About the Award
The Allied Arts Foundation Poetry Award is managed by Floating Bridge Press.
All poems entered into their annual Chapbook Competition are eligible for the award. During the review process, editors at Floating Bridge Press choose individual finalist poems from all entered manuscripts. The finalist poems are then given to an independent judge to choose the winner.
About Floating Bridge Press
Founded in 1994, Floating Bridge Press is a nonprofit literary arts organization which publishes Washington State poets whose writing engages individuals, enriches communities, and enlivens the arts.
Curated from the Floating Bridge Press Evergreen Award Tour submissions, the 2019 AAF Poetry Award was given to a single poem of exceptional merit. The guest judge, award-winning poet Anastacia-Renee, chose “Festival of Choirs” by Linda Cooper.
Linda Cooper lives in Ronald, Washington, where elk graze in her backyard. She completed her MFA at Eastern Washington University, preparing for her thesis defense in Stehekin, where she worked as an NPS Interpretive Ranger for many seasons. Her poems have been published in Verse Daily, Hayden’s Ferry Review, West Branch, Many Mountains Moving, Willow Springs, Third Coast, Tupelo Quarterly, Los Angeles Review, Hubub, Elixir, Diner, and more.
She also won the 2015 Orlando Prize for Poetry.
Read Linda’s winning poem, “Festival of Choirs,” published by Floating Bridge Press in their online anthology, Pontoon Poetry.
The 2020 prize was sadly cancelled due to Covid-19
Curated from the Floating Bridge Press Evergreen Award Tour submissions, the 2019 AAF Poetry Award was given to a single poem of exceptional merit. The guest judge, award-winning poet Keetje Kuipers, chose “Poem for Trending Tragedy” by Kathryn Smith.
Kuipers had this to say: “In a world driven to distraction, it can be a challenge for anything that matters—much less a poem that attempts to discern the value of information—to break through the noise. Poem for Trending Tragedy not only illustrates this struggle, it also overcomes it. The poem maintains a conversational tone, welcoming us into a world that includes tragedies both major and minor, from kidnapping to a ‘lip-sync fiasco.’ Yet even the trivial is carefully guarded from flippancy—as the poem states, ‘I know what I know / changes nothing.’ And yet, this speaker counsels us to listen more closely, think more intentionally. We’re asked to know the world for everything it is, and I’m glad for this powerful voice urging us to pay attention on the page and off.”
Kathryn Smith is a poet and collage artist in Spokane, WA. She is the author of the poetry collection Book of Exodus (Scablands Books, 2017) and the forthcoming chapbook Chosen Companions of the Goblin , winner of the 2018 Open Country Press Chapbook Contest. Her poems have been published in Poetry Northwest, Mid-American Review, Bellingham Review, Redivider, The Journal, and elsewhere, and have earned a Spokane Arts Grant Award and a Pushcart special mention. Her website is www.kathrynsmithpoetry.com, and she posts collage work on Instagram: @paperhermitage.