Welcome to the Austin Poetry Society!

The Austin Poetry Society (APS) encourages the reading, writing, and appreciation of poetry.


And the winners are…


We want to thank everyone who came to our Annual Awards Ceremony on May 28th at The North Door. It was so good seeing all of you and hearing all the wonderful first place poems. This year’s anthology is going to be a good one. Big thanks to our president, Barbara Gregg, for hosting the event, to Greg Silver for reading the poems for the winners who couldn’t be in attendance, to our sponsors for donating the prize money, and of course to the judges for doing the hard work of selecting the winning poems. The bios for all of our wonderful judges can be read here: 2016 APS Contest Judges.

Last, but certainly not least, we want to thank our members. Thank you for writing your poems and for being brave enough to submit them. You are all winners in our eyes.

And now, without further ado…

APS 2016 Annual Contest Results:


Contest No. 1: The Austin Poetry Society Award
Sponsor: Austin Poetry Society
Judge: Elzy Cogswell
First Place: Cynthia Drake – “this message will self destruct”
Second Place: Chet Taylor – “Going Down”
Third Place: Chet Taylor – “A Red Balloon in an Empty Sky: Images of Miro”
Honorable Mentions: Sonny Regelman, Barbara Blanks, & Chet Taylor

Contest No. 2: The Spoken Word Poetry Award
Sponsor: Austin Poetry Society
Judge: Audience members
First Place: G.E. Martt – “The Turkey”
Second Place: (TIE) Diane Hinman “Legacies” & Michael D. Jones – “How Many Ways Do You Want Me to Say No?”

Contest No. 3: The Wildness Award
Sponsor: Kathryn Culpepper
Judge: Kathryn Culpepper
First Place: Claire Vogel-Camargo – “Ocean Salsa – A Surrendering”
Second Place: Laura Guli – “Naduah”
Third Place: Carie Juettner – “Hiking to Cattail Falls”

Contest No. 4: A World Without Borders
Sponsor: Shubh Schiesser
Judge: Allen Fischer
First Place: Brad Strahan – “True North”
Second Place: Mark Van Gelder – “St. Blanc”
Third Place: Neil Meili – “The Wall/L.A. Pered”

Contest No. 5: The Rock & Roll Award
Sponsor: Kirk Sonnenberg and Bronmin Shumway
Judge: B.J. Buckley
First Place: Carie Juettner – “Rooster with a Guitar”
Second Place: Diane Conces – The Guitar Player
Third Place: Marc McMahon – “Revel in Chevelle”

Contest No. 6: The Nautilus Award
Sponsor: Susan Rooke
Judge: Silva Merjanian
First Place: Barbara Blanks – “Midnight Sail”
Second Place: Carie Juettner – “Bajan Days”
Third Place: Brad Strahan – “Tides”
Honorable Mentions: Marc McMahon & Nancy Fierstien

Contest No. 7: The Gods & Heroes Award
Sponsor: Susan Rooke
Judge: Mary Crow
First Place: Brad Strahan – “Icarus”
Second Place: Mary Ellen Branan – “Briseis from Hades”
Third Place: Diane Conces – “Zorya”
Honorable Mentions: Carie Juettner & Barbara Blanks

Contest No. 8: The Funny Side of Life
Sponsor: Barbara Gregg
Judge: Richard Peabody
First Place: Diane Conces – “Clairol”
Second Place: Susan Rooke – “Regret and the Social Website”
Third Place: Carie Juettner – “Bull’s Eye”

Contest No. 9: Repurpose, Reuse, Recycle
Sponsor: Barbara Gregg
Judge: Susana H. Case
First Place: Barbara Blanks – “Death Devours All Lovely Things”
Second Place: Natalia Malesa – “Little Dancer Aged Fourteen”
Third Place: Mamata Misra – “Secrets in the Garden”

Contest No. 10: The Road Trip Award
Sponsor: Barbara Gregg
Judge: Lyman Grant
First Place: Susan Rooke – “Genealogy, 1962”
Second Place: Carie Juettner – “Litterbug”
Third Place: Brad Strahan – “Road Trip”
Honorable Mention: Barbara Blanks

Contest No. 11: The World Peace Award
Sponsor: Judith Austin Mills
Judge: Stella Vinitchi Radulescu
First Place: Diane Conces – “Firestorm”
Second Place: Mary Ellen Branan – “Starlings and the Second Law”
Third Place: Cathleen O’Shea – “Idea for a Psalm”

Contest No. 12: Fill in the Blanks
Sponsor: Barbara Blanks
Judge: Barbara Blanks
First Place: Carie Juettner – “I Hate Those Poems”
Second Place: Diane Conces – “Captivate”
Third Place: Susan Rooke – “Myong-Hi, December 1965”
Honorable Mentions: Cynthia Drake & Laura Guli

Contest No. 13: The Trick or Treat Award
Sponsor: Carie Juettner
Judge: Stella Vinitchi Radulescu
First Place: Susan Rooke – “Jack-o’-Bone”
Second Place: Brad Strahan – “Green Rug”
Third Place: Diane Conces – “Up from Darkness”
Honorable Mentions: Marc McMahon & Barbara Blanks

Contest No. 14: The Animal Passion Award
Sponsor: Claire Vogel Camargo
(This contest was cancelled due to lack of participants.)

Contest No. 15: The Loyalty Award
Sponsor: Claire Vogel Camargo
Judge: Marian Haddad
First Place: Diane Conces – “Grace in Motion”
Second Place: G. E. Martt – “Zen dog”
Third Place: Mark Van Gelder – “Hit and Hold”

Contest No. 16: The Elzy Marathon Thompson Memorial Award
Sponsor: Elzy Cogswell
Judge: Professor Detrick Hughes
First Place: Claire Vogel-Camargo – “Poet’s Bloom – The Color of My Pantoum”
Second Place: Mark Van Gelder – “Handwritten Lament”
Third Place: Mary Ellen Branan – “A Snow Globe”
Honorable Mention: Laura Guli

Contest No. 17: The Music in My Soul Award
Sponsor: Elzy Cogswell
Judge: Chuck Taylor
First Place: Barbara Blanks – “Beethoven Speaks”
Second Place: G. E. Martt – “Debussy”
Third Place: Nancy Fierstien – “Into the Waiting Air”

Contest No. 18: The Mary Oliver Award
Sponsor: Elzy Cogswell
Judge: Bill Mayer
First Place: Chet Taylor – “The Sea Bridge Abiding”
Second Place: Cathleen O’Shea – “Ode to a possum lying dead at the confluence of two highways”
Third Place: Susan Rooke – “Sadie Feeds the Birds”

Contest No. 19: The Faithful Servant Award
Sponsor: Elzy Cogswell
Judge: Susanna Rich
First Place: George Klawitter – “What Museums Do For Us”
Second Place: Chet Taylor – “Onomatopoeia For Lovers”
Third Place: Marc McMahon – “Write the Good Fight”
Honorable Mentions: G. E.Martt & Barbara Blanks

Contest No. 20: Marianne Logan Award
Sponsor: Von S. Bourland
(This contest was cancelled due to lack of participants.)

Contest No. 21: The Caregiver Award
Sponsor: Amy L. Greenspan
Judge: Abe Louise Young
First Place: Mark Van Gelder – “To The Caregiver”
Second Place: Elaine Hosage – “Well Loved”
Third Place: Susan Rooke – “In Memory”

Contest No. 22: How to Cook an Armadillo
Sponsor: John Hoag
Judge: Anne Marie Blum
First Place: George Klawitter – “How to Cook an Armadillo”
Second Place: Nancy Fierstien – “Palatable Advice”
Third Place:LaVern McCarthy – “Armadillo Stew in the Shell”
Honorable Mention: Barbara Blanks

Contest No. 23: Obesity By Any Other Name
Sponsor: John Hoag
Judge: Dr. Carolyn Krieter-Foronda
First Place: Marc McMahon – “Tomorrow’s Sorrows”
Second Place: Nancy Fierstien – “If You Eat Poetry”
Third Place: Carie Juettner – “Lock Me on the Porch”
Honorable Mention: LaVern McCarthy

Contest No. 24: The Haiku-Senryu Delight Award
Sponsor: Claire Vogel Camargo
Judge: R.T. Castleberry
First Place: Mary Ellen Branan – “Mallard in Eclipse”
Second Place: LaVern McCarthy – “frog on lily pad”
Third Place: Diane Conces – “No moon burns tonight”
Honorable Mention: Susan Rooke

Contest No. 25: The Limerick Award
Sponsor: Carie Juettner
Judge: Paul Sohar
First Place: LaVern McCarthy – “The Early Bird Got His ”
Second Place: Barbara Blanks – “Heads Up!”
Third Place: Susan Rooke – “Directive, Campaign 2016”
Honorable Mentions: Neil Meili & Brad Strahan

* To download a PDF version of the results, visit our contest page.


Don’t forget to renew your membership!

All APS memberships expire in May of each year, so now is the perfect time to renew. We’ll be starting up the meetings and monthly contests again this fall, and you don’t want to miss out! To renew your membership or join for the first time, visit our Join the APS page. You can submit your application online or print a copy and mail it in. We hope to see you all again this September!

April 2016 APS meeting

Share Your Photos!

If you have pictures from our Annual Awards Ceremony or any of our recent meetings that you would like to post to our Gallery page, email the files to austinpoetrysociety@gmail.com. If you did not take the photos yourself, please tell us who did so we can give proper credit. Thanks!



If you are a member of the Austin Poetry Society and would like to volunteer, please email us at austinpoetrysociety@gmail.com. We are currently looking for a treasurer, as well as people to chair various committees. Let us know if you can help!