Poetry Contest! Enchanted Places & Spaces

In honor of World Poetry Day, and inspired by the award-winning memoir, ENCHANTED AIR, by YARN alum, Margarita Engle, YARN has created an invitational poetry event called “Enchanted Places and Spaces.”


YARN invites poets from all over the world inspired by this theme to submit an original poem that best captures its essence in your own voice. Whether you were born in such a place, have lived in one, or simply visited a magical space you now carry tucked in a corner of your heart, we want to hear from you.

Some details about the contest:

  • Superstar YARN alum, Margarita Engle, captured our hearts with her beautiful verse memoir, ENCHANTED AIR. She will select the winning entry/entries, and is generously donating a signed book to each winner.
  • You are welcome to experiment with diverse forms of poetry, dropping your lines into a format that best fits your work.
  • Feel free to enter more than one poem in the contest.
  • Share the contest with the world using the #EnchantedYARN hashtag.
  • YARN staffers will provide examples below.
  • The submissions window opens on 3/21/2016 (World Poetry Day), so start sharpening those pencils and letting those minds wander.
  • To be considered, please submit your poem and a short bio pasted in the body of an email by 4/8/2016 to: poetry[at]yareview.net with “2016 YARN CONTEST” in the subject line. No attachments, please! Winners will be announced on 4/26/2016.

Examples by YARN staffers:

Evergreen Love (a haiku)

By Justin Barisich

the trees welcome us
with open arms across sky
like evergreen love.

river where the painted birds live *

By Lourdes Keochgerien

glistens outside of my window – brown to green to blue to ocean.
its movement mostly nonexistent. it is too placid. too quiet.
it’s alive only in chaos.

Einstein sits immortalized on a park bench with Vaz Ferreira
probably discussing spukhafte Fernwirkung
in a plaza with two names.

his ** ashes lay underneath a rusted statue
in a place he never really wanted to be
in a place he walked away from
for something greater.
He is our liberator –
Greek tragedy at its best.

Orion is bright here and impossibly close.
I want to tug on his belt and pull him
down. Point his arrow
what makes
me so

her ashes sit, rest next to a plant.
the siren call of this place never relented.
it wanted her as much as I did.

the Sun burns your bones
its fierce-ness itchy and welcomed.
you forget time. you feel.

all this demands of me to be a bird – instinctually
coming and going.
settling for just enough.

* Uruguay is Guarani and has been translated to mean this; however, some argue that it means “river of shells.”
** He, José Gervasio Artigas, is considered the father of Uruguay.


By Kip Wilson

My footsteps crack
over frozen earth,
echoing through
air light as lace
tickling my cheeks
in the raðljóst
an hour after sundown.
Windsong propels me
swirling through time
as haunted voices rise
up from crevices
opening deep
in the crust.
They harmonize, hypnotize,
becoming one with
the whistling wind,
until, carried away,
all that remains is
the sustained silence
of haunted eons.
I turn then, but
the shadowy,
moon-like landscape
still lies deserted,
the only song
reaching my ears
the icy gunshots
of my solitary steps.

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  1. […] Inspired by Margarita Engle’s award-winning memoir, Enchanted Air (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2015), the editors at Yarn invited writers to submit poems about their own enchanted places – where they have lived, visited, or even spaces they hold inside their hearts. (You can learn more about the contest HERE) […]

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