create. support.

2013 Loft Prize for Poetry was awarded to Philip E. Burnham, Jr. of Cambridge, Ma., for his poem "New York Blizzard."   Mr. Burnham received a $1000 prize, a commemorative plaque, publication in Lay Bare the Canvas: New England Poets on Art and a reading at the Poetry and Art Gala held at the Providence Public Library.

Second Place:   Sara D. Rivera, "Winnowing"
Third Place:      Calvin Olsen, "Cast"   


Winners were announced on June 6 at the Providence Public Library Awards Gala.

Much Gratitude to Denise Duhamel, Poetry Judge, for her final selections. 


ongratulations to the 2013 Loft Prize for Poetry Finalists! 
                                                   Poetry Judge: Denise Duhamel                             

"Smoke of Ambergis" - Amy Nawrocki 
"On Egg's version of the death of Buckingham" - Amy Pickworth  
"Cast" - Calvin Olsen
"Something to do with direction or navigation, maybe" - Dale J. Rappaneau;
"The Prize Fight" - Dita Ondek 
"One More Day of Fishing" - Fay Martineau
"My Lady Greensleeves" - Helen M. Casey
"Renaissance Woman" - J.B. Sisson
"That you" - James Celenza
"The Women of Amphissa
" - James Cronin
"West Wind, Appledore" -
James Najarian
"Desire for Water" -
Joyce Ray
"Harvester Holding Her Sickle" -
Julie Hassett
"Portrait of a Lady in Pink" -
Kara Provost
"Granite Retrospective" -
Kate Melone
"White Hats and Other Sexual Metaphors" -
Kim M. Baker
"Imago Lover" -
Kim Horton
"Stone Eclogue," -  
Leslie McGrath
"Women at the Well" -
Louella Bryant
"The Goldfish Widow" -
Meredith E. Brady
"New York Blizzard" - Philip E. Burnham, Jr.
"Bird Watching" -
Renee B. Lute
"Winnowing" -
Sara D. Rivera
"Everything About You" -
Tricia Orr
"The Faithful Colt" -
Vivian Shipley


Thank You to everyone who submitted such excellent reading to Lay Bare the Canvas: New England Poets on Art.  We are humbled and proud to have received your work. It was a difficult decision for our preliminary judges to choose from among the large and talented pool of entrants. 

                                                                    Poetry Judge: Denise Duhamel

                                                  2013 Loft Prize for Poetry: $1000 and publication

                                Sponsored in part by the Providence Public Library, Providence, RI

                                          Visit for additional information.

ongratulations to the 2012 Winners and Finalists!
                                                          2012 Loft Prize for Poetry           
                                                             Judge - Rick Benjamin 

1st Place:     Kim L. Horton, "Butterfly on a Gravestone"  
                   Kim received a $200 Award, an editorial consultation with Denise Duhamel, 
                           publication, and a commemorative plaque

2nd Place:  Kara Provost, "Return"   $50 Award
3rd Place:   John Campbell, "April on Ives St."  $50 Award

                                                              Loft Prize for Poetry: Young Poets         
                                                                  Judge - Lisa Starr

1st Place:     Tyler Tsang, "These Colors"    $200 Award, and commemorative plaque
2nd Place:   Jamie Cooper, "December"   
$50 Award
3rd Place:    Dana Saccoccio, "Rhode Island Boat Sunset" 
$50 Award

Honorable Mention: Tressa Cannata, "Our Expedition"  

Winning and Finalist poems are published in The Loft Anthology, available now!   To order your copy, visit the Loft Anthology  page   Proceeds donated to the RI Food Bank. 

Delight, fun, amazing... are just 3 of the words describing this year's Poetry Brunch made possible by you!  We are humbled by everyone's creativity, passion and generosity!  A huge Thank you for joining us for truly wonderful readings, music and food in celebration and support of fellow poets!

Again, Thank you to everyone who entered and participated in the WARI poetry challenge!  Each entry was read and judged blind. Literary merit was the only criterion.  Warm appreciation is extended to Contest Readers Nancy Brown and Joan Fishbein who spent many hours in the difficult task of selecting from such a large pool of amazing poems.  Hats off to the "astonishing" poetic talent that abounds in Rhode Island, SE Massachusetts, and beyond!

Take  a Bow -- 

Much Gratitude goes to our Judges, Rick Benjamin and Lisa Starr for their valuable services. Hugs to RI Poet laureate and Guest Speaker Lisa Starr for her awesome, often humorous, words of wisdom!  And Noreen Inglesi and members of Notable Works as well as flutist Anne Diamond for helping to make the day special by lofting us with their beautiful music!

A big Thank You to those who generously donated to the RI Food Bank/ Kids Cafe through this RI poetry event.  It is very much appreciated.
Special Thanks  to our WARI Friends and Donors who helped to make WARI possible! Thank you for supporting the work we do and the poets we admire.

                                                   Write Across Rhode Island 2012
                                             One Prompt - One Poem - One State

                                       with participating RI schools and libraries

                         LISA STARR, POETRY JUDGE, Poet Laureate of Rhode Island   
                                              Submission Deadline:  April 30, 2012

Join us for the Write Across Rhode Island (WARI) statewide poetry adventure!  The goal is to inspire Rhode Islanders to write and read poetry, increasing literary skills, and unleashing the creative power of poetry in our daily lives.  Imagine everyone writing to the same Prompt, reading and discussing the same Poem!  You will be inspired by Lisa Starr’s Prompt and Poem which so aptly remind us of what Frost observed, that “poetry is a momentary stay against confusion.” We appreciate how difficult the writing process is and how close to the heart your poems are, and so we thank you all for your valued submissions! 

Since the main focus of Write Across Rhode Island is not competition, but creativity and community spirit, we are happy to announce that this year WARI will benefit the RI Food Bank/Kids Café.  WARI’s contest is free!  But for those interested, we’re happy to add an Optional entry donation—you may submit $5 to the RI Community Food Bank with your poem. Each donation provides food to a child in need. Thank you!



                               by Lisa Starr, Poet Laureate of Rhode Island

When is the last time you were astonished by something?  When is the last time you awakened to the world as if seeing it for the first time?  The sun on the water, the children in the park, the wheels on the yellow bus and how they really do go round and round?  All of it, everyone and everything―remarkable and new―strangers on the street momentary companions on the long journey, road rage an immediate opportunity to practice forgiveness, and so on. 

It’s a beautiful world out there that sometimes, like the rest of us, sometimes forgets its own beauty.  For the 2012 Write Across Rhode Island poetry prompt, I dare you to be astonished by something.  I dare you to wake up to the unique glory and texture of the people and communities and rugged land and seascape of Rhode Island, and with language, with poetry, remind the rest of us sleepers what we are missing.


For inspiration, read Lisa Starr's poem:

                                                                             Prayer in April

                                                                                               for Millie and Orrin 

                                                                         Just this morning, right as
                                                                                      we clamored off to school,
                                                                                       in the driveway, the bird--
                                                                                       that startled baby bird....
                                                                                       He was so frightened he'd lost
                                                                                      his voice--his little feathered head

                                                                          became more yellow with his quivering.
                                                                                      We three took turns holding him.
                                                                                       The complexicity of our awe
                                                                                       is what strikes me now, and I hope                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
I'll always remember it:

                                                                            how we dropped to our knees                                                                                                                                                                                              how we took turns crading him;

                                                                                         how, for a moment, when he flew                                                                           
                                                                                          we lost our voices, too

   Lisa Starr, WARI 2012 Poetry Judge

Rhode Island Poet Laureate, Lisa Starr is a two time recipient of the RI Fellowship for Poetry (2002, 2004) and the Nancy Potter Prize for Fiction from the University of Rhode Island. Lisa has three collections of poetry: Days of Dogs and Driftwood (1993), This Place Here (2001), and Mad With Yellow (2008).  She is founder of the Ocean State Poets, a community outreach group providing workshops to teens and adults, as well as the underserved and those in nursing homes and prisons.  She runs her hotel, Hygeia House Inn, which is home to the Block Island Poetry Project, a nationally acclaimed celebration of arts and humanity, now in its sixth year.

in both Adult and Young Writer (Grades 9-12) categories will be announced at the Poetry Awards Brunch on June 9.  There will be readings of the Winning and Finalist poems to an enthusiastic crowd, plus great food, special guests, prizes, and a musical performance by Notable Works.

Finalist and winning poems will be published in a Special Edition Anthology. Selected poems will be posted in participating schools and libraires, and online.  Winning poets will also receive a 2012 Awards Plaque.

Adult Awards:

1st Place-  $200 plus editorial consultation with
                    nationally acclaimed poet Denise Duhamel
2nd Place-   $50
3rd Place-    $50

Young Writer Awards:

1st Place- $200
2nd Place- $50
3rd Place-  $50

Write Across Rhode Island Submission Guidelines

1. Poems must be unpublished and original, and follow the Prompt given b y Lisa Starr. Poems must not appear online.                                 
2. Poems must be no longer than 60 lines.

3. One poem per participant.

4. Use 8 1/2" x 11 white paper, 12 point, Times New Roman.

5. Do not include name and other identifying information on the poem.  
     Poems will be judged anonymously.

Include name, address, phone, email, and title of poem on a separate cover page. 

7. Teens (Grades 9-12): include your grade and school on the cover page.

8. If poem is longer than one page, write the title on both pages, and number the pages.

9. Mail your poem and cover page to:

     The Poetry Loft                                                                                                            
     PO Box 8235                                                                                                           
     Cranston RI 02920

10.  Results will be posted in June on The Poetry Loft website:

11. The contest is Free!  For those interested, we are accepting a $5  donation to the  Rhode Island Community Food Bank/Kids Café.  Make your check or money order payable to the RI Community Food Bank and submit with your poem. If donating in memory or in honor of someone, please include their name on the check memo line.



                                             2011 Loft Poetry Prize
Write Across Rhode Island" Poetry Contest 
                                                            Judge:  Dr. Cathleen Calbert

First Place - "What it Feels Like to Drown" by Sandra Moran ($200 Award)
Second Place - "What They  Ask" by Kara Provost  ($100 Award)                                     Honorable Mention: "Joe Tells Isaac" by Maggie Stormont

Young Adults:
First Place - "Old Man in The Garden" by
Brielle Manzolillo ($100 Award)
Second Place - "Conversations with Little Sister" by Helen McDonald ($50 Award)
Honorable Mention - "Supper with Gramps" by Kelsey Kairnes 

     2011  EVENT 

               Congratulations to the Winners
                   of the "Writing Across Rhode Island"  
                                2011 Poetry Challenge!   

Our gratitude to Dr. Cathleen Calbert for her inspiring prompt and poem as well as volunteering her professional time and service as Judge of the competition.

The Winners and Honorable Mentions in both Categories were announced at the Poetry Awards Brunch held on May 15,2011 at the Papa-razzi Trattoria in Cranston, RI, followed by a reading of the winning poems to an enthusiastic crowd.  


                                 Photo by Kim Knox Beckius                         

            THE WARI POETRY PROMPT     

                  by CATHLEEN CALBERT   
Write a poem in the voice of someone 
you know: your mother or your childhood
friend or the waitress at a local diner.  Your choice! 
Feel free to  imagine what this person might say or to incorporate things you've heard the person say or to construct a poem made up entirely of the person's actual, now re-arranged, words.  The trick, of course, is to take another's spoken language and to   transform it into a poem.  Happy Writing!

                                For inspiration, read  

Listening to My Mother in the
                      Alzheimer's  Wing"  
                               by Cathleen Calbert 

These people are a little crazy.
                                                                         Who's that singing ?

I loved all my babies. 
                                                                          It's like a movie.

You are the star in my sky. 

                                                                          How's your baby?

Is that my daughter on TV? 

                                                                         Is this really happening?

Don't you have a baby?

                                                                        Are you having the same dream?

You look like you're barely eighteen.

                                                                      Maybe you could still have a baby.

I had such a young mother. 

                                                                       I cried for years when she left me

on the farm with her grandmother

                                                         who killed chickens with her bare hands.

Who's going to come and get me?

                                                                     Mine will be a very old baby.

You've been my best friend, Cathleen.

                                                                     Could you help me find my dream?

(Poetry 2001)


               A Reading Guide
           by Cathleen Calbert
Professor of English at Rhode Island College
and author of three poetry collections: Lessons in Space (University of Florida Press), Bad Judgment (Sarabande Books), and Sleeping with a Famous Poet (CustomWords). Dr. Calbert's poetry and fiction have appeared in numerous publications including the Hudson Review, The New Republic, the Paris Review, Poetry, Ploughshares and Triquarterly. Her awards include The Nation Discovery Award, a Pushcart Prize, and the Tucker Thorp Professorship at Rhode Island College.

Why do you think the poem uses the spaces of the page as it does?

Why do you think there are so many questions?

What do you make of the motif of babies?

The inclusion of "TV" and "movies"?

What do you think the speaker's "dream" is?

Why do you think the poet included her own name in the poem?
Poetry  Reading 
                  Tom Chandler
                     Lisa Starr
                Darcie Dennigan

             Writing Across Rhode Island
              Guest Participants reading
                   Write-A-Thon Poems

              Saturday, April 30, 2011
                       1 PM - 2:30 PM

               Providence Public Library
                Barnard Room, 3rd floor

                   Come join us!  
              Free and open to the public. 



Tom Chandler is poet laureate of Rhode Island emeritus. He has been named Phi Beta Kappa Poet at Brown University and has been a featured poet at the Library of Congress and the Robert Frost homestead.  His poems have been read by Garrison Keillor on National Public Radio on several occasions.  He has written commissioned poems for the State of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, and Providence's "Waterfire". He has twice been named inaugural Poet for Providence's mayoral inauguration. Tom is a columnist for the Providence Journal, Professor of Creaive Writing at Bryant University, and the founder and editor of Bryant Literary Review.  His latest book is Toy Firing Squad. 

Darcie Dennigan 

Darcie Dennigan is the author of Corinna A-Maying the Apocalypse and the recipient of the Poets Out Loud Prize, Discovery/The Nation Award, and the Cecil Hemley Award from the Poetry Society of America.  Her writings have been published in the Atlantic Monthly, Kenyon Review, Tin House and other journals. She is currently Poet-in-Residence at the University of Connecticut

                Write-A-Thon 2011
               Submission Guidelines:

1. Poems must be original and follow the
    Prompt given by Cathleen Calbert.

2. Poems must be no longer than one page. 

3. One poem per participant. 

4. Poems must be typed on 8 1/2" x 11 "
    white paper, 12  point, Times New Roman. 

5.  No previously written or published

6. Title and poem only on the front side of
    the page.  Do not include your name and
    other identifying information on the front
    of the page.

7.  On the back of the poem page, include
     name, address, phone, email, and title of
     poem. Indicate the category you are 
     entering: Adult, or Young Adult (teen).

     Optional: You may include comments
     about the poem and/or a short Bio
     or artist statement on the back side.

8.  Submit your poem to any Participating
     Library in person, by fax or mail.  
     Deadline: April 30.

9.  Poems meeting the submission
     guidelines will be displayed for public
     viewing at Participating Libraries during
     April, National Poetry Month.

10. All poems will be entered into the blind
      Poetry Write-A-Thon Challenge in May
      judged by Cathleen Calbert.  Keep your
      original copy - Poems will not be

11. Winning poems, finalist and honorable
      mention poems will be eligible for 
      awards, readings and possible online 
      and print publication. 
                 1st Prize:  $200
                 2nd Prize: $100
                 3rd Prize:  $50

                      AWARDS BRUNCH 


         Intro By RI AUTHOR ANN HOOD

                           Join us for 
            Poetry Readings, Book Fair, Music,
                      Food and Open Mic  

                       Sunday May 15, 2011  
                      9:30 AM-12 Noon
                     Papa-Razzi Trattoria 
             Garden City Center, Cranston

      Free Mimosa, Coffee/Tea or Juice, and

                Brunch includes your choice of:

          Frittata, French Toast, Tuscan Eggs
          Benedict, Bagels or English Muffins  
                          (prices vary)

             Reserve your seat by May 13
                    Admission is free

             30 Days of Poetic Adventure!

       Submit Your Poem to a participating
RI Library near you:

 Providence Public Library 
 150 Empire Street, Providence, RI 02903 
 Attention: Lisa Miller, Program Coordinator
                                              fax: 455-8001

 James P. Adams Library at Rhode Island
 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue
 Providence, RI 02908
 Attn: Ellen Morais                  fax: 456-9646

 Community College of Rhode Island - 
 Liston Campus  
 One Hilton Street, Providence, RI 02905  
 Attn: Laurie Sherman, Professor of 
 English/Faculty Offices  401-455- 6106                                
 Liston Campus Library
 Attn: Dusty Haller, Librarian/401-455- 6085                                     fax: 455-6087

 CCRI Library
 Flanagan Campus - 
 1762 Louissquisset Pike, Lincoln, RI 02865
 Attn: Marla Wallace, Reference Librarian

 Warwick Public Library 
 600 Sandy Lane
 Warwick, RI 02889  
 Attn: Andria Tieman             fax: 738-1938

 Rogers Free Library 
 525 Hope Street
 Bristol, RI 02809
 Attn: Thomas Tihen              fax: 253-5270

 Barrington Public Library 
 281 Country Road 
 Barrington, RI 02806 
 Attn: Debbie Barchi, Library Director 
                                              fax: 247-3763

 Coventry Public Library
 1672 Flat River Road
 Coventry, RI 02816
 Attn: Jane Schweinsburg       fax: 822-9133
 East Providence Public Library 
 Rumford Branch
 1392 Pawtucket  Avenue, Rumford RI 02916
 Attn: Denise Inman                fax: 435-4997

 East Providence Public Library
 Weaver Library
 41 Grove Avenue,
 East Providence, RI 02914       

 East Providence Library - Fuller Branch 
 260 Dover AVenue 
 East Providence, RI 02916
 434- 1136

 East Providence Library - Riverside Branch 
 475 Bullocks Point Avenue
 East providence, RI 02915

 West Wawick Public Library 
 1043 Main Street
 West Warwick, RI  02893
 Attn: Maureen Delovio, Reference Dept.
                                               fax: 828-8493

 North Scituate Public Library 
 606 West Greenville Road
 North Scituate, RI 02857
 Attn: Rachael Stamp              fax: 934-1051

 North Kingstown Free Library
 100 Boone Street
 North Kingstown, RI 02852
 Attn: Elizabeth Donovan, Outreach
 Coordinator                          fax: 294-1690

 Greenville Public Library
 573 Putnam Pike
 Greenville 02828
 Attn: Dorothy Swain, Assistant
 Director                                  fax: 949-0530

Maury Loontjens Memorial Library
35 Kingston Road
Narragansett, RI 02879 
Attn: Marilyn Sherman,
Adult Services Librarian           fax: 782-0677

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