Thursday, January 31, 2013

January 2013 Challenge Winners - Shoes

The January challenge gave poets the option of writing about shoes or about siblings or both. Interestingly, more poets chose shoes.

Merle Hazard, final judge for the January poetry challenge, selected two winners, both shoe poems. Concerning “Shoes” by Jackie Langetieg, she says, “The images are crisp and fresh, and the poet uses many senses to create his/her message. . . . it is a warm poem. . . .”


My father's shoes--
like twins 
or seeds of popcorn--
developed independently of each other.
A dimple on the left
a round home for a bunion 
on the right,
the top chewed on by the dog.

Shaped by forays through mud
dried in a radiator's heat,
their aroma was the woods,
the damp marsh.

With care and caressing ,
they developed a rich inner glow.
Age softened them.
Abandoned now in the closet,
they recall for me his smile
cold red cheeks
and falling asleep in his lap.

~ Jackie Langetieg

Jackie Langetieg, Madison, writes poetry and fiction and has published her work in small journals and anthologies. She served as co-editor for the 2004 Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets’ Calendar. In 2000, a chapbook, White Shoulders, was published by Cross+Roads Press. She received the 1999 Excellence in Poetry award from the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters and the 1999 Jade Ring for poetry. She has received the Joyce C. Webb poetry prize. She has two additional books: Just What in Hell is a Stage of Grief and Confetti in a Night Sky.

Concerning the other winning poem, “Shoes, secret face of an inner life,” Merle says, “I like this poem because I become the shoes.” She likes the “sparse and terse use of the words that tell so much.”

Shoes, secret face of an inner life
shy and quiet,

sitting in the corner,

with mouths open dry―
waiting to be put on,

pacing mile after mile,

wondering who will
spare a glimpse at you,

and demand another pair.
~ Anna Yin

Anna Yin won the 2005 Ted Plantos Memorial Award and 2010 MARTY Award for her poetry. Her poems in English & Chinese and ten translations by her were in a Canadian Studies textbook used by Humber College. She has written three chapbooks. Her book, Wings Toward Sunlight, was published by Mosaic Press in 2011.  You can find her website at

Copyright of these poems is retained by the authors.

Merle Hazard, the final judge this month, is author of the “example poem” for January. She lives in Georgia. She is a well-published poet whose work appears regularly in the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Calendars (she lived Wisconsin twice, for a total of 26 years).

© 2013 Wilda Morris