"Poems of New Hampshire" Poetry Contest

Our contest is now closed. Thank you to the many entrants! 

THEME: New Hampshire, past, present, future, or fantasy...or combination. 

We received 160 entries, including some from Pacific Coast poets. 


We expanded our winning choices to the top 5 instead of the top 3 poems.

Prize Winners are as follows:

1st Place for “Chicken Farmer,” by Mary Spofford French of Pittsfield NH

2nd Place for “Do Not Disturb,” by Mary Spofford French of Pittsfield NH

3rd Place for “Elegy for a Mouse,” by Peaco Todd of Chocorua NH

4th Place for “This Cold is Scratching Like Monkeys,” by Mary Ann Mayer of Sharon MA

5th Place for “Moose Crossing,” by Gwen Hurd of Merrimack NH

Honorable Mention for “Census,” by Beth Haverkamp Powers of Amherst NH

Honorable Mention for “The Old Man and the Mountain,” by Peaco Todd of Chocorua NH

These poems are the first 7 poems on our "Poems" page. 

Prizes courtesy of Liz and Brian Critchley of Chantilly, Virginia and members of Peterborough Poetry Project.

See photo and idea prompts below:

- NH: are all its residents really living in the 19th century?

- Abandoned towns near the Canadian border?

- Aliens in the fields of Twin Mountain?

- Ghosts in the old mill buildings of Manchester?

- Blueberry bushes and a fire tower on Pitcher Mountain...

- Dublin Lake (or Dublin Pond) - is it bottomless?

- Hundreds of millions of years ago, much of NH was covered by an inland sea.

- Volcanoes - extinct or dormant?

GSF   francNotch   fall blanket  NHSeal  cloud  sunset


Student Poetry Contest  

Our first contest winners (from 41 entries) were announced at the Peterborough Book Fair on May 12th. Judges Sebastian Lockwood (local poet, storyteller, and audiobook narrator} and Leslie Orsini (retired English teacher and journalist) chose "My Unicorn" by Alexandra LaChance of the Pierce Elementary School as the winner of the elementary school entries, and "Bike" by Charlotte Lee of the Francestown Elementary School as the runner-up. Alexandra and Charotte both read their poems to the Book Fair audience after the 1:00 p.m. announcement.

Ashley Hardwick was just a bit proud as you might be able to tell from her reaction to her daughter Alexandra being chosen the winner: The proud winner of all elementary school entrants in the Peterborough Poetry Project Poetry Contest! And to top it off she bravely read her winning poem aloud to the whole book fair on a mic! Best Mother’s Day Present ever!

Aviva Jeffrey of The Well School wrote the winning middle school poem, "Stage Lights," and Lucy Jackson of The Mountain Shadows School wrote the runner-up poem, "Sunrises."

Congratulations to Alexandra, Charlotte, Aviva, and Lucy! See all four poems below:

My Unicorn (by Alexandra LaChance)     

My unicorn with its silver horn
Glitters in the night under the moonlight
While I sleep she stays beside me, until the sun rises
I awaken and smell some bacon, to school I go and she won’t be taken

BIKE (by Charlotte Lee)

Bring out your bikes spring is here!
In, out, up down riding bikes around the town
Kites, hikes or bring out bikes.
Even though it is still cold out there ride your bikes everywhere

STAGE LIGHTS (by Aviva Jeffrey)

Whether they think I’m talented, or they think I don’t belong,
I’ll never be able to tell as I express my song.
So it doesn’t matter what they think because I cannot see
It only matters what I think because I am set free.

SUNRISES (by Lucy Jackson)

Hues of pink, and orange
Silhouetting earth’s beauty,
Like a cake baking.