Congratulations to the Winners of the 2019 TAI Poetry Competition!

On Wednesday, we were delighted to host a crowd of BU poets and friends at the poetry competition reception. Food was devoured, poems were shared, and we were all graced with the presence of the accomplished poet and owner of Grolier Poetry Bookshop, Dr. Ifeanyi Menkiti.

With a surprisingly large number of submissions this year, our judges had their work cut out for them. As Dr. Andrew Shenton stated in his welcoming address, had we selected a different panel of judges, we would have likely had different winners. Many of the poems were deserving of praise and recognition.

And yet, for this competition, a handful of poets rose above the rest. The winners of this year’s TAI Poetry Competition were announced in this order:

Honorable Mention (4th place): “Descartes Stands From His Armchair” by Daniel Shariat

Third Place: “Pouncing” by Jennifer Lewis

Second Place: “Abraham Caressing Isaac” by Tyler Dunston

First Place: “These Days” by Jason Cabitac

Below we include the winning poem, as well as some photos from the event.


“These Days” by Jason Cabitac

These days dangle

like a lure of speckled foam

dancing like Salome on white sand.

The advancing tide

reflects light that draws and

blinds the eye–motion mangled

in a moment of bliss,

fragment of the ages,

the eternal transcribed

into shapes the water makes.


But motion resumes

with the rush and roar

of nearing waves

not heard before.


This present storm–

unhinged and unheeded–brews

against a darkening horizon.

Water rises, depths are churned,

storing violence that gathers

and falls… carving with crashes

the edges of this retreating ground.


Thunder clasps the space

between devoured land

and an ocean returned.

All land is a gift,

a reprieve from falling.


A figure scrambles along the coast


hoarse and breathless

from screaming in fear.


Dr. Ifeanyi Menkiti reads selected poems of his own
Dr. Ifeanyi Menkiti addresses the poets
Daniel Shariat
Jennifer Lewis
Jason Cabitac
Jason Cabitac