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    Winners of the First Annual Rhina Espaillat Poetry Award

    September 22, 2021
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    On August 24, 2021, Plough announced the winners of the first Rhina Espaillat Poetry Award in a livestreamed event with Rhina P. Espaillat and Plough poetry editor A. M. Juster. The award is for a poem of not more than fifty lines that reflects Espaillat’s lyricism, empathy, and ability to find grace in everyday events of life.

    Congratulations to winner Mhairi Owens for her poem “For the Celts,” and finalists Susan de Sola for “The Hunger Winter” and Forester McClatchey for “Wreathmaking.”

    Plough’s 2021 competition attracted over five hundred poems. The 2022 competition is now open. The overall winner receives $2000. In addition, two finalists receive $250. All three will be published in Plough. Submit your new poems here.

    Mhairi Owens

    Mhairi Owens

    Mhairi Owens is a community worker living in Fife, Scotland, and writes poetry in both English and Scots. Her work has appeared in various anthologies and journals, including Poetry Salzburg Review, The Moth, The North, and The Rialto. Her Scots poem “Shiftin” won the 2019 international Wigtown Prize.

    Mhairi wrote her winning poem, “For the Celts,” in response to the Hart Island Project. She is donating her prize money directly to its continued efforts to name and tell the stories of those buried in the unmarked graves of Hart Island, New York’s potter’s field.

    Susan de Sola

    Susan de Sola

    Susan de Sola’s collection, Frozen Charlotte, was published recently by Able Muse Press. A winner of the Frost Farm Prize and the David Reid Poetry Translation Prize, her poems have appeared in many venues, such as the Hudson Review and PN Review. She holds a PhD in English from Johns Hopkins University and has been a faculty member at the West Chester Poetry Conference. A native New Yorker, she lives near Amsterdam with her family. Read her poem “The Hunger Winter.”

    Forester McClatchey

    Forester McClatchey

    Forester McClatchey is a poet and critic from Atlanta, Georgia. He teaches at Atlanta Classical Academy, and his poetry appears in Oxford Poetry, the Hopkins Review, Pleiades, Slice, and Birmingham Poetry Review, among other journals. He won the 2019 Gulf Stream Summer Poetry Competition and was a 2017 finalist in the American Literary Review poetry competition. Read his poem “Wreathmaking.”

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