Ross White’s “American Supernatural”

wins 2014 Pocataligo Poetry Contest

Judge Tyehimba Jess called Ross White’s poem “haunting.” He said the poem was “well executed and imaginative in tone and execution.” The two runner-ups were: “The Art of Being Saved by a Hair” by Lois Harrod & “This Attic” by Catherine Bresner.

These three poems will appear in an upcoming edition of Yemassee and will include Jess’s full comments on the poem. The finalists for the contest were: J. Camp Brown, Gary L. McDowell, Patricia Colleen Murphy, Chelsea Dingman, Erin Mullikin, Lavonne Adams, and Sarah Huener. The Yemassee staff is grateful to all who submitted to the contest and encourages everyone to submit again next spring.

A Look Inside “Apparitions”

Poetry judge Sam Amadon discusses why he selected “Apparitions” by Conor O’Connor for the 2013 Pocataligo Poetry Contest:

“One doesn’t expect a series of “Apparitions” to be as full-bodied (and full-throated) as the ones sung here. In lines such as “Dead ghost, live ghost, ghost of violet bloom,” this poem risks giving a pulse to the ethereal. Ultimately I see this poem as a meditation on viewing, explored section to section like panels in a gallery. Take a look.”

To take a further look, order a copy of Yemassee 20.2 by clicking here


2013 Pocataligo Poetry Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 Pocataligo poetry contest, judged by Samuel Amadon.  The first place winner will receive a $500 prize, and the top three poems will be published in Yemassee 20.2, forthcoming summer 2013.

1st place: Conor O’Connor | “Apparitions”

2nd place: M.K. Sukach | “Unintended Metaphors”

3rd place: Elizabeth Drewry | “Choking”



“A Dancer Considers Her Brief Life” | Anika Eide

“We’ve got electric cars and i-pads, but post-post-industrialized love is still rocket ships and four-stroke internal combustion engines” | Jason Hess

“the truth is I stutter the truth” | Kari Hawkey

“[Railroads]” | Gregg Murray

“My Father’s Last Night” | Cathy Kodra

“The Sect which Pulls the Sinews: I’ve Seen You Handle Cocoons” | Annie Christian

“Fable. Antirrhinum” | Nikki Zielinski

“a pathologist’s prayer” | Gail Waldstein

“Why the Sea Does Not Sleep” | Holly Roland

“Lou Gehrig’s: Caesura” | Annie Charlton


2012 Contest Results

Judge: Kate Daniels

Winner: “A Sudden Blow” by Karrie Waarala, Ypsilanti, MI

Karrie Waarala holds an MFA from the Stonecoast Program at University of Southern Maine and is a teaching artist at The Rooster Moans Poetry Cooperative. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Iron Horse Literary ReviewPANKThe CollagistVinyl, and Arsenic Lobster. Karrie has received critical acclaim for her one-woman show, LONG GONE: A Poetry Sideshow, which is based on her collection of circus poems. She really wishes she could tame tigers and swallow swords.

 Karrie Waarala


“Hazards of Perpetual Moon” by Ben McClendon, Flagstaff, AZ.

 Ben McClendon is a recent graduate of the creative writing program at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, where he teaches composition to students willing and unwilling alike.  His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Indiana ReviewChautauqua Literary JournalThe Minutiae, and Redivider.

“Jellyfish” by Anna Scotti, Santa Monica, CA.

 Anna Scotti’s work appears frequently in Chautauqua, and her poem “National Geographic Society, 1968,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize this year. Scotti’s work was also recently honored by The Comstock Review and will appear in the next issues of that journal, and in Ontologica and Scotti earned an MFA at Antioch University Los Angeles in 2007. She recently finished writing her first YA novel, Big and Bad and How I Got My Life! Back, and seeks a publisher. 


“Tradition” by Emily Benton

“Litany” by Emma Bolden

“Inside Me” by Abigail Browning

“Whore Psalm” by Matt Dennison

“Two Exchanges” by Brett Foster

“Nerves” by Emily Grise

“A Love Poem” by Therin Johns

“Charon Scattering Ashes” by Henry W. Leung

“Brotherring” by Shae Savoy

“Attempts at Flight” by Staci R. Schoenfeld


2011 Contest Results

Judge: Ray McManus

Winner: “City Planning” by Anna Sutton, Wilmington, NC

Anna Sutton is a Nashville girl pursuing an MFA in Poetry at UNC Wilmington. Her poems have most recently appeared in Diagram and the Documents folder for her Gmail account.



“Supporting the War Effort” by Rachel Andoga, Tempe, AZ.

Rachel Andoga is a poetry candidate in the Masters of Fine Arts program at Arizona State University. A graduate of Davidson College, she has been the recipient of regional and university-level honors for her work, most recently including a first place award in the Academy of American Poets’ Katharine C. Turner Prize and a nomination for inclusion in Best New Poets 2011.

“Reconnaissance” by Marc Johnson, Rockville, MD.

Marc Johnston received his BA in English from the University of Georgia in 1999 and his MFA in creative writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2003. He is currently mired in corporate America as a senior project manager in the books division at Cenveo Publisher Services. He lives with his 7-year-old daughter Isabelle (aka Iz) and his longtime companion Jake (aka Snakediggety Dogg) in Rockville, MD, where he continues to chip away at his ongoing, never-ending manuscript The Way Out whenever the wondrous spirit of the Great Weirdness moves him and calls him into action.


 Alexa Doran | Clarksville, TN

“Love don’t spring from a Citadel”

Alexa Doran | Clarksville, TN
“(while they whisper precious)”

CJ Farnsworth | Wheeling, WV
“Advice for the Bride-to-Be”

Michele Nisha Harmeling | Port Townsend, WA

Amy Miller | Ashland, OR
“A Table in Space”

Curtis Rutherford | Tuscaloosa, AL

Jared White | Tampa, FL
“Children in the Garden”


2010 Contest Results

Winner: “Clarity” by Patrick Bryant, Rock Hill, SC

Patrick Bryant is currently a student in Rock Hill, SC where he is earning a B.A. in English with a concentration in creative writing at Winthrop University. His poetry has been featured by the South Carolina Poetry Initiative. 


Jim Barton | Huttig, AR


Aran Donovan | Fayetteville, AR
“Other Lives”

Larry Jordan | Lexington, SC

Nan Lundeen | Greer, SC
“The Stoics”

Kristine Nowak | Lexington, KY
“Gulf of Alaska, 1995”

Kristine Nowak | Lexington, KY
“Driving Towards Montana”


2009 Contest Results

 Judge: Mark Doty

 Winner: “A Case for Narrative” by Mamie Morgan, Greenville, SC

 “A Case for Narrative” by Mamie Morgan, Greenville, SC.

Mamie Morgan completed her MFA from UNC Wilmington in 2006 and moved to Greenville, South Carolina. She has taught poetry and creative nonfiction at The Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities since then. She spends the rest of her time trail running, waitressing at The Lazy Goat, eating cheese, writing about birds, crafting, and making fun of people who craft. Her work has most recently appeared in The Oxford AmericanInkwell, and The Greensboro Review.



 “Dodging: Las Vegas, 1965″ by Mamie Morgan, Greenville, SC.


 2008 Contest Results

 Judge: Terrance Hayes

 Winner: “Nighttime in America” by Patrick Carrington, NJ

Patrick Carrington is the author of Hard Blessings (MSR Publishing, 2008), Thirst (Codhill, 2007), and Rise, Fall and Acceptance (MSR Publishing, 2006).  He is also the recipient of the 2008 Matt Clark Prize in poetry.  Recent poems appear in The Bellingham Review, Tar River Poetry, Sycamore Review, The Connecticut Review, Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere.  he teaches creative writing in New Jersey and serves as the poetry editor of Mannequin Envy (


 “When I Have Crossed” by Michelle Y. Burke, NYC, NY.

Michelle Y. Burke completed her MFA at Ohio State University in 2007 and currently lives in New York City.  Her poems have appeared in the New Orleans Review, Hotel Amerika, and elsewhere.  Her chapbook, Horse Loquela, is available from the Alabama School of Fine Arts.