The Best Poems of 2022: Winners of the 11th Annual SCP International Poetry Competition

Joseph S. Salemi, James Sale, Evan Mantyk

Past First Place Winners
James A. Tweedie (2021) Susan Jarvis Bryant (2020) Joseph Charles MacKenzie (2019) Adam Sedia (2018) C.B. Anderson (2017) James Sale (2016) Ron L. Hodges (2015) Reid McGrath (2014) Bruce Dale Wise (2013) Alan Nordstrom (2012)

Based on the poems, all written in 2022, submitted by poets employing the finest, classical traditions of English poetry, below are the best poems of the past year and their ranking:


First Place ($2,000)

Sally Cook, New York
“Holy Picnic” “Erasing Me” “What Geese May Teach”




Second Place

Andrew Benson Brown, Missouri
“Lightning Ben” “John Adams in Heaven”

Cynthia Erlandson, Michigan
“Where Ever-present Joy Knows Naught of Time” “Hanging Harps”




Third Place

David Watt, Australia
“Little to Regret” “The Recollected Dream”

Brian Yapko, New Mexico
“A Tribune to Mrs. Malaprop” “Lullaby of New Mexico, Part One”

Monika Cooper, USA
“El Pescado”

Joshua C. Frank, Texas
“Alone Together” “No Extra Lives”

Peter Lillios, New York
“A Broadside”

Shaun C. Duncan, Australia
“Elegy for an Unremarkable Man”

Charles Southerland, Arkansas
“The Stonechat Listens at the Asylum Window”




Fourth Place

Anna J. Arredondo, Colorado
“This Side of Eternity”

Patricia Rogers Crozier, United Kingdom
“Gloucester in July”

Isabel Scheltens, Indiana
“To My Beloved Husband”

Jeffrey Essmann, New York
“On Hieronymous Bosch’s ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’”

Paul Buchheit, Illinois
“Moments from Dante’s Inferno”




Honorable Mentions

Pippa Kay: “Swimming with Dreams and Memory”
Satyananda Sarangi: “The Language of Hope”
Vicki Roberts: “Antietam”
Talbot Hook: “Toward Yehuling, 1211”
Maura Harrison: “Thorns Grow with Song”
Lauren V. Leon: “The Christmas Story”
Dusty Grein: “Ever Flowing”
Lionel Willis: “The Portrait”
Warren Bonham: “So Close By”
Mary Gardner: “Poetry 101 Lecture”
Gregory Ross: “Beatitude”
Daniel Moreschi: “Serengeti Storm”
James Lucas: “Civilisations Forget the Taste of Their Own Tails”
 Stuti Sinha: “Seasons of Change”
Morrison Handley-Schachler: “Xi”
Laurie Holding: “Covid on a Clear Day”
K.S. Anthony: “Supplication to Erato and Melpomene”
Aidan Casey: “Playing with Matches”
 Geoffrey Smagacz: “Aunt Helen”
Mary Jane Myers: “The Education of Wisdom”
Angel Villanueva: “Valiant Men”
Dan Tuton: “Autumn Trail”
Joseph Stuart: “Dark Sky”
Catherine Lee: “For Love of the Sea”
Maxim D. Shrayer: “The Linguist”



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The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments.

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14 Responses

  1. James Sale

    Congratulations to all the winners and recommended poets: there was a great field and I found it tough making lists of my preferred poems (and I am sure the other judges must have too!) and there is some great reading here – real poetry. Especial congrats to Sally Cook who is this year’s winner. Well done.

  2. ABB

    Congratulations, Sally! This is a much-deserved feather in your cap to crown a lifetime of admirable achievements (in two fields, no less). Your work is a public monument to what real art should aspire to.

  3. jd

    Congratulations to all, especially to Sally – a well-deserved win.

    My question to the judges when several poems are
    listed is which poem actually won or is it the body of poems that won? Thank you.

    • The Society

      The competition allows for the submission of 1 to 3 poems (with a total of 108 lines or less), so it may be a single poem that wins or a body, as reflected above.

  4. David Watt

    Congratulations Sally, your win is well deserved. The poems from all the winners make fine reading. Thank you also to the judges for your time and effort.

  5. Monika Cooper

    Congratulations, Sally! Your poems are glories.

    Honored to place third and in such splendid company. Well done, all.

  6. Paul Freeman

    Well done to Sally, to all the runners up, all the honourable mentions and to everyone who composed a poem and entered the competition.

  7. James A. Tweedie

    Sally, Congrats on your well-deserved selection.

    And congrats to everyone else honored by being chosen for your excellence and skill in creating inspired formal poetry. You are each an artist and I hope your selection will inspire you all to even greater heights!

    Also, of course, a shout out for the judges for the gift of their discerning eyes.

  8. Brian A Yapko

    Congratulations, Sally, for a wonderful and well-deserved honor! Congratulations, as well, to all those who placed and were honorably mentioned!

  9. Morrison Handley-Schachler

    Congratulations, Sally, on a well-deserved award. I especially liked “What Geese may teach,” a very gentle and readable poem.
    Congratulations to the others listed here as well.

  10. Joshua C. Frank

    Congratulations, Sally! What an honor to win first place!

    Congratulations also to all who placed second through fourth or were given honorable mentions.

  11. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Huge CONGRATULATIONS! to Sally (well done, my friend!) and to all the talented poets mentioned. What a pleasure and a privilege it’s been to read your fine entries… I applaud you all!


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