Poetry Competition

Leading up to this years NWP Country Fair, we held a wildly successful poetry competition, in which we received over 50 submissions.  Our judges (listed above) have selected 5 winning poems from the many entrants.  Links to the winning poems below.

View the winning submissions

Our judges had a difficult job, with over 50 amazing submissions. They've narrowed it down to these 5 selections.  Congratulations to all who participated!

View Winning Poems

Our Judges

Nadia Sims

Nadia Sims (she/her) is a Manchester based poet spreading her message of grace across CT, NY and MA. The Princeton graduate is the proud author of "A Soft Place to Land" and "We Know the Dark."

Laurel Pepin

Laurel Pepin (she/her) is a photographic artist, and life-long Windsor resident. She explores light, finds meaning and shares the gifts she receives through images and poetry.

James Black

James Black (he/him), poet and novelist, hails from the warm climes of the Caribbean. In his first publication, ‘Waldo and the Ramblings on Man’, he shares much of his experiences in his usual mix of poetry and prose. James is a trained teacher, social entrepreneur and student of life.

Ryan Parker

Ryan Parker (he/him) is a freedom-dreaming mama’s boy, brother, husband, father, friend, educator, activist, Manchester, CT’s district Race & Equity Coordinator and Poet Laureate of Manchester Connecticut who loves to do poems and wake poems up in others! Parker’s focus as a poet is reimagining what poetry looks, sounds and feels like through a justice and hip-hop lens and inspiring folx within range of his words to feel and grow.

Xander Tyler

Xander Tyler (they/them) is a queer spoken word poet, performance artist, and activist from Manchester, CT. They began writing when they were 12, using their words to shed light on their experiences. Today, poetry and drag are their tools of choice in fighting injustice, finding community, and forging solidarity

Linda Blakesley

Linda Blakesley (she/her) is a Coventry poet who found her voice during the pandemic after joining several virtual open mics. Since then, she has become active in her local arts community by helping to bring writers and poets together through the formation of a Writers’ Circle and by sparking a new poetry open mic series last spring, which will begin again this October. Linda is also an avid runner and lives with her husband, Jay, and two cats.

Let your voice be heard!

Come poets of Connecticut, let your voices sing,
Of nature’s wonder, let your words take wing,
Submit up to three, your finest poetry,
And win the chance to showcase, at the fair with glee.

This year’s Fair will feature a poetry contest comprised of submissions from Connecticut residents with a passion for writing and a love for nature. The theme is ‘Living with Nature,’ and poets are encouraged to reflect on their personal experiences with the natural world in their submissions.

The winning poets will be awarded the opportunity to have their work showcased and read or performed at the fair at Northwest Park in Windsor, as well as a cash prize.

If you’re a Connecticut resident with a way with words and a deep appreciation for nature, be sure to enter the poetry contest and share your unique perspective with the community.


Theme / Content

Living with Nature: How Do You or Your Community Interact with Nature and the Environment?

The theme is only a statement of inspiration. We invite you to explore the theme and USE YOUR IMAGINATION!!!


Entrants must be Connecticut residents, and aged 18+.

Poetry requirements
  • Entrants may submit up to three (3) poems.  We will accept entries from up to 250 individuals.
  • No previously published poetry will be accepted.  Original works only.
  • Any style of poetry is accepted (page and/or spoken word).
  • Poems should be able to be recited in 3 minutes and 30 seconds or less.
  • The work must be entirely of your own creation.
  • No A.I.
  • No hateful, vulgar, discriminatory content.

Final selections of winning poetry are at the complete discretion of the judging panel. Poems will be judged based on Adherence to Theme and Creative Expression.

Judging Panel:

Ryan T. Parker, 2020 – 2023 Manchester, CT Poet Laureate, Nadia Sims, Author and 2023 – 2026 Manchester, CT Poet Laureate, Poet and Author James Black, Coventry, CT poet and founder and facilitator of The Poet’s Corner Open Mic Poetry Series, Linda Blakesley.

Submission Requirements & Methods

Entries can be submitted through the form at the top of this page (“Submit an Entry”), sent via email to countryfair@northwestpark.org (subject: poetry contest), or mailed to Friends of NWP, PO BOX 773, Windsor CT 06095, Attn: Poetry Contest.

All entries must include:

  • Entrants name and a contact phone number or email address
  • Entrants age

*All Submissions may be shared on our website, marketing literature and during the fair itself, and may include the entrants first name and age.