Posted by: poet kate hutchinson | August 2, 2012

3rd Place in Regional Contest

The Midwest Writing Center in Davenport, Iowa, has informed me that a poem I submitted to their 2012 Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest has taken 3rd place in the Regional Division, and 3 other poems were selected as finalists (among the top 25).  All 4 will be published in this fall’s edition of their literary magazine, Off Channel.

This is really exciting, not just because it’s fun to win, but because I spent 3 days with the Midwest Writing Center folks in June and am very impressed with the work they’re doing in the Quad Cities and beyond to promote writing and art.

I’m adding a link here to their website and encourage all writers to check them out, especially any Midwesterners who are looking for support, materials, ideas or workshops.

The 3rd-place poem is one of my longer ones, but it’s loosely based upon a great woman and artist from my childhood, Gail Greaves.  I took several Arts and Crafts classes with her over the years for a pittance, through the Elk Grove Village (IL) Park District.  My poem’s subject is much less talented and successful than the real artist was, I’m happy to say!  Mrs. Greaves was and is highly revered in Elk Grove to this day.

Here are the opening 3 stanzas.  Feel free to contact me via the Comments section, FB, or email ( if you’d like to read the complete poem.


The Park District Honors Gloria Groves for Twenty Years of Service


It couldn’t have been enough for her,

teaching four such classes a week—

macrame or holiday crafts—

distant cousins to her true passion,

like the violinist all day at the piano

correcting chubby fingers

or the nature photographer

posing siblings in matching sweaters.


Did she tell herself it was temporary,

her lean years of paying dues,

to be likened one day to Vermeer’s

fourteen children eating bread and gruel

or Warhol painting rain drops on weather maps

as he incubated the soup cans and Mao?


Was it enough to believe she could

light the spark in one of us,

we girls dripping papier mache strips

and layering them on blue balloons,

our hands the clay for her molding?

Or like Salieri was that what she feared?



  1. Congratulations!!!

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