Kary Wayson

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$5,000 Nancy Mee & Dennis Evans Award in the Arts

A longtime resident of Seattle, Kary Wayson works as a poetry teacher and freelance editor, as well as an associate editor for Poetry Northwest.

Kary has won many awards for her work, including the “Discovery”/The Nation Prize, the Crazyhorse/Linda Hull Memorial Prize, The Charles B. Wheeler Prize for her first book, American Husband, and The Burnside Review Prize for her second, The Slip.

Laura McKee

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$2,500 Professional Poets Awards

Seattle poet Laura McKee received a BA from the University of Utah and an MFA from the University of Washington. Her first collection, Uttermost Paradise Place, published by Copper Canyon Press, was selected by Claudia Keelan for the 2009 APR/Honickman First Book Prize. See You Soon was published through the University of Arkansas Press as a finalist for the Miller Williams Prize.

Rena Priest

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$2,500 Professional Poets Awards

A poet and a member of the Lhaq’temish (Lummi) Nation, Rena Priest’s literary debut, Patriarchy Blues, was honored with a 2018 American Book Award. Her most recent collection, Sublime Subliminal, was selected as the finalist for the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award. She is a National Geographic Explorer and a Jack Straw Writer (2019). She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Bellingham.

Jeannine Hall Gailey

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$900 Professional Poets Honorable Mention Awards

Woodinville poet Jeannine Hall Gailey is the author of Becoming the Villainess, She Returns to the Floating World, Unexplained Fevers, The Robot Scientist’s Daughter, and winner of the Moon City Press Book Prize, Field Guide to the End of the World. Her work has been featured on NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac, Verse Daily, and The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror.

Jenifer Browne Lawrence

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$900 Professional Poets Honorable Mention Awards

Jenifer Browne Lawrence is the author of Grayling (Perugia Press) and One Hundred Steps from Shore (Blue Begonia Press). Her awards include the Perugia Press Prize, the Orlando Poetry Prize, and the James Hearst Poetry Prize. Her work appears in Cincinnati Review, Los Angeles Review, Narrative, North American Review, and elsewhere. Jenifer lives in Poulsbo, WA, and has recently retired from serving as editor-in-chief for Crab Creek Review.

Derek Sheffield

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$900 Professional Poets Honorable Mention Awards

Derek Sheffield’s collection, Not for Luck, won the Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize judged by Mark Doty and is forthcoming from Michigan State University Press in 2021. His other books include Through the Second Skin, finalist for the Washington State Book Award, and Dear America. A professor of English at Wenatchee Valley College and poetry editor of Terrain.org, he lives with his family in Leavenworth.

Judith Camann

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$1,000 Emerging Poets Awards

A poet, knitter and education specialist living in Seattle, Judith Camann recently earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Ashland University, adding to her advanced degrees in early childhood education, special education and counseling.

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Linda Malnack

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$1,000 Emerging Poets Awards

Linda Malnack lives in Normandy Park. Her poetry chapbook, 21 Boxes, was published by dancing girl press in 2016. She was co-editor for the on-line poetry journal, Switched-on Gutenberg, for 20+ years and currently volunteers as an Assistant Poetry Editor for Crab Creek Review.

Holly Thomas

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$1,000 Emerging Poets Awards

Holly Thomas is a freelance editor, writer, poet, and artist with more than thirty years of wordsmithing experience. A native of upstate New York, she moved to Seattle in the mid-1990s and now lives on Whidbey Island. Her first book, Pluck Another Apple, Eve, And Finish It, was published in 2019.

Joanna Thomas

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$1,000 Emerging Poets Awards

Both poet and visual artist, Joanna lives in Ellensburg. Her poems have appeared in Found Poetry Review, petrichor, and Picture Sentence; her chapbook blue•bird (bloo-burd) is forthcoming from Milk & Cake Press in 2021. You can find her at [https://joannathomas.xyz/]https://joannathomas.xyz/() and https://inlandpoetry.com/

Scott Woodham

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$1,000 Emerging Poets Awards

An Associate English instructor at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, Scott was chosen to receive a 2019 Exceptional Faculty Award grant. He is a former Opinion Pages Editor and columnist at Alaska Dispatch News and earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Murray State University in Kentucky.

Awards Process

The 2020 award process involved multiple rounds of jurying and the review of 68 submissions from throughout Washington State.

Our jury was comprised of poetry professionals located in Seattle, Spokane, Walla Walla, and the Olympic Peninsula.

Allied Arts Foundation was impressed by the variety of applications, the high quality presented, and the level of dedication to the art of poetry that was evident.

Special thanks goes to Nancy Mee & Dennis Evans for funding our top grant award, and to our last-minute donors who funded our three Honorable Mention awards.

Allied Arts Foundation awarded eleven grants to poets living in Washington State.

  • Established Poets: One Nancy Mee and Dennis Evans Award in the Arts for $5,000, and two $2,500 awards to poets with one or more full-length publications or 20 pages of poetry published in the last seven years. Thanks to last minute funding from our generous donors, we awarded three Honorable Mention awards of $900.
  • Emerging Poets: Five $1,000 grants to poets of any experience.

Applicants filled out the application below, including submitting the following:

  • 10 pages of poetry
  • An artist statement
  • An artist resume
  • A non-refundable $20 entry fee

Entries were judged anonymously.

The 2020 Artist Grant Awards in Poetry are funded, in part, by: