2012 Robert Frost International Poetry and Haiku Contest Winners

The Studios of Key West would like to thank everyone who submitted entries to this year’s contest. Hundreds of wonderful poems and haiku were received from the United States and many other countries.

TSKW would like to thank Kathryn Kilgore, this year’s poetry judge, as well as Janelle Barrera and Francis Masat, this year’s haiku judges. (Please scroll to the bottom of the page for information on the judges). TSKW would also like to thank volunteers Michele Atkinson, Diane Savicky, and MK Clapp for their generous assistance with this project.

America’s favorite poet, Frost (1874- 1963) won four Pulitzer Prizes for his poetry. He served as the U.S. poet laureate in 1958-59 and first visited Key West in 1934. Frost wrote one of his best-known poems, “The Gift Outright,” here and paid winter visits to Key West from 1945 to 1960 as the guest of local hostess and preservationist Jessie Porter, founder of the Heritage House Museum.

TSKW is pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 contests.

First Prize Poetry 2 Week Residency in Key West + $200 Cash Prize
This American Game by David Ellis

David Ellis has had his poems appear in Cimarron Review, America, Midland Review, Owen Wister Review, Laurel Review, and many others.  He has published a book of poems, Fibonacci’s Sequence, which is available from AbeBooks.com.  The poem “This American Game” was developed in a workshop with Billy Collins at the Key West Literary Seminars.  He has also had residencies at the Millay Colony and the Virginia Center for  Creative Arts.  He lives in the Boston area and teaches English and Creative Writing at Mount Ida College.

Second Prize Poetry $100 Cash Prize
Tsunami by Tod Perry

Tod Perry holds a BA from Cornell and an MFA from the Poetry Workshop at Iowa.  Since the 70s his time has been split between a residence in Cudjoe and work in Europe.  His poems have appeared in Contact, Epoch, The New Yorker, Prairie Schooner and elsewhere.  Two poems are included in the 2012 Key West anthology “Key West I love You”.


Third Prize Poetry $50 Cash Prize
The Words I Hate and Why by John Davis Jr.

John Davis Jr. is a sixth-generation Floridian. His work has appeared internationally in literary journals, including Florida publications like the Santa Fe Review (Gainesville), Cantilevers (Lakeland), and other Florida-based poetry and literature magazines. He serves as the English Department Chair for the Vanguard School of Lake Wales, and resides in Winter Haven, Florida with his wife and two sons. He is currently enrolled as a student in University of Tampa’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program.

Honorable Mentions (In no special order)

Time and Tide by Thomas J. Stevenson, Sudbury, MA

Irises by Timothy Russell, Toronto, OH

Jesus is Coming by Marsh Muirhead, Northern MN

First Prize Haiku
2 Week Residency in Key West + $200 Cash Prize
Julie Warther
Dover, OH

Julie Warther lives in Dover, Ohio, with her husband and three children.  She has worked as a high school drama teacher, private tutor, museum tour guide and office manager for a jingle writing company. Julie is a member of the Haiku Society of America and has been published in a number of haiku journals and anthologies as well as children’s magazines. She is currently working on a picture book biography of her husband’s grandfather, Ernest “Mooney” Warther, the World’s Master Carver.  When she is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, scrapbooking or working in her extensive perennial gardens.

Second Prize Haiku
$100 Cash Prize
Stanford M. Forrester
Windsor, CT

Stanford M. Forrester is a past president of the Haiku Society of America and founding editor of bottle rockets: a collection of short verse–which is in its 14th year.  Stanford conducts haiku workshops around the East Coast and is a freelance book designer.

Third Prize Haiku
$50 Cash Prize
John Barlow
Ormskirk, Great Britain

Honorable Mentions (In no special order)

Haiku by Marsh Muirhead, Key West, FL

Haiku by Ernest J. Berry, Picton, New Zealand

Haiku by John Hawk, Columbus, OH


The Judges:

Poetry Judge, Kathryn Kilgore

Kathryn Kilgore is a poet, novelist, ex-editor, journalist and travel writer who lives in Key West; Torrey, Utah; and occasionally New York City. At Vassar College she was awarded the William Rose Prize for poetry, and later studied under Wendell Barry at Stanford for her masters. Her poetry,  journalism, travel writing and criticism have been published in The Village Voice, The Nation, The Montreal Gazette, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and Brick Magazine. Her novel, “Something for Nothing” about a woman art thief, was published by Seaview press.

The Studios of Key West is honored to have Kilgore return as a judge for this year’s contest, as she has served as a judge in the earlier years of the 19 year-old contest.

Haiku Judges, Janelle Barrera and Francis Masat

Janelle Barrera is a member of the Haiku Society of America, is an award winning haiku poet, and was responsible, while serving on the Robert Frost Poetry Festival committee, for bringing haiku related workshops to Key West. She is the editor of the Key-Ku column in Solares Hill.

Francis Masat is an award-winning haijin with over 1000 haiku and poems published. His poetry books are Lilacs After Winter (haibun), MET Press; A Taste of Key West, Pudding House Press; Threshing, March Street Press; and A Prairie Trilogy, Barnes and Noble.


The Studios of Key West