Thank you to everyone that submitted to Brightly Press's Facebook Poetry Contest!

Out of 404 submissions and 1,212 poems, the following poets and poems have won our Fall Facebook Poetry Contest. There were so many wonderful contributions that we decided to add ten honorable mentions, thank you for your work and participation!

Note: The poems are at the bottom of the winners annoucement.


1ST PLACE - Goes to Diana Khong for her poems “i was never ophelia,” “womaning,” and “mango face." Prize awarded $100 and a copy of Shake The Tree. 


2ND PLACE - Goes to Evan Guilford-Blake for his poems “...from acorns grow  —For Raymond Carver" and "In Reply to a Message from Barbara." Prize awarded $50 and a copy of Shake The Tree. 


3RD PLACE - Goes to Pd lyons for the poem “Morgan Knows." Prize awarded $50 and a copy of Shake The Tree.  

Honorable Mentions (Listed in no particular order)

Austin Anderson for his poem “To know something: heft it—“ 

Bernadette Geyer for her poem “Cucumber”

Jim Landwehr for his poem “Son”

Madhu Kailas for her poem “Blue”

Laura Grace Weldon for her poem “Driving Through Fog”


Carey Ford Compton for her poems “Submechanophobia” and “Portrait With Smoke”

Juliet Cook for her poems “Cicadas often trample each other” 

David Lynch for his poem “Wicked Purification”

Robert Walicki for his poem “I Want To Write A Poem”


If you did not receive recognition in our contest please keep submitting to poetry contests. You’re all fabulous! What constitutes as “good poetry” is subjective. Thank you for your submissions!


i was never ophelia

when he smokes all i can smell are

third degree burns. i swirl / arms / legs /

cylinders. red and blue — how the night

flashes in vertigo as the floorboards dip

beneath me.

imagine longing. the taste is something

wrong. a cicada hum in a briar, rawed,

to splint you open. his bed is a mortuary.

my hands are artificial. skin is hollow /

hollow / hollow against that grain, still,

i walk backwards into the night — us

girls strung together like garden lights.

when it rains fists splatter on concrete,

and i pretend it means something. it

never does. sometimes i connect the

ingrowns on the base of my neck like

braille, try to understand the shitshow

of my body, verbatim, how it speaks

in crop circles. sometimes, i imagine

him reading her sexts in my voice,

and a tide closes up my throat.

but it is okay. there are worse

ways to drown.


i was born between two halves of bread, butter-sugar coated. / hereditary. / golden legs / arms / face. / at midnight / the moon is always spilled coconut milk. / my mom dips her spoon in & we gorge by night. / our teeth rot. / this is also hereditary. / i have not talked to my grandma in ten years. / she hand-stitched the seams of my faces / in red / yellow yarn / leaving tears for me to breathe. / now she lines a casket / marbled. / i think her hands are cold. / toothless, / we identified her by the crosshatch of her veins / & mom cried so hard her face ran dry. / we stopped outside of a shell station on i-95 / stuck a gas pump down her throat. / she says she can feel again, / but her irises are like runny yolks / drawing small pools in her face. / next week our neighbors come / bearing lasagna / j daniels / & men in silver swim trunks / treading against the moon. / this is grieving; yes / it is.

mango face

a week ago jin shot herself

in the head so i made a

bedroom altar stacked to the

ceiling stains with 99 cent fruits.

today, my room smells like rotten

mango & i wear it on my clothes

as funeral rite. my hands like

little rinds, tissue flecking

off around the calluses. i light

incense, tea lights, now

birthday candles — dotting

my bedside table. wax melts

down the wood. smile. blow.

today is 17-shaped, like a

bayonet. i think

we were golden or something;

maybe we were, whatever

fucking infinity it was.

but brevity — our time,

our obituaries. my skin

tastes like sun beams. that’s

how they’ll find me:

my mom’s cherry-smeared

cheeks, dad’s droopy eyes

thumbtacked onto my peel

at the morgue. everyone

is telling me i’m not getting

enough sleep, but i'm pissing out

vitamin c & that’s all that matters.

nothing else.

2ND PLACE - $50 PRIZE & A COPY OF SHAKE THE TREE – Evan Guilford-Blake

 ... from acorns grow

—For Raymond Carver

Eighty-four years old and bundled against the first day of spring
           Whose fluttery breezes
           Skip through your silver hair
                 Behind your slow steps
           As you plod the pavement arm-in-arm
                 with another woman, half your age
           Beside a girl whose acorn face gapes and gawks at all the motion,
           Whose step is the spring itself
           You left so long ago.
           Still, it is spring;
           And you, old oak,
           Are smiling.

In Reply to a Message from Barbara

Nor have I yet forgotten you;
            Nor, love, shall I ever:
            Even autumn's dying leaves
            Hear echoes of September.
            Nor have I yet forsaken you;
            Nor spurned my desire:
            Even ashes left to chill
            Feel shadows of the fire.
            Nor have I yet forgiven you;
            Nor yet reread your letters:
            The first sweet tastes of fine liqueur
            Cloud after-tastes of bitters...



Morgan Knows

The night has its own creatures
Familiars like foxes, bats,
Owls, green eye cats
And others more unique,
Those without a day time shape
Shifting shadow colour forms
Billow through dissolving walls
Entwine upon her outstretched arms
Feed on darkness through the night
Until there’s nothing left but light

Contest Rules (The Brightly Press Facebook Contest Is Now Closed)

How to enter:

1) Submit one to three poems to by October 31st. No theme. Open to all styles.

2) Visit the Brightly Press Facebook page on November 15th to see if you've won.

3) If we receive fewer than 30 entries, we may extend the submission date.

Prizes - All winners will be published by on the Brightly Press website in addition to the following awards

1st Prize - $100 and a copy of Shake The Tree Volume Two (A $30 book that we sell for $15 to provide affordable access to the exceptional literary voices of our time). 

2nd Prize - $50 and a copy of Shake The Tree Volume Two.

3rd Prize - A copy of Shake The Tree Volume Two