Events • Awards • Publications • Contests
If there’s something you’d like announced on this page, email us at

Don’t want to miss an issue of Light or a funny Poem of the Week? Interested in occasional light-verse-related news?
Follow us on Twitter (@LightPoetryMag) and Facebook (Light Poetry Magazine), and message Light‘s editors at, and ask to be added to our e-mail list.

featuring Light poets and editors

Feb. 11, 2023 at 3pm: Leslie Monsour reads online with Toni Treadway as part of the Powow River Poets reading series. Email for the Zoom link. Readings later in ’23 (some of whom will be live in Newburyport, MA as well as on Zoom) include Midge Goldberg, Kyle Potvin, Catherine Chandler, A.M. Juster, Joyce Wilson, Michael Cantor, Meredith Bergmann, and Barbara Lydecker Crane. You’ll find the full schedule here. (The Powows’ 2024 reading lineup will be posted in March ’23.)

May 23-26, 2023: the Poetry by the Sea Conference in Madison, CT. Melissa Balmain and Kevin Durkin (aka Light‘s editor-in-chief and managing editor) will co-lead a 3-day workshop, “Spinning the News into Comic Gold.” Light Contributing Editor Allison Joseph will also lead a workshop, “Staying Poetically Productive.” And the conference’s many other offerings include a keynote address by Marilyn Chin; workshops with Light contributors Anna M. Evans, Austin Allen, and other poets; evening readings; daytime panels; 24-hour views of the Long Island Sound; and frighteningly addictive scones. Details and registration here. (Space is limited.)

Many Light poets have read and discussed their work in the following online series. Click blue names for videos: Able Muse Press (recent readers: Michael Cantor, William Conelly, Anna M. Evans, Alfred Nicol, and Jennifer Reeser; Poems On (recent readers: Rhina P. Espaillat, Claudia Gary, Timothy Steele, and Marilyn L. Taylor); and Rattle (including Anna M. Evans (#152), Melissa Balmain (#96), and Wendy Videlock (#84)). 

Enjoy all nine of our Light Verse in Dark Times readings, free on YouTube! Each 60-90 minute recording from 2020 includes at least a half dozen of your favorite Light poets, Zooming in from the US and beyond.

Hear Julie Kane weigh in as part of an NPR feature on the infamous “Poet Voice”!

Julie Kane and Jenna Le join Annie Finch in an online “salon” on the villanelle, recorded here.

written, edited, translated, or contributed to by Light poets

Brian Allgar: An Answer from the Past: being the story of Rasselas and Figaro (Kelsay Books, 2020). (Reviewed here.)
Bill Ayres:
What Passes for Wisdom (Finishing Line Press, 2020).
Damian Balassone: Chime (2022).
Ned Balbo: Ultraviolet Chimera, a collection of original tunes and lyrics (including some comic ones), available to stream and download at
Melissa Balmain: The Witch Demands a Retraction: Fairy Tale Reboots for Adults (Humorist Books, 2021).
Jane Blanchard: Sooner or Later (Kelsay Books, 2022). (Reviewed here.)
Dan Campion: A Playbill for Sunset (Ice Cube Press, 2022); The Mirror Test (forthcoming from MadHat Press, 2022).
Catherine Chandler: Annals of the Dear Unknown (Kelsay Books, 2022).
Brooke Clark: Urbanities (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2020).
Edmund Conti: That Shakespeherian Rag (Kelsay Books, 2021). (Reviewed here.)
Maryann Corbett: In Code (Able Muse Press, 2020).
Boris Dralyuk: My Hollywood (Paul Dry Books, 2022).
K.E. Flann: How to Survive a Human Attack: A Guide for Werewolves, Mummies, Cyborgs, Ghosts, Nuclear Mutants, and Other Movie Monsters (Running Press/Hachette, 2021).
Daniel Galef: Imaginary Sonnets (Word Galaxy/Able Muse Press, summer 2023—but available directly from the publisher now).
Nicole Caruso Garcia: OXBLOOD (Able Muse Press, 2022).
Claudia Gary: Genetic Revisionism (a companion to her course “The Poetry of Science, the Science of Poetry”).
Midge Goldberg: To Be Opened After My Death (Kelsay Books, 2021). (Reviewed here.)
David Hedges: Trump Über Alles: Rhymes for Trying Times (Road’s End Press, 2022).
Phil Huffy
: Rhymal Therapy (2020).
Allison Joseph: Lexicon (Red Hen Press, 2021); In Every Seam (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020).
A.M. Juster: Wonder and Wrath (Paul Dry Books, 2020). (Reviewed here.)
Julie KaneMothers of Ireland (LSU Press, 2020).
Daniel Klawitter: The Misuse of Scripture (2020). (Reviwed here.)
Jenna Le: Manatee Lagoon (Acre Books, 2022).
Barbara Loots: The Beekeeper and Other Love Poems (Kelsay Books, 2020). (Reviewed here.)
Amit Majmudar: What He Did in Solitary: Poems (Knopf, 2020).
Leslie Monsour: The Colosseum Critical Introduction to Rhina P. Espaillat (Franciscan University Press, 2021). (Reviewed here.)
Alfred Nicol (translator): One Hundred Visions of War, by Julien Vocance (Wiseblood Books, 2022).
James B. Nicola: Fires of Heaven: Poems of Faith and Sense (Shanti Arts, 2021).
Chris O’Carroll: Abracadabratude (White Violet Press, 2021). (Reviewed here.)
Kyle Potvin: Loosen (Hobblebush Books, 2021).
D.A. Prince: The Bigger Picture (HappenStance Press, forthcoming in Nov., 2022)
Orel Protopopescu: Dancing Past the Light: The Life of Tanaquil Le Clercq (University Press of Florida, 2021).
Robert Schechter: The Red Ear Blows Its Nose: Poems for Children and Others (forthcoming from Word Galaxy Press, 2023)
Leslie Schultz: Larks at Sunrise: Light-hearted Poems for Dark Times (2021). (Reviewed here.)
J.D. Smith: Catalogs for Food Lovers (Kelsay Books, 2021). (Reviewed here); Glenn Danzig Carries Cat Litter (2021); Transit (Unsolicited Press, 2022).
David Southward: Bachelor’s Buttons (Kelsay Books, 2020). (Reviewed here.)
Katherine Barrett Swett: The Basket Cat: Quatrains from Quarantine (2022).
A.E. Stallings: This Afterlife: Selected Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022).
Marilyn L. Taylor: Outside the Frame: New and Selected Poems (Kelsay Books, 2021). (Reviewed here.)
Wendy Videlock: Wise to the West (forthcoming from Able Muse Press, 2022); The Poetic Imaginarium: A Worthy Difficulty (essays; forthcoming from Lithic Books, 2022).
Richard Wakefield: Terminal Park: Poems (Able Muse Press, 2022).
Marly Youmans: Charis in the World of Wonders (Ignatius Press, 2020); Seren of the Wildwood (Wiseblood Books, 2023).

Outer Space: 100 Poems (Cambridge University Press, 2022), edited by Midge Goldberg, includes poems by Catherine Chandler, Rhina Espaillat, Martin Elster, Ned Balbo, Allison Joseph, A.M. Juster, Leslie Monsour, A.E. Stallings, X.J. Kennedy, and Robert Crawford.

Lost Love and City! Oh City are the latest Potcake Chapbooks (Sampson Low Ltd., 2022), edited by Robin Helweg-Larsen and illustrated by Alban Low. They include poems by Wendy Cope, Amit Majmudar, Gail White, Maryann Corbett, Jerome BettsJ.D. Smith, Michael R. Burch, Brooke Clark, Martin Elster, Robin Helweg-LarsenJames B. Nicola, Martin Parker, Cody Walker, Melissa Balmain, and others.

The haiku anthology Eating Salad Drunk (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2022) includes work by Paul Lander and dozens of other professionally funny people, such as Maria Bamford, Mike Birbiglia, Margaret Cho, Jerry Seinfeld, and Sasheer Zamata. (Reviewed here.)

Extreme Formal and Extreme Sonnets II (Rhizome Press, 2021 and 2022), anthologies edited by Beth Houston, include poems by C.B. Anderson, Melissa Balmain, Bruce Bennett, Jerome Betts, Jane Blanchard, Susan Jarvis Bryant, Catherine Chandler, Maryann Corbett, Susan de Sola, Kevin Durkin, Daniel Galef, Nicole Caruso Garcia, Claudia Gary, Max Gutmann, Robin Helweg-Larsen, Jean L. Kreiling, Barbara Loots, Susan McLean, Leslie Monsour, Chris O’Carroll, Alexander Pepple, Kyle Potvin, Wendy Sloan, Rob Stuart, Gail White, and others.

From the Finger Lakes: A Memoir Anthology (Cayuga Lake Books, 2021) includes poems by Melissa Balmain and Bruce Bennett, alongside poetry and prose by dozens of others, including Joyce Carol Oates.

The anthology Moving Images: Poems Inspired by Film (Before Your Quiet Eyes Publishing, 2021) includes poems by Bruce Bennett and Bob McKenty.

The Powow River Poets Anthology II (Able Muse Press, 2021), edited by Paulette Demers Turco, with a foreword by Leslie Monsour, includes work by many Light contributors. (Reviewed here.)

recently received by 
Light editors and contributors

Please join us in cheering Light‘s Pushcart Prize nominees and runners-up. The nominees (chosen by Editor-in-Chief Melissa Balmain and Managing Editor Kevin Durkin) have been sent to Pushcart Press for possible inclusion in its annual anthology. After rereading and re-laughing at the 600-plus poems Light has published in ’22, we wish Pushcart would let us nominate way more than six of them!

The nominees:
Nicole Caruso Garcia, “My Dirty Bedroom Secret” 
Julia Griffin: “Some Like Keeping Up: A Transformation” 
Lily Jarman-Reisch: “Chemo Becomes Me” 
Derek Kannemeyer: “Corgis and Bess” 
Susan McLean: “God or Mammon” 
Gail White: “Ballade of an Elderly Fogey” 

The runners-up (aka near-nominees):
Brian Allgar: “My vegetable love…” 
K.E. Flann:
“The Unexpected Poetry of NextDoor Digest” 
Daniel Galef:
“Burlington Bernie” 
Stephen Gold:
Alex Steelsmith:
“Scoop to the Loo”
Michael Swan: “Opera”  

Other recent honors:

Bruce Bennett won Plough’s 2022 Rhina Espaillat Poetry Award. His winning poem appears here.

The Susan de Sola Rodstein Derks Prize in Poetry has been established at Bryn Mawr College. The prize will honor Susan, who died last year, by recognizing undergraduate poetry that gracefully uses poetic form, whether traditional or new. If you would like to make a donation in support of the prize, click here, then click on “Other Designations” and specify “The Susan de Sola Rodstein Derks Prize in Poetry.” The family will be kept apprised of donations on a regular basis; if you wish to remain anonymous, specify that in the Comments block.

Martin J. Elster won first place in the 2022 Chicagoland Poets & Patrons sonnet contest. Gail White, Jean L. Kreiling, and Julia Griffin received, respectively, third place, an honorable mention, and a special merit award.

David Galef is the new editor in chief of Vestal Review, the world’s oldest flash fiction magazine.

Nicole Caruso Garcia‘s poem “Is This Your Cow?” was selected by Kaveh Akbar for Best New Poets 2021. Her first poetry collection, OXBLOOD, was a finalist for the Able Muse Book Award. Robert W. Crawford and Claudia Gary received honorable mentions in the same contest.

Julia Griffin won both the individual sonnet and sonnet crown prizes in the 2022 Kim Bridgford Memorial Sonnet Contest. (Judge: A.E. Stallings.) Bethany Mootsey received an honorable mention for an individual sonnet, and Catherine Chandler was among the runners-up in the crown category.

Julia Griffin and Richard Wakefield each received a Best of the Net nomination for work that appeared in Better Than Starbucks in 2021.

Jean L. Kreiling won the 2022 Frost Farm Prize for Metrical Poetry. Read her winning poem here.

Barbara Loots‘s The Beekeeper and other love poems was one of three finalists for the 2021 Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award.

Amit Majmudar’s novel The Map and the Scissors (HarperCollins, 2022) won Tata Literature Live’s Book of the Year award.

Marilyn L. Taylor won second place in the 2021 Better Than Starbucks Sonnet Contest, Catherine Chandler won third place, and Rhina P. Espaillat and Michael Cantor received honorable mentions. 


The staff of Light is unable to vet every contest or call…
but we’re happy to pass the info along.

Submissions to the Kim Bridgford Memorial Sonnet Contest are open through January 15, 2023. Julia Griffin, who won both the individual sonnet and sonnet crown categories last year, is the judge.

Plough‘s Rhina Espaillat Poetry Award is open for submissions through March 30, 2023.

Potcake Chapbooks Editor Robin Helweg-Larsen is “keen to read and consider rhymed and metered verse that has already been published” for new chapbooks in the series. Poems may be on any topic and run up to 40 lines (though ones under 20 lines are likelier to be chosen). Other things Robin is looking for: wit, elegance, a variety of traditional and nonce forms, and a variety of voices and moods. Submit 3-10 poems (your own work only, and you must have the rights to it) to—either in the body of your email or as a single attachment. Include a cover letter with a link to more of your work. Robin is especially seeking poems on fall and winter holidays (Christmas, Diwali, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc.), but again, any topic is welcome. 

Submissions to Rhizome Press‘s Extreme Love Sonnets anthology open Oct. 1, 2022 (end date TBA). Guidelines for this anthology and/or subsequent anthlogies are here.

The annual Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest will be open for submissions August 15, 2022-April 1, 2023.