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Posted on Feb 9, 2013

Winners of the Wild Earth Poetry Prize 2013

Winners of the Wild Earth Poetry Prize 2013

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Wild Earth Poetry Prize: Martin Willitts, Jr. for his collection, Searching For What Is Not There and Gwendolyn Morgan for her collection, Crow Feathers, Red Ochre, Green Tea! We received several entries this year and judging was very difficult. Thank you to all those who submitted!

 A Preview of the Winning Selections

Martin Willitts’ Searching For What Is Not There is a yearly spiritual quest through nature in which the poet becomes an organic gardener, like Adam, amazed by the things he hears and sees out of the quietness of nature—tiny sounds, the connection with everything to everything, the earth requesting renewal. The poems are often meditative, finding inner peace with this relationship. The poet moves through the seasons, from planning the garden to harvesting to watching the fields become covered with snow and silence. The weather, the trees, the rocks, the animals, the mountains, the earth, the sky, the winds, the heat, the constellations, all, is speaking to the poet that worships these gifts. These poems also consider the tender aging process as he wants more days to plant, look at flowers and trees and birds, want to spend more time in love with a divine presence that is everywhere and anywhere.

A little About Martin: Martin Willitts Jr. retired as a MLS Senior Librarian in upstate New York. He is currently tutoring 4th grade students, evaluates Prior Learning Evaluations for SUNY Empire State, a professional Oral Storyteller telling stories from around the world from memory, and he is a “Science Magician” able to throw playing cards into watermelons and bounce eggs. He is a Quaker, healer, and Organic Gardener. He is a visual artist of Victorian and Chinese paper cutouts. He was nominated for 5 Pushcart and 3 Best Of The Net awards.

He has print chapbooks “Falling In and Out of Love” (Pudding House Publications, 2005), “Lowering Nets of Light” (Pudding House Publications, 2007), The Garden of French Horns” (Pudding House Publications, 2008), “Baskets of Tomorrow” (Flutter Press, 2009), “The Girl Who Sang Forth Horses” (Pudding House Publications, 2010), “Van Gogh’s Sunflowers for Cezanne” (Finishing Line Press, 2010), “Why Women Are A Ribbon Around A Bomb” (Last Automat, 2011), “Protest, Petition, Write, Speak: Matilda Joslyn Gage Poems” (Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, 2011), “Secrets No One Wants To Talk About” (Dos Madres Press, 2011), “How to Find Peace” (Kattywompus Press, 2012), “Playing The Pauses In The Absence Of Stars” (Main Street Rag, 2012), and “No Special Favors” (Green Fuse Press, 2012).


Our other selection: Crow Feathers, Red Ochre, Green Tea, is Gwendolyn Morgan’s first collection. The book offers richly textured poetic renderings of natural landscapes and emotional nuances in response to those landscapes. She weaves concerns for global warming, social inequities, and health care together with images of birds, plants, animals, breath, evoking our interconnectedness with all sentient beings and the spiritual universe. There is in these poems a deep sense of care for and rootedness in the natural world.

A little about Gwendolyn: Gwendolyn Morgan learned the names of birds and wildflowers and inherited paint brushes and boxes from her grandmothers. With a M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College, and a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, she has been a recipient of writing residencies at Artsmith, Caldera and Soapstone. Her poems appear in: Calyx, Dakotah, Kalliope, Kinesis, Manzanita Quarterly, Tributaries: a Journal of Nature Writing, VoiceCatcher, Written River as well as anthologies and other literary journals. She serves as the manager of interfaith Spiritual Care at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center. Gwendolyn and Judy A. Rose, her partner, share their home with Abbey Skye, a rescued Pembroke Welsh Corgi.



Look for Searching For What Is Not There October 2013

and Crow Feathers, Red Ochre, Green Tea in December 2013!