Stephen A. DiBiase Poetry Contest Winners





2024 Awards and Finalists

First ($600)
The War is Past (Continuous)—Habiba Dokubo-Asari, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

Second ($400)
Untethered—Oghenetega Jewo, Lagos, Nigeria

Third ($300)
Lover Lover Lover Lover—Jay Christianto, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Fourth ($100)
Pacified—Yoda Olinyk, London, Ontario, Canada
What Memories Are Carried in Light—Guy Reed, Saugerties, NY


Honorable Mentions (10 @$60)


Other Finalists



2023 Awards and Finalists

First ($600)
Kèféri—Overcomer Ibiteye, Sabon Gari, Kano State, Nigeria

Second ($400)
Jed Clampett Is A Happy Man—Cheryl A. Rice, Kingston NY

Third ($250) tie
Colours Of Recovery—Joshua Effiong, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria
Red Dust—Anita Vijayakumar, Lake Forest IL

Fifth ($175)

Visiting Blood—Paul Hastings Wilson, Wallkill NY

Sixth ($150)
My Grandmother Talked to Dolls—Jessica de Koninck, Montclair NJ


Honorable Mentions (10 @$100)


Other Finalists



2022 Awards and Finalists

First ($500)
War Cries and Lullabies—Adisha Shaikh, Vadodara, Gujarat, India

Second ($400)
White Wedding, November Rain & Other Songs for A Wedding Playlist—Sherre Vernon, Lake Elsinore, CA

Third ($300)
In water—Soonest Nathaniel, Abuja, Nigeria

Fourth ($200)
Profile in Black Update: For George—Judy SooHoo, Chicago, IL


Honorable Mentions (13 @$100)


Other Finalists

2021 Awards and Finalists

First ($500)
Bittersweet—Marianna Boncek. Woodstock, NY

Second ($400)
GRANDMA STILL REMEMBERS MY MOTHER WELL—Marija Dejanovic,  Zagreb, Croatia/Larissa, Greece

Third ($300) tie
Harbour—Virginia Boudreau, Nova Scotia, Canada
Sacrilege—Timi Sanni, Lagos, Nigeria

Fifth ($175)
A Thing Not Kept—Sarah McCartt-Jackson, Kentucky

Sixth ($150)
ADAM—Marlene M. Tartaglione, NY, NY

Editor’s Choice ($125)
Daydream—Cassandra IsFree, Norfolk, Virginia


Honorable Mentions (11 @$100)


Other Finalists

2020 Awards and Finalists

First ($500)
“Agua” —George Franklin, Miami, Florida

Second ($400)
“Bathing my Father” —Kendall Hoeft, Berkeley, California

Third ($300)
“A Poem from My Father to My Mother” —Steve Denehan, Naas, County Kildare, Ireland

Fourth ($200)
“Trout Fishing On Ten-Mile Creek” —Thomas Bonville, Catskill, NY
“Australia” —Deryn Pittar, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
“The Third Fall of His Incarceration” —Rebecca Schumejda, Rensselaer, NY


Honorable Mentions (12 at $100)


Other Finalists

  • “Elaine, the Lady of Shalott, Sets the Record Straight” —Hannah Bleier, Malden, Massachusetts
  • “an ode to Myself” —Nikhita Datar, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • “St. Ignatius Down the Street” —Mimi Moriarty, Voorheesville, NY
  • “Grandson of Africa” —Jegede, Steve Olutunmise, Ile-Ife, Osum State, Nigeria
  • “Rain” —Mary Panza, Albany, NY
  • “What A World” —Gregory C. Wilder Jr., Schenectady, NY
  • “The Red Beret” —Isobel Cunningham, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • “The Image That’s Me” —F.J. Tomy, Mombasa, Kenya
  • “Untitled: Most challenges that I have faced” —Ian Macks, Troy, NY
  • “the book of noah ii//or how the snake found its way into the ark” —O-Jeremiah Agbaakin, Lagos, Nigeria
  • “Sno-Cone Joe” —Tom Corrado, Middleburgh, NY
  • “India’s Daughter” —Sonia B Sydney, Kerala, India
  • “The Bride in Black” —Rahana K. Ismail, Calicut, Kerala, India
  • “Southern Shallow Groundwater” —Elizabeth Hays Tussey, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
  • “Home from the War” —Nancy Klepsch, Troy, NY
  • “Birth” —Onyekwelu Chiwenite Kingsley, Ikenga Ogidi, Anambra State, Nigeria
  • “The Plains of Abraham” —David DeVries, Troy, NY
  • “The Darkroom” —John Paul Davies, Navan, County Meath, Ireland
  • “Saheli Stop! You Are Breaking Them” —Saheli Khastagir, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • “At the Missing Sock Laundromat” —Noah Kucij, Albany, NY
2019 Awards and Finalists

First, $500
“Habana” —Ken Holland, Fishkill NY

Second, $400
“The Snowy Lean-To” —Caroline Bardwell, Schenectady NY

Third, $300
“On a Mission” —Mary Kathryn Jablonski, Saratoga Springs NY

Fourth, $200
“Double Going” —Richard Foerster, Eliot ME

Fourth, $200
“Nightmares on an Accelerated Frequency” —Mary A Elmahdy, Tucson AZ

International Award, $125
“Self narration would kill the black women street code” —Ikeonyia Mercy, Lagos, Nigeria

Editor’s Choice, $125
“The Road to School No. 10” —Elena Croitoru, Kent UK


Honorable Mentions (8) $100 (in order of judges’ ranking)

  • “The Night Tristan Jumped Into Our Pool” —Dan Curley, Porter Corners NY
  • “Flight Plan” —Jen Karetnick, Miami Shores FL
  • “Heaven is a Soundstage Built to Make Drugged Soldiers More Fearless” —Annie Christain, Cobleskill NY
  • “With An Army At Our Gates” —W. Luther Jett, Washington Grove, MD
  • “Reading Dead Poets Listening to Live Jazz” —Dan Wilcox, Albany NY
  • “Flower Hill” —Elizabeth Zerbst, Dolgeville NY
  • “We Have Our Songs” —Maroula Blades, Berlin, Germany
  • “Five Minutes of Poetry” —Mary Cuffe Perez, Galway NY


Commended Poems (in order of time of submission)

  • “Migration of a Hollow Swan” —Kendall Hoeft, Troy NY
  • “Women Who Move Me” —Dineen Carta, Clifton Park NY
  • “Collars & Cuffs” —Karen Fabiane, Troy NY
  • “Drive” —Jacqueline Kirkpatrick, Albany NY
  • “Arthritis” —Kerry Andre Belgrave, St. Michael, Barbados
  • “The Smoke” —Thomas Bonville, Catskill, NY
  • “This is not a Poem” —Vivian Amah Ofre, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria
  • “All the spent years have come visiting” —Fakoyede Seun, Lagos, Nigeria
  • “Broke just like that” —Danielle Colin, Troy NY


Other Finalists (in order of time of submission)

  • “Dancing Tiger” —Fabiyas M V, Orumanayur, Kerala, India
  • “A Year in Review in Pictures” —Alan Catlin, Schenectady NY
  • “notes i found in my cousin’s diary” —Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto, Awka, Anambra State Nigeria
  • “Longevity: A Scientific Perspective” —Roberta Gould, West Hurley NY
  • “When I Was” —Yianna Schneckloth, Mundelein IL
  • “Imagination” —Howard J Kogan, Ashland MA
  • “In the Dark” —Mimi Moriarty, Voorheesville NY
  • “Unravelling the Knot” —Mrinalini Harchandrai, Mumbai, India
  • “Tambococha Puff” —Maria Castro Dominguez, Canary Islands, Spain
  • “Rise” —Siddhi Kamble, Mumbai, India
  • “Becoming Chair” —Feby Joseph, Mumbai, India
  • “Call Back” —Susan Kress, Saratoga Springs NY
  • “The War Room” —John Paul Davies, Naven, County Meath, Ireland
  • “Slow Capture” —Philip Good, East Nassau NY
  • “Black boy’s miracle” —Ugonnaora Owoh, Nsukka, Nigeria
  • “Surf Sestina” —Niamh Prior, Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland
  • “Recipe for Timekeeping” —Liv McKee, Troy N
2016 Awards and Finalists

This contest had 303 entrants from 37 states and DC and from 9 other nations. There were 27 finalists which were ranked by the judges as follows:

First Place, bonus for community poet, bonus for local poet, $700
Beyond the Naupaka Hedge—Dawn Marar of Delmar NY

Second Place, $250
The Resolution of Neglect Syndrome—Jen Karetnick of Miami Shores FL

Third Place, $125
Plantation’s Corn—Paul Weidknecht of Phillipsburg NJ

Fourth Place, $100
On the Rising Prices of Corn at Festivals—Michelle Chen of Whitestone NY

Special Founder’s Award, $90
Now, morning…—Karen Fabiane of Troy NY


Honorable Mentions (9), $65

  • Stopping By The Columbarium—Jackie Craven of Schenectady NY
  • Siobhan In Washington Park (age 46)—Sylvia Barnard of Albany NY
  • Argiope Aurantia—Pat Tompkins of San Mateo CA
  • American Woman—Lucia Cherciu of Poughkeepsie NY
  • Don’t Read This One Out Loud—Merisa Dion of Derry NH
  • A Brief History of Fun—Howard Kogan of Stephentown NY
  • Shipwreck—Joe Krausman of Menands NY
  • Earthquakes in Oklahoma—Lauren Elizabeth Delucchi of Washington DC
  • Nondescript—Ashley Hyun of Tenafly NJ


Other Finalists

  • I loved you long before I even met you—Kirsten Textor of Lyngby, Denmark
  • To a Child at Enlightenment—J.C. Elkin of Annapolis MD
  • Winter Walk—Francis DiClemente of Syracuse NY
  • Let Me View Life-The Way the Heart Feels…—Jennifer Circosta of Campbell Hall NY
  • “all told”—Joel Best of Niskayuna NY
  • Inside the Picture Frame-For Aiyana Stanley-Jones—Keli Osborn of Eugene OR
  • Missing you—Carol Kloskowski of Christmas MI
  • Sad Nymph—Betsy Butcher of Iowa City IA
  • Richard Nixon Must Die (for all the victims of the War)—Dan Wilcox of Albany NY
  • Salt Is The Spice Of Life—Philip Good of East Nassau NY
  • modie badanov—Canon Pau of Los Angeles CA
  • On a Night With a Poet—Sally Rhoades of Albany NY
  • Meaning of Man—Erin Gillett of Los Angeles CA
2017 Awards and Finalists

First Place, $500
Your Service — Cheryl A. Rice, Kingston, NY

Second Place, $250
The Osterias Are Tipping Prosecco — Ken Holland, Fishkill, NY

Third Place, $125
What Was Once Solid — Phyllis Hillinger, Delmar, NY

Fourth Place, $100
Granted Dominion — Andy Fogle, Saratoga Springs, NY

Best  Out of State, $300
Anabasis By Night — Marc Levy, Salem, MA


High Honorable Mentions (4), $75

  • Not My President — Karen Fabiane, Troy, NY
  • The Moon, a Blood Orange — Mary Leonard, Kingston, NY
  • Pipe — Dianne Sefcik, Westerlo, NY
  • It is the shelter of each other that people live — Mark O’Brien, Clarksville, NY


Honorable Mentions (6), $45

  • The Dance of Dish and Glass — Anthony Bernini, Troy, NY
  • Lovestory — Dineen Carta, Ganesvoort, NY
  • Linoleum — Michelle Chen, Whitestone, NY
  • Dr. Kwan Kew Lai’s Refrigerator — Jodi Ackerman Frank, Argyle, NY
  • Dissolving the Distance Between You — Carol Graser, Galway, NY
  • Dream a Little Dream of Me: Visting Louis Armstrong’s Birthplace — Catherine Norr, Glenville, NY


Other Finalists

  • Organ Lessons — Joe Krausman, Albany, NY
  • 9th Period — Amy Reynolds Comtois, Cohoes, NY
  • A Love Sonnet to February — Tess Lecuyer, Albany, NY
  • Directions for Success — Paul Hotton Amidon, Albany, NY
  • Summer, Maine, 1968 — Virginia Bach Folger, Schenectady, NY
  • What Marks the Spot is the Cost of Doing Business — Jen Karetnick, Miami Shores, FL
  • Symphony — Martin Willitts Jr., Syracuse, NY
  • Of Leave-takings — Sharmon Gazaway, Calhoun, GA
  • Where Utopians Sport Recoilless Doc Martins — Tom Corrado, Middleburgh, NY
  • Tents of Jordan — Therese Broderick, Albany, NY
  • Litany — Kathleen Smith, Loudonville, NY
  • Squid Fishing in Halong Bay — Bunkong Tuon,m Niskayuna, NY
  • Before you know gratitude — Nancy Klepsch
  • Maria Lactans — Barbara Ungar, Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Braque’s Athena 2931 — Sara Wyman, Rosendale, NY
  • Dear Daughters our World Spins Round — Rebecca Irene, Portland, ME
  • Those Days Are Gone — Tanzila Rehmat, Islamabad, Pakistan
2018 Awards and Finalists

First Place, $500
“Open Wounds” —Martin Willitts Jr., Syracuse NY

Second Place, $300
“The Hours” —Richard Foerster, Cape Neddick ME

Third Place, $175
“Then He Begged Me to Go Back with Him and Rescue the Others” —Rebecca Schumejda, Castleton NY

Fourth Place, $125
“Rhapsody in Blue, Playing at the Egg in Albany” —Kathleen Smith, Loudonville NY

Kogan/Wilcox International Award, $100
“The Selective Lad” —Okere Godsent, Lagos, Nigeria


High Honorable Mentions (4) $90

  • “Thembi’s Initiation” —Maroula Blades, Berlin, Germany
  • “We Pass Through Here” —Judy Durrant, Blairgowrie, Victoria, Australia
  • “Boom Times at the Shake Shanty” —Ken Holland, Fishkill NY
  • “Warp Wolves” —Sylvia Anne Telfer, Rutherglen, Scotland, UK


Honorable Mentions (8) $70

  • “Strawberry Fields Forever” —James H Duncan, Albany NY
  • “On Hearing that Crayola is Retiring Dandelion” —Mary Kathryn Jablonski, Saratoga Springs NY
  • “Antinomy” —Olivia McKee, Troy NY
  • “A Poet Who Cannot Support Himself Takes a Job Pouring Cement” —Mimi Moriarty, Voorheesville NY
  • “Until the Young are Reared” —Lani O’Hanlon, Crobally Sean Phobal, Co. Waterford, Ireland
  • “Afternoon” —Chidinma Opaigbeogu, Fort Washington, MD
  • “I want you to know/I was raped” —Mary Panza, Albany NY
  • “Therese’s Balcony” —Dan Wilcox, Albany NY


Other Finalists

  • “Man Over Woman” —Kgothatso Dinale, Pretoria, South Africa
  • “Run the Lightning” —Laura Lucas, Seattle WA
  • “Broken English” —Daniel Summerhill, Oakland CA
  • “Dragon’s Eye” —Cindy Bousquet Harris, Mentone CA
  • “The Wolf” —Katie Sieracki, Los Angeles, CA
  • “The Thing” —Oran McCormack-Grant, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan, Ireland
  • “Cat Print” —Sylvia Barnard, Albany NY
  • “Reconsider” —Steve Trimm, Albany NY
  • “The Word” —Hannah Bleier, Brooklyn NY
  • “Christina’s World” —Jeremy Stern, Bournemouth, Dorset UK
  • “The Three Kings” —Paul Amidon, Albany NY
  • “Lust” —Stuart Bartow, Salem NY
  • “Words Are My Garden” —Rona Fitzgerald, Glasgow UK
  • “I Survived” —Jodi Ackerman Frank, Argyle NY
  • “Here upon the Beach” —Aoife Canning, Dungiven, County Derry, Ireland
  • “Yerushalayim” —Allison Darcy, Oxford NC
  • “Goodnight Kiss” —Ursula Meany, Kilshanny, Co. Clare, Ireland
  • “Adoption Tale” —Erin Jin Mei O’Malley, York PA
  • “Bathing Your Feet” —Lucia Cherciu, Poughkeepsie NY
  • “sing my dear bird” —Britney Bang, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • “The Horologist” —Art O Suilleabhain, Corr na Mona, Co. Galway, Ireland

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