Local poet Stokes takes top prize in statewide contest

Local poet Richard Stokes has been awarded first prize in the Fairbanks Arts Association’s 2013 Statewide Poetry Contest for his poem “Turning the Wheel.”


Stokes also won an honorable mention for his poem “Place.”

Here are Stokes’ winning poems.


“Turning of the Wheel” (First Place, Adult Division)

The lowly wheelbarrow,

a wheel, two handles and a bucket,

barely less primitive than the wheel itself,

but a marvel of function,

never short on gas,

always starting with a push.


As a scrawny teenager I reveled

in pushing a loaded barrow up

an inclined plank just like the real men.

Now, I guide one full of chopped wood

downhill, and I’m young again.



“Place” (Honorable Mention)

Saucers of crushed wet grass,

spaced just right for a bear ambling,

across my cultivated lawn into the feral fringe

of the vast blanket of wilderness

draped over the coastal mountains.



An award ceremony and reading will be held on March 30 at 7 p.m. at the Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts in Fairbanks.

Here’s a look at the full list of winners.

Adult category:

1st place: “Turning the Wheel” by Richard Stokes, Juneau; 2nd place: “Moving On” by Kim Kopp, Galena; 3rd place: “Comforting the Remnants of My Soldier” by Abigail Calkin, Gustavus; honorable mentions: “Dusk, My White Teacup” by Jill Osier, Fairbanks; “Winter Composition” by Marilyn Borell, Anchorage; “Snowed In” by Linda Martin, Homer; “Place” by Richard Stokes, Juneau; “Why He Is Who He Is” by Abigail Calkin, Gustavus.

High school:

1st place: “The Path in the Woods” by Montana Troyer, Fairbanks; 2nd place: “Beauty & the Beast” by Montana Troyer, Fairbanks; 3rd place: “Don’t Forget” by Hope Hughes, Fairbanks; honorable mention: “Remember Me” by Hope Hughes, Fairbanks.

Middle and elementary school:

1st place: “Little Red Fox” by Winter Peña, Fairbanks; 2nd place: “Dogs & Cats” by Gracie Rankin, Kenai; 3rd place: “Candle” by Miranda Jackson, Fairbanks; honorable mentions: “Medusa” by Yuki Nagaoka, Fairbanks; “Snowflake” by Sarah Loveless, Fairbanks; “Tank” by Kendall Nicholson, Fairbanks; “I Am (a book in the library)” by Caleb Cunningham, Fairbanks.





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