🏅Announcing the Winners of the Word Craft Poetry Syllabic Poetry Contest 🏅

I’m thrilled to announce the winners of the Word Craft Poetry Syllabic Poetry Contest held to honor the Summer Solstice. The theme was dreams, and the syllabic form to write was tanka prose. Many thanks to all the poets who entered this contest. Thanks for being part of our poetry community.

Last year, JulesPaige and I sponsored the first Word Weaving Poetry Journal. As promised, the royalties from the sale of the journal from 2021 went toward three prizes of $35.00 for 1st place, $25.00 for 2nd place, and $15.00 for third place paid in U.S. funds through PayPal. There was also one honorable mention the judges felt warranted recognition.

These winners will receive a blog widget to show off their poetic expertise. I hope they will link back to this post when they share the widget on their blog. I will notify the winners by email to plan for payment.

The first place winner of $35.00 is:

“Am I Dreaming,” by D. Wallace Peach

Tell me, am I dreaming? For moon-eyed owls fold their wings on the limbs outside my window, and heart-shaped stars flutter like moths beneath a tarnished silver sky. At the forest’s edge, gypsies serenade us with prayers to our bald mountain gods. I want to wake you, so we might join their song, but I drift in the between-time of a summer’s early morn. Am I dreaming? For the scent of you bathes my skin through sheets worn soft with age. Your breath dews my neck with sleeping sweetness. Will you reply if I speak your name into the shadows of our room? I’m afraid to stir lest your spirit slips away.

on the cusp of dawn
I await your soul’s embrace
drift into my dreams
balm to a widow’s sorrow
let me sleep for an hour more

Judges Comments:

With multi-sensory images, this piece maintained a sense of dreaminess from beginning to end. The beautiful prose reaches the heart while reading, with details about the narrator/narrative exquisitely and subtly revealed through the prose and the poem; “For the scent of you bathes my skin through sheets worn soft with age”; “drift into my dreams balm to a widow’s sorrow”. 

Congratulations on a moving tanka prose that is both peaceful and poignant.

The Second Place winner of $25.00 is:

“Visions of Longed For Relief,” by Ken Gierke

Upon waking, I often struggle to remember my dreams, wonder what they held, the meanings my mind assigns to them even as it places them behind a veil of mystery. But on this one night, something is different.

Classical music, a collection by Edvard Grieg that includes movements from Peer Gynt Suite, plays through the speakers in my bedroom. As the first four movements play, I dream, waking as each piece ends, aware that the tone of each dream is set by the music of that moment.

Musical notes flow through my mother’s body as I care for her to the sound of Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor. Waking briefly, then falling back asleep, I feel my concern for her eased by the melody of Morning Mood. I wake once again to hear the start of The Death of Asa. Lulled to sleep by the somber tones of the movement, my dream turns dark and I feel as though facing an impending doom. I wake, troubled, only to fall asleep once more, this time to the light sounds of Anitra’s Dance. It is as if light, or life perhaps, is rising up to push back the darkness that had insinuated itself.

heat reaches new heights
as sun approaches apex
breeze off the water
tempers the sun’s oppression
visions of longed-for relief

Judges Comments:

An intriguing, almost haunting tanka prose piece, there is indeed “a veil of mystery,” but “on this one night something is different.” Music and mood are intertwined and ultimately this dreaming helps the narrator realize peace as he/she takes care of their mother. They also intertwined dark and light into this piece that beautifully conveys the stress and strain and the desire for relief both caregiver and cared for must feel in this situation. It too is resolved with peace and poignancy and tells an important story while sticking to the theme of dreaming in tanka prose.

The third place winner of $15.00 is:

“Between & Beyond,” by Merril D. Smith

There are journeys beyond the boundaries of the known. Brief moments, when our minds travel to a liminal place between the worlds of what is and what might be. Here I saw my parents—young and in love. Then, I saw them older and still together, as they were not in real life. The air around them glimmered and glowed. In the way of dreams, we sensed each other. They smiled, and I woke–at peace, but wondering if it was merely a dream.

moon’s silvered secrets—
wind-strum whispers, shimmer-slide
in time between breaths
I almost hear the stars sing
chimes of possibility

Judges Comments:

“In the way of dreams…” This was another personal narrative in which a dream, vividly shared, might be more than a dream. The “moon’s silvered secrets” imply that this dream was indeed a journey “beyond the boundaries of the known”, a message of “what might be”. The pivot line is well crafted, the tanka standing strong on its own while continuing the dreamy peaceful feeling of the prose.

An Honorable Mention went to:

“Finding the Way,” by Jude Itakali

It’s drizzling this morning, like it did yesterday and the day before. I skid along the mucky path to the cyclist stage. All neighbours have abandoned it for a longer, more sure-footed way. I alone dare to pass here. In a sense, at least for now, this path is mine, and I have little of that to get on with.

not for gasp nor gaze
these wild lantanas blossom
yet ensnare senses
for scent or defiant growth
no drifter can pass aloof

In days passed, I’d moan the squelch of a favourite shoe as it sank into disguised patches of mud. I’d curse those cunning patches, for like all else in this world, they’d have betrayed me. But things are different now. I see what I could not before. I feel what I feared to feel. For I have clutched at straws my entire life, to find this dream that fits like a glove.

These dreary mornings mask the sunrise glimmering in my heart and mind. But still I skip along this path in a whimsical daze; two points for sure-footing, one less per slippy slip. Nothing will douse my spirits now. There is beauty everywhere. There is hope.

what is a soul's dance
but joy's perpetuity
the kiss of purpose
to live a hypnotic life
dreaming up reality

Judge’s Comments:

“Finding the Way” found its way to an honorable mention. Written in first person, as tanka prose should be, the theme is woven throughout, with a clear and strong conclusion in the second tanka that summarizes the narrator’s growth along their muddy path. Even with “dreary mornings (that) mask the sunrise glimmering in my heart and mind,” the tone is one of hope and dreams for the future. This entry was much discussed and we would feel remiss in not congratulating you here for your take on the theme.

Meet the Judges

D. Slayton Avery, recently retired from teaching, now works at playing with words. D. Slayton Avery’s fiction and poetry is published in a number of online and print journals and anthologies— Boston Literary Magazine, The Hopper, Enchanted Conversations, and Santa Barbara Literary Journal, among others. She is a regular contributor at Carrot Ranch Literary Community and has two books of poetry, Chicken Shift and For the Girls, and a collection of flash fiction, After Ever, Little Stories for Grown Children. D.’s prose and poetry can be sampled at https://shiftnshake.wordpress.com/.

Lisa Fox enjoys a laissez-faire lifestyle near Lake Michigan after years of government work. She’s earned a couple of pieces of paper from uni. She’s studied philosophical daoism. She currently writes poetry and flash fiction at her WordPress blog, https://tao-talk.com/. Favorite past-times are reading, writing, listening to music, gardening and observing nature for advice, bicycling, and spending time with her adult sons.

Just a Quick Note…

I have deleted the Word Weaving Poetry Journal site. The domain was up for renewal and since I’ve made the journal biennial, there is no reason to have a separate site.

I’ve merged that blog into wordcraftpoetry.com. You will find the links to the journal information on the main menu or HERE.

Stay tuned… I’ll share more information about the First Word Craft: Prose & Poetry Contest soon.

Treasuring Poetry – An introduction to Word Weaving #1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse edited and compiled by Colleen Chesebro and Jules Paige

Robbie Cheadle and Kaye Lynn Booth are the best hosts! Thanks for having me over and thank you for the wonderful review of Word Weaving #1. <3

ReShare: Smorgasbord Book Reviews – Word Weaving #1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse – The Moons of Autumn. – Colleen Chesebro and other Poets

From Smorgasbord Book Reviews:

Delighted to share the news of the latest poetry anthology to hit the shelves – Word Weaving #1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse – The Moons of Autumn. – Colleen Chesebro, Jules Paige and other Poets

About the collection

Word Weaving is a yearly poetry journal, and for our first issue, we bring you poetry crafted from a broad mix of new and established voices across the spectrum of Japanese and American syllabic poetry forms. Enjoy this collection of poems that celebrate the Moons of Autumn.

Contributing Poets:

Annette Rochelle Aben, Mona Bedi, Nancy Brady, Colleen M. Chesebro, Goutam Dutta, Bill Engleson, Elizabeth F., Andrea Finichiu, D.L. Finn, Jeff Flesch, Ken Gierke, Franci Hoffman, Thom Kerr, Sujata Khanna, Ruth Klein, Jules Paige, D. Wallace Peach, Gwen M. Plano, M. J. Mallon, R.V. Mitchell, Elaine Patricia Morris, Lisa Smith Nelson, Pat Raffington, Susmita Ramani, Kerfe Roig, Aishwarya Saby, Akhila Siva, Merril D. Smith, Willow Willers, Cheryl Wood.

My review for the Journal 25th November 2021

This is an excellent example of how a collaboration between writers can result in a wonderful collection of thought provoking and heartwarming poetry…

Please continue reading HERE

Many thanks,

Colleen M. Chesebro & JulesPaige, Editors

Updates: Word Weaving #1 (digital) & The Moons of Autumn: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse (print)

Shared from: wordweavingpoetryjournal.com:

It’s been a stressful couple of days… I can only attribute it to Mercury RETROGRADE! I’ve had numerous issues with everything connected to technology—especially Amazon! On top of all this, my husband took a fall down the steps into our garage and fractured his scapula. He spent the day in the ER (in a hallway—the hospital is full) after an exciting ride in the ambulance. Because of Covid, I couldn’t come inside to be with him. No one told me anything until I finally got a call at 8:00 pm to pick him up! So… it’s been an interesting few days.

I’ve never had so many problems publishing a book as I’ve had with this journal. After five days, Amazon kicked the first version of the print journal back, saying I needed to change the cover and the title, but published the Kindle version with no issues. I’ve now updated the cover on the Kindle & print versions to match, but this has created two versions with different names. I can’t change the titles because once they are published, it’s all set in stone. Here is what Amazon says:

  • Linking. The detail pages of your paperback and eBook should link within 48 hours, but it can take up to 5 days.
  • Product description. It can take 24-48 hours to appear on the detail page.
  • Look Inside the Book. This feature will be available in 7 business days.
  • International marketplaces. It takes 3-5 business days for your paperback to show as in stock.
  • Updates. Changes to contributor, series name, series number, page count, description, keywords, and browse categories take up to 72 hours to appear.

Word Weaving #1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse is the digital (Kindle) version found HERE

The Moons of Autumn: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse is the print version of the book and found HERE

If you want a digital copy of the book search on Amazon for Word Weaving # 1.

If it’s the print version of the journal you’re after, search Amazon for The Moons of Autumn: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse.

I’ll have links on the front of the blog at wordweavingpoetryjournal.com, as well. This journal has been a huge undertaking, and I appreciate all the poets who contributed to its success. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Colleen M. Chesebro & JulesPaige, Editors

Announcing the Theme for the 1st Word Weaving Poetry Journal

The theme:

The Moons of Autumn

We accept submissions from May 15 through July 15 for our first October issue. There is no submission fee.

We publish haiku, senryu, haiga, gogyohka, tanka, tanka prose, haibun, cinquain poetry including any cinquain variations, Etheree, nonet, shadorma, Badger hexastich, Abhanga, and Diatelle syllabic poetry forms. We would love to see your work.

Please review the submissions page below.


Colleen M. Chesebro & JulesPaige, Editors


Introducing… Word Weaving—A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse

For the last month, I’ve teased you on the Tanka Tuesday challenges with some big news coming! Happy May Day!

Word Weaving began as a creative experiment between two poetic friends, Colleen Chesebro and JulesPaige, birthed from our combined love for writing syllabic poetry on Word Craft: Prose & Poetry at wordcraftpoetry.com. Those Tanka Tuesday poetry challenges got us thinking. What if we published a yearly poetry journal of syllabic verse to encourage emerging poets?

Announcing a new Poetry Journal: Word Weaving—A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic of Syllabic verse. Submissions open May 15, 2021. Learn more on wordweavingpoetryjournal.com. Click on “submissions.”

Jules and I are excited to contribute to the writing community. Our aim is to be a small, online, and print poetry journal that shares thoughtful syllabic poetry with uplifting fresh voices while supporting established ones. There are no submission fees. Read our submissions page to learn more.

The proceeds from the sale of this journal will be used to sponsor a yearly poetry contest on Word Craft: Prose & Poetry at wordcraftpoetry.com to be announced in 2022. Prizes will be determined at a later date. We will keep the cost of the ebook and the print book low enough to make it affordable for all poetry lovers.

Submissions open May 15, 2021, when we will announce the theme of the first edition. Sign up for our email below so you don’t miss the date.

Thanks for embarking on this poetic journey with us. We look forward to reading your submissions.


Colleen M. Chesebro & JulesPaige

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