Town announces poetry winners

Submitted by the Town of Friday Harbor.

The Town of Friday Harbor and Friday Harbor Arts Commission have announced the winners of their second Poetry Garden Contest. A blind judging process was used to review 104 poems submitted by San Juan County residents. Final selections were made by former Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna.

Winning poems will be published in a booklet as well as engraved for display at four outdoor “poetry gardens” located in Friday Harbor including at the San Juan Community Theatre and Mullis Community Senior Center, next to the post office, and in the waterfront viewing area below Downriggers. All poets and interested community members are encouraged to visit the gardens now for a last look at the previous winning poems before they are replaced with the 2023 winning poems in April.

This was the second time the FHAC partnered with a committee of local citizens on a public art project. The FHAC was formed in November 2014 by the Town of Friday Harbor to advise the Town Council on the selection, placement, and maintenance of public art.

Contest winners: Judith Azrael (“Serenity”), Eliza Bishop Steinbacher (“The First Things”), Madeleine S. Butcher (“Field” and “How the Field Lies”), Nita Couchman (“Fresh Snow” and “Pastel Morning”), Susie Foster Hale (“A November Afternoon” and “About Longing”), Emily Geyman (“The Sea”), Sandora Hedrich (“Silence” and “Wilding Wonderment”), Ladd Thomas Holroyd (“Working Cedar”), Lowell Jons (“News of the Week” and “Tracks”), Amber R. Lewis (“The Eagle”), Lynne Mercer (“Only Trees Can Provide”), Tara Mesalik MacMahon (“Haiku Gardens-1” and “Haiku Gardens-2”), Jeff Otis (“Life On The Ferry”), Cynthia Rogers (“Our Final Test”), Wendy Smith (“Prehistoric Now”), Keri Talbott (“Rumors”), Marianne Tynan (“In the Gloaming” and “Saving the Island Marble Butterfly”), Paul S. Walsh (“Color” and “Surprise”), William Weissinger (“I Always Wanted to Play the Drums” and “The Sea Breathes Out the Gentlest of Sighs”), and Ed Wilson (“A Garland of Thyme” and “September Lace”)