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Read the winning poem from our 2024 poetry contest

See which reader creation you voted for.

A top-down view of a laptop sitting on a table with an open notebook and pen sitting on top of it. Next to the laptop is a latte in a mug atop a white saucer. The latte has a foam heart on top.

Drumroll, please.

Photo by Pixabay via Pexels

This month, we ran a poetry contest to celebrate National Poetry Month. We challenged 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).

While prose is our newsletter’s bread and butter, it turns out that you all certainly aren’t op-prose-d to verse; we received several creative, intriguing, and beautiful poems that we narrowed down to our top four finalists.

Nearly 300 people voted in our contest. Check out the poems below, including the contest winner our readers voted for.


We can’t deny that it’s poetic to watch the astrological phenomenon in one of the city’s most serene places.

Photo provided by the Fort Worth Botanic Garden

Winner: “Fort Worth Solar Eclipse at the Botanic Gardens” by Shanna C.

Looking for direction?
Forest, nature, succulent, green plant.
Wardrobe? Denim jackets, style,
Western boots or red dancing shoes, mix and match.
Forthwith Monday, April 8? Two minutes 24 seconds.
School? Learn.
Weather? Precipitation, fair.
Traffic? Growth and development.
Team? Friends invited appear.
Menu? Plant-based, salads.
Beverages? Local bourbon.
Darkness? Can’t wait to see, settle in.
Songs? Music.
Clarify? Sun, track, block, fire.
Blackland! Night experience, senses, opening.
Happy? Dream, magic, preserve, delights, relax, expert.
History? Years. Unforgettable.

Finalist: “making the best of it” by Tara C.

To craft originality while in a narrow limitation
is a game, a calling, to and in yourself.
Forget today’s issue and throw out the rules:
Fun must be a feature, not an exception.
Do not submit to titles;
behind them is only erasure — using and excluding.
Keep creativity your most interesting quality.
Happy is simple and up to you:
Include. Include.

Finalist: “Gateway to the Best” by Crystal VM

Fort Worth celebrates the bourbon sun,
The distiller unforgettable.
Brice Tecovas the wrist of Rangers’ Jung,
And delights in the compatible.
Tannahill’s, Stockyards, and Grapevine Grille,
Explore a signature venue.
Nachos, wine, and barbecue will,
Feature a magic menu.
The global growth a Boron pull,
Neodymium is the prize.
The energy red fire powerful,
The forecast a dream sunrise.

Finalist: “The Power of Words” by Birgitta B.

Words form the title you feature
Words are your fungi
Words can be your creativity
In a wait for honor
Once a word
Once a rule
Only a craft
In the direction
Of up or down
The author of the word
Is writing in highlighting
Excluding to include
To announce
In originality
A track open to you
Words are calling
Out to you
You found the words
Now the words find you

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