Letter From the Poetry Editor

Philadelphia Stories happily announces that the poem, “greens” by Edythe Rodriguez was selected as the winning poem in this year’s Sandy Crimmins National Prize in Poetry. Crimmins judge Cynthia Arrieu-King writes that “greens” is “virtuosic” and “handles its use of the page like a kind of spontaneous music.”

We are also awarding each of four runners up a $250 prize: Kelly Lorraine Andrews for “The Madonna of the Rabbit,” Stephanie Niu for “Abecedarian for Pinyin,” Aimee Seu for “Rich Friend,” and Alison Lubar for “You Can’t Say ‘Oriental.’” Poems from Liz Abrams-Morley, Cleveland Wall, Ike Pickett, and Mackenzie Kean were selected as honorable mentions by the judge. Poems from Lupita Eyde-Tucker, Courtney DuChene, Mikhayla Robinson, and Laura Tanenbaum were selected as “editor’s choices” by the contest readers, contest coordinators, and poetry editor and appear in the online Spring 2022 issue.

Along with Edythe Rodriguez, the winning poets will be celebrated with an online reading at the LitLife Poetry Festival’s closing reception on Saturday, April 23. Visit https://philadelphiastories.org/2022-litlife-poetry-conference/ for more information and to register for LitLife.

Joe Sullivan continues to support this contest and we are grateful for his enduring friendship with Philadelphia Stories. We are also grateful to contest coordinators Eli Aharon and Phoebe LaMont for their  consistent, helpful, and organized work. We thank Yalonda Rice, managing editor, for her flexibility and patience. Above all, we thank the poets who trust their work with us; reading your poems each year is a pleasure and a challenge that is humbling and humanizing.



“greens,” Edythe Rodriguez (Upper Darby, PA)



“The Madonna of the Rabbit,” Kelly Lorraine Andrews (Pittsburgh, PA)

“Abecedarian for Pinyin,” Stephanie Niu (New York, NY)

“Rich Friend,” Aimee Seu (Tallahassee, FL)

“You Can’t Say ‘Oriental,'” Alison Lubar (Cherry Hill, NJ)



“Her, Too,” Liz Abrams-Morley (Philadelphia, PA)

“How to Act,” Cleveland Wall (Bethlehem, PA)

“There are Horses in North Philadelphia! There are Figs in My Stomach!” Ike Pickett (Philadelphia, PA)

“Fiona Rice Does Not Talk to the Rabbits,” Mackenzie Kean (Freehold, NJ)



“Eucalyptus,” Lupita Eyde-Tucker (Melbourne Beach, FL)

“Ars Poetica Caught in Eternal Recurrence,” Courtney DuChene (Philadelphia, PA)

“In the Wake of Heat,” Mikhayla Robinson (Athens, GA)

“The Night Diana Died,” Laura Tanenbaum (Brooklyn, NY)



A Lion Who Lives in a Fear Filled World,” Shagufta Mulla (Independence, OR)

A Psalm of Assaf,” Jared Ijams (Brooklyn, NY)

“Advice for a New School Year,” Megan Merchant (Prescott, AZ)

“Advice to My Six-Year-Old Self,” Jane Miller (Wilmington, DE)

“Diptych: Brood X,” Matt Hohner (Baltimore, MD)

“Gathering and Letting Go,” Brendan Praniewicz (San Diego, CA)

“Ghost,” Nala Washington (Camp Springs, MD)

“Lovecraft,” Sean Hanrahan (Philadelphia, PA)

“Ode to the Laundromat,” Kathleen Shaw (Schwenksville, PA)

“Ornithology of Hunger,” Katherine Gaffney (Petal, MS)

“Raking the Leaves,” Steve Burke (Philadelphia, PA)

“same old same old,” Nicole Adabunu (Iowa City, IA)

“There’ll be no more writing around the thing,” L.J. Sysko (Wilmington, DE)

“Two Tones against Brick,” Alison Hicks (Havertown, PA)