Read the winning poem from our 2023 poetry contest

We challenged our readers to turn one of our newsletters into a poem — here’s what you came up with.

A graphic with the words "2023 poetry contest finalists"

Drumroll, please.

Graphic by 6AM City

This April, we ran a poetry contest to celebrate National Poetry Month. We challenged you, our readers, to craft a poem using only the words that appeared in one of our newsletters (here are the original contest guidelines if you want to give it a try).

Turns out, you’re all poets and we didn’t even know it. We were beyond thrilled to read the original, creative, and awe-inspiring poems Portlanders created from our newsletter copy. Check out the poems below, including the contest winner our readers voted for.

Winner: “Kubla Khan Again” by Kerstin S.
Forget your misfit poetry,
cast out the traffic and machine.
Have bitter rose magnolia
rain sugar on the lawn.
Remember that queer
swanky condor prince,
the changing river magic
in this ancient pleasure dome.
Dream of drag and smoke
in Portland as it was.

Finalist: “Street Folklore: Sugar + Sidewalk” by Lacy
A prince.
The spellbinding, laid-back, Master himself,
Appears before a pretty,
sugar magnolia.
Like smoke from sorcerer’s magic, the first tremor to smash a curse to memory.
The cycles of spring,
The first sunrise,
Revealed the oldest honor:
That ancient,
Launching the firebird,
a queen,
Blooming into a dream.
A shared masterpiece:
From vacation,
crossing the spectrum,
to pleasure.

Finalist: “I know my ABCs” by Jamie S.
A big burger begins cheesy.
Don’t day dream: enjoy fluffy fries, get hot, handmade.
I just know lively, magic meals make national news.
Okay, Oregon, opening outdoors: Portland parks!
Queen, question: restaurant, resort?
Sugar, several special spots smash.
Travel this upcoming vacation, where?
eXplore PDX, yourself (& your Zoo).

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