prize: “Long Lost Bear’s Monologue from Shakespeare’s ‘Winter Tale’: A Deleted Scene Recently Discovered in Director’s Cut” by Valerie Bodurtha of Stamford, Horace Mann School
3rd  Prize: “Water Sign” by Rhian Lewis of Middlebury, Westover School

Honorable Mentions: “Remission” by Kylie Kearney of Vernon,”  “Early Bedtimes in Summer” by Cailee Tallon of Sandy Hook, and “Via dei Serpenti” by Hannah Hudson of Southbury

Judge Rhett Watts said of the first prize poem “Stunning images sustain "Small Greatness." The poet compares and contrasts the mushroom cloud to the butterfly weed planted by an atomic scientist ‘to nurture apologies’….The language is strong when describing the explosion and light as the weight of a butterfly's wing when describing blossoms that "Droop and wither from each cluster, like falling stars."

Comments on the other award winners: The second prize poem “delights with fresh imagining, comedic tone, and language that stays close to the Bard's. Later readings drew me in with the reflective stance of the bear, a curious character often written about, but seldom to such wonderful effect as here.”

“The third place poem carries an extended metaphor to its watery conclusion-- Love in Davey Jones' Locker…The haunting images set me adrift.”
All of the honorable mention poems were memorable, according to Ms. Watts, especially “Remission,” with its “powerful, yet restrained encounter that addressed the ravages of treatment.”


Winners of the Al Savard Contest

The Connecticut Poetry Society is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Al Savard Memorial Poetry Competition.   Judge Elizabeth Thomas selected these poems:

1st prize: “Coyote” by Mary Guitar of Lyme
2nd: “Before the Lesson” by JoAnne Bauer of Hartford
3rd: “Newtown, Seeing” by Elaine Zimmerman of Hamden
Honorable Mentions go to : “Intervention” by Barbara Davis of Middletown
and “Bummer” by Nettie Parker Bauman of West Hartford

Our judge, Elizabeth Thomas is the author of two books of poetry. She is one of the Connecticut coaches and organizer with Brave New Voices: International Youth Poetry Slam and Festival. She hosts a website for teachers and young writers at

About the first prize poem, she said, “Beautifully Written… I could read this poem many times and find something new to love each time.”

Regarding the second prize poem, Thomas commented, “I love the visual rhythm of the piece.  It pulled me in and kept me there...right to the last line.”

Finally, our judge said of the third prize poem, “Each line powerful!  ‘Eyes closed, they could still see deeply.’  And the last line takes your breath away.  The whole poem does.”


Lynn DeCaro Poetry Contest
open to Connecticut High School Students
Submit: January to March 15th

The Lynn DeCaro Poetry Contest, open to Connecticut high school students, is accepting entries beginning January 1st. Deadline is March 15th. There is no entry fee for this contest. There are cash prizes of $75, $50 and $25. An entry may consist of up to three poems, each no longer than 40 lines. Include two copies of each poem, one with complete contact information included (please add the name of the high school), and one without any contact info. Results will be announced on the website and sent to those who include SASE with entry.

Send submissions for either of these competitions to DeCaro Contest, CPS, PO Box 270554, West Hartford, CT 06127.

This year’s judge is Rhett Watts, the author of the book Willing Suspension and the chapbook No Innocent Eye. She leads AWA (Amherst Writers & Artists writing workshops in Connecticut.


Poets who won a prize in one of the contests sponsored by CPS last year are not eligible this year.









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