Wednesday, May 1, 2019

17th Dogfish Head Poetry Prize, weekend at Inn, free beer, cash, publication. Free to enter. Mid-Atlantic poets. Bring the heat!

Submission Guidelines

The seventeenth annual Dogfish Head Poetry Prize for the winning book-length manuscript by a poet residing in the Mid-Atlantic states (DE, MD, VA, PA, NJ, NY, WVA, NC and District of Columbia) will consist of $500, two cases of Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Beer*, manuscript publication by Broadkill River Press, and 10 copies of the book (in lieu of royalties).

The rules are: Manuscripts must be received by midnight, August 15, 2019.  Manuscripts received after the closing date will not be considered. Eligible poets must reside in the above listed states and be twenty-one years of age by the date of the award. *  The manuscript is to be submitted electronically in one MS Word document attachment.  Send to Prize coordinator Linda Blaskey at  Snail mail submissions will not be accepted.

Two title pages are to be included with each submission: the first with the title of the manuscript, author’s name, address, phone numbers and e-mail address; the second with just the manuscript title.   No manuscript is to have any author-identifying information other than the one title page and will be rejected if it does. Judging is blind and double-tiered. The manuscript must be book-length (between 48 and 78 pages of original work – no translations) and no more than roughly thirty lines to a page, including the poem’s title and two line-spaces between the title and the body of the poem.  A poem may be more than one page. One submission per entrant. There is no entry fee.

This year’s final judge will be Joseph Millar.

The award will be presented to the winner on Saturday evening, December 14, 2019 at the Dogfish Inn in Lewes, Delaware.  The winner must agree to attend this event and to read from their winning book at a reception honoring the winner. The prize will be officially awarded by Sam Calagione, Founder and CEO of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Distillery, or by another company official.

The author of the winning manuscript also agrees to provide, within ten days of notification, a color head-shot photograph, with photographer’s credit, for the back cover and a dedication page for the interior of the book. Also, an acknowledgment page of poems previously published, and in which publications and/or websites they appeared will need to be provided. The winner agrees to travel to Delaware at the winner’s expense for awarding of the prize.   Dogfish Head will provide the winner two nights lodging at the Dogfish Inn in the beach resort town of Lewes, Delaware.

Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales retains the right to use any of the winning work in promotional materials.
Co-workers of Dogfish Head and their families are ineligible to enter.  Previous winners of the prize are ineligible to enter.

For questions and more information contact Linda Blaskey, Prize coordinator, at

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Robert Verdun's "Windfall", from the archive, National Poetry Month

Robert Verdon has been writing for over forty years. He belonged to Aberrant Genotype Press in Canberra from  1998-2002. He was highly commended in the 2012 erbacce Prize, UK. His books include The Well-Scrubbed Desert (1994), Her Brilliant Career (1998), & Before we Knew this Century (2010).



glow through
a matchstick blind,

spangled with winter sun,

the ripe decades fall like cherries
the black beaks bayonet them,

thorns skewer berries not thrones,
the stone in the shoe of the new century,

shudders will spring to the scalp
as the child starves on charity crumbs

and the rill grounds down the alp.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Shannon Connor Winward's "Sunny-Side", from the archives, National Poetry Month

Shannon Connor Winward’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Pseudopod, Gargoyle, Pedestal Magazine, Star*Line, Strange Horizons, Literary Mama, and Flash Fiction Online, among others.  Her fiction placed in the semi-finals of the Writers of the Future Contest, and as runner-up for an Emerging Artist Fellowship in Literature by the Delaware Division of the Arts in 2014 and 2015.  Her poetry chapbook, Undoing Winter (Finishing Line Press, 2014) was nominated for an Elgin Award.


I want to tell you that home fries and scrapple
are not love

that even this division of eggs
with a single fork

bursting the sun to sop up in turns
in the midst of dissertation

is just approximation,
but my mouth is full.

You top off my thoughts with a splash of cream
and anticipate my need for toast

but do not presume you know my heart.
These tears drying on my cheeks are just a function

of the warm November morning
this smile a natural progression

of Friday
inking through the windows.

And though I smear the ketchup with abandon
obscuring the line between your half of the plate

and mine
it is not a symptom of attraction, it is merely

I will have to remind you

that the brush of my knees under the table
is accidental. As you pause for breath I am only

reaching for a napkin,
losing my balance

in the blue of your eyes. And yes, I notice
how much darker they are when you are happy

but it is only because
my mind is clearer in the morning

over breakfast.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Lyn Lifshin's "The Mad Girl Dreams of Those Dawns in Morocco", from the archives, National Poetry Month

Lyn Lifshin is an internationally known poet and author, published in hundreds of journals. Visit


birds and roosters
days after the storm
of rice and flowers.
Roosters and dogs,
a bracelet of amber
thighs. Hers circled
your body like an
anklet of silver as
the light held them
like a cobweb and
the air doesn’t move

Saturday, April 27, 2019

David Kozinski's "Bringhurst Woods " from the archives, National Poetry Month

David P. Kozinski received Honorable Mention in Philadelphia Poets’  7th Annual John & Rose Petracca & Family Award. He won the seventh annual Dogfish Head Poetry Prize, which included publication of his chapbook, Loopholes. He conducted a workshop on poetry presentation at the Manayunk-Roxborough Art Center. More than 100 of Kozinski’s poems have appeared in print and online in publications such as Apiary, The Fox Chase Review,, Mad Poets Review, Margie and Schuylkill Valley Journal.

Bringhurst Woods

In another life when wolf packs
haunted the news and beat up kids
for gym shoes I concealed a hunting knife
in my bomber jacket’s deep pocket   
and was casually informed over a bottle
of Scotch it was illegal. Staying sheathed, it worked.
I don’t even carry a phone when I walk over here.
The lamp at the end of the bridge is out.
Stringed instruments in refugees’ scarred hands
might scrape oaths like these screeching, yipping sounds
of struggle between wild things. My hearing
measures them not large enough to cross me
but something in the troubled brambles and bleak trees
relights neglected coils of instinct.

A few nights ago, two pairs of eyes burned ice blue
in mostly moonlight, staggered my steps on the curved
trail – bodies big enough to wreck a car haloed
in shadow. There may have been antlers on the tall one
and it wasn’t giving ground, 25 yards
across the coarse, yellowed grass.
I went slowly, sideways.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Larry Kelts' "Water Willow", from the archives, National Poetry Month

Larry Kelts grew up on a dairy farm in north-central Pennsylvania.  After a career as a research scientist working in magnetic resonance in Rochester, N.Y. he left the lab for literature and art, his lifelong passions.  He took an MFA at Bennington College and now lives in Newark, Delaware where he writes poetry and follows the art scene in Delaware and Philadelphia.

Water Willow
                     after Rossetti

Her husband slips off into the icy realms
of reason while she searches the wash
that sucks and sinks into muddy shores of willow
root and sway.  Wind stalks the bending reeds.

What illicit pleasures might we dare to stake
claim to from that summer painting en plein
air?  Sunning and sounding the currents willows
snap, break, and re-root in the flooded shallows.

So when the stirrings of Spring rouse them and they
can no longer stop the buds breaking
will you lift the curtains of yourself
and expose my soul wound in willow.

What they might recover here on their own—
once forbidden—we now forbear keeping
the silence that washes between art and life,
and when madness stirs him she bends to root again.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Gary Hanna's "Escape On a Hot Afternoon", from the archives, National Poetry Month

Gary Hanna lives with his wife, the painter Anne Hanna, on an estuary off the ocean in southern Delaware. He has received two Fellowships and five Individual Artist Awards from the Delaware Division of the Arts and a Residency Fellowship to the Virginia Center For the Creative Arts from the
Mid-Atlantic Art Foundation. In 2013 he published two chapbooks: "The Homestead Poems" and "Sediment and Other Poems." both from the Broadkill Press. He is the manager of the Writer's Library in Delaware.

Escape On A Hot Afternoon

(After "The Pines" by Ethel P.B. Leach)

Who is not drawn
to the pinewood,
the sheltered seclusion
of a million sharp points
filtering the light,
stabbing the sun
into softness.
There, any two trees,
maybe four, make
a path to mystery,
to the loneliness of self
unbounded by form,
where pliant sands
give way like footprints
of time, broken
into a thousand tiny
crystals, each gem
a remembrance, a life,
imprisoned in glass.
There, dry bones
rust comfortably
at the base of each
tree, each vertical,
each tower, holds up
the sky, holds up
the clouds, keeps you
from rain. There,
the path sings, low,
in silence and shade,
an invitation to walk,
to walk as far as your
eye will see, to walk
into the past, into
the future of yourself,
alone, and at peace,
with the sun....before
the dinner bell rings.