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America StaffMay 31, 2019
Writing poetry in a notebookPhoto by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

The Foley Poetry Prize has been awarded every spring since 1988 by America. The joy of the Foley contest is in "the contact with so many lives and inner worlds and imaginations, to say nothing of personal losses and gains," former poetry editor, James Torrens, S.J., said in 2008. Our current poetry editor, Joe Hoover, S.J., agrees.

"I imagine we will keep getting a bundle of poems sent in every year. And thank God. Sometimes poems tell the truth about the world better than anything else can," Hoover wrote in 2018. Over 1,200 people submitted poems to the 2019 Foley Poetry Prize. With the assistance of Dan MacIsaac and Emma Winters, Hoover chose this year's winner: "Arise," by Marjorie Maddox.

"Arise" is printed in our June 10 issue, and three runners-up will appear in subsequent issues: “St. Perpetua/St. Felicity,” by Bryce Emley; “Ghost Sounds,” by Robert Jackson; and “Thanks a Lot, Shakespeare, for the Starling,” by Jonathan Greenhause. A selection of past winners appears below. 

2001  "Jubilate Cecilia (after Christopher Smart)," by Elizabeth Burns
2002  "Blind Spot," Bruce McBirney
2003  "To Things Cursory," Susanna Childress
2004  "The Mouse and the Human," Tryfon Tolides
2005  "The Oldest Lie," John Hodgen
2006  "Covetous,"  Erin Murphy
2007  "Lost and Found,"  John Slater
2008  "Going..." Michael F. Suarez
2009  "Ode to the Heart," Brent Newsom
2010, "Last Wishes," Moira Linehan
2011, "Things I Didn't Know I Loved," Mara Faulkner, O.S.B.
2012,  "Jacob's Ladder," by Gary Boelhower
2013, "Citrus Paradisi: For Anna," by Chelsea Wagenaar
2014, "Paul on the Adriatic," by Dan MacIsaac
2015, "King of Crabs," by Scot Brannon
2016, "Claim," by Shannon C. Ward
2017, "The Rio Grande (South)," by John Poch
2018, "Whales," by Richard Lewis
2019, "Arise," by Marjorie Maddox

More: Poetry
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Eric Olsen
13 years 1 month ago
In honesty, I initially felt disappointment, having submitted myself.  On reading this poem, however, I understood the selection instantly.  This is a wonderful piece and Sr Faulkner deserving of this recognition and more.

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