Winners of the Poetry Competition (2019)

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: “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.