Announcing Winners of the 25th Statewide Poetry Contest

Fairbanks Arts Association’s Statewide Poetry Contest is a celebration of poetry writing in Alaska and invites participation from writers of all ages, elementary school and up. Celebration of winning poems are traditionally featured in April during National Poetry Month. The contest aims to encourage, publicize and reward the writing of high quality poetry in our great state.

2020 Statewide Poetry Contest winners were selected by this year’s judge, Ishmael Hope.


Judge: Ishmael Hope

ishmael_hope - 1Ishmael Hope, an Inupiaq and Tlingit poet, actor and Indigenous scholar, served as the lead writer for the video game Never Alone (Upper One Games). He has published two poetry collections including Rock Piles Alone the Eddy (Ishmael Reed Publications) and played the character Atka in a feature film, Frontera Azul: The Blue Frontier (Patria Productions).

Recent publications include Poetry Magazine, Indian Country magazine and Native Voices: Indigenous American Poetry, Craft and Conversations (Tupelo Press).

Fairbanks Arts is pleased to announce this year’s winning poems:



2nd Place: Wainwright by Susan Slocum Dyer (Dillingham)

Honorable Mention: Celebration by Richard Stokes (Juneau)



1st Place: Memorial by Darcy Misel (Fairbanks)
2nd Place: Sublimed by Dakota Rummer (North Pole)
3rd Place: Transformation by Isabel (Homer)



3rd Place: Listen To The Trees by Teagan (Talkeetna)



1st Place: Sea Life by Luke Decker (Fairbanks)
2nd Place: Cancer by Brielle Vent (Fairbanks)
3rd Place: The White Dog by Zinia (Fairbanks)
Honorable Mention: The Spooky Night, War by Magdalene Addis (Fairbanks)


PLEASE NOTE: Fairbanks Arts’ communications originally indicated announcement of 2020 Statewide Poetry Contest winners in late March with a reading in early April. Due to COVID-19 disruptions, this reading did not take place and we apologize for the delay in announcing this year’s winners. Thank you for your patience as we navigate these uncharted waters and make adjustments to our programs and schedule.

While circumstances did not allow us to accommodate a reading this year, we invited the poets to share a video reading of their winning poem. We invite you to enjoy those videos here!

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest, to our judge Ishmael Hope, and congratulations once more to the winners of this year’s contest!

Fairbanks Arts programs are made possible by individual and corporate contributions, the City of Fairbanks Hotel/Motel Bed Tax, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska State Council on the Arts and Fountainhead Development, Inc.