Five cash prizes and five honorable mentions were selected by our contest judge, the distinguished poet, Stephen Gibson. The First Place Winner receives $100, and winners of Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Places each receive $25.00. The winners are:

FIRST PLACE: “Yorick, circa 1980 by Sean Keck, Christiansburg, VA

SECOND PLACE: “The Cornell Art Museum by Liam Lawlor, Pembroke Pines, FL

THIRD PLACE: “Last-Minute Temptation” by Phyllis St. George, Springfield, MA

FOURTH PLACE: “If She Had Known” by Michele Parker Randall, Sanford, FL

FIFTH PLACE: “The Way the Music Died” by Mike Lewis-Beck, Iowa City, IA

Five HONORABLE MENTIONS were selected: “Folly-scope” by Mary Jo Thompson of Minneapolis, MN; “Fractals” by Patricia Gray of Washington, DC; “Absorbed” by Phyllis Wax of Milwaukee, WI; “Smiles” by Trish Sheppard of Beaufort, NC; and “Unicorn Redux” by Donna Disch of Westport, CT.

About the selection process, Judge Stephen Gibson said, “Judging this year’s contest was an absolutely amazing experience. Congratulations to these poets and to all of the poets who submitted to this contest—and gratitude to the incredible artists who shared their Tech Effect creations.”

The works in the Tech Effect Exhibition explore the complex influences of technology on the human experience and the natural world. The show featured artists whose work deals with technology in some way: augmented reality works, interactive touch screen works, the prevalence of social media in contemporary art, artwork that utilizes code, and countless ways that technology is integrated into contemporary art. Festival Director, Susan R. Williamson said, “The variety of creative responses to the inspiring artwork is always a surprising and interesting result of an ekphrastic poetry contest. This year was no exception. The art was non-traditional and the poems written in response were brilliant in so many ways. We had entries from 28 different states and ten foreign countries!”

The contest offered poets the opportunity to take inspiration from the following eight works selected from the Tech Effect Exhibition:

(Click on each image to see a larger high-res version.)

“Backup” by Ellen deMeijer
“Emotion #2” by Walter Brown
“Fractal” by William Montgomery
“Galloping Towards The Dream” by Camomile Hixon
“Graine” by Alain Le Boucher
“No More Dialectics #4” by Daniel Fiorda
“Mona Lisa” by Antoine Geiger
“Skull” by Brian Dettmer

Ekphrastic Poems come from the poetic tradition of taking inspiration from objects and works of art known as “ekphrasis” from the Greek. These may include literal descriptions of a work of art, the poet´s mood in response to a work of art, metaphorical associations inspired by a work of art, or personal memories about a work of art.

Contest Judge Stephen Gibson, is the author of seven poetry collections, most recently, Self-Portrait in a Door-Length Mirror, winner of the 2017 Miller Williams Prize (Univ. of Arkansas Press), selected by Billy Collins. His poetry and fiction have appeared in such journals as American Arts Quarterly, Gargoyle, The Georgia Review, The Gettysburg Review, North American Review, The Paris Review, Pleiades, Poetry, River StyxThe Sewanee Review, ShenandoahThe Southern Review, and The Yale Review among others. He taught for thirty-two years at the Belle Glade campus of Palm Beach State College.

*This competition would not be possible without the collaboration of Old School Square and The Cornell Art Museum. Images courtesy of the Cornell Art Museum at Old School Square and artists as noted above.