The Iowa Poetry


announces release of its 76th annual anthology Lyrical Iowa 2021

The past year brought change, fear, shortages, loss, deaths, masks, social distancing, quarantines, isolation, numbers, protests, political upheavals, derechos, fires, freezes, online schools, Zoom meetings and learning how to live through the superlatives of countless unknowns. However, many Iowans found solace in writing, according to Lyrical Iowa Editor Marilyn Baszczynski.

“Some poets shared painful experiences, others avoided any mention of crisis-but they all wrote from their heart-through humor or hurt, hope or despair. This year’s edition of Lyrical Iowa is a testament to the enduring importance of poetry as a vehicle for addressing emotional turmoil, as a way for people to find themselves, as a way to try to make sense of what has been unfathomable.”

Entries came from 146 towns in 73 of Iowa’s 99 counties, sent by persons ranging in age from kindergartners to near-centenarians. [Editors: See list of contest winners attached; also attached for your convenience is a listing by county of winners and poets to be published in this year’s anthology.]

“The Iowa Poetry Association has close to 350 members across the state,” Baszczynski explained, “but membership is not a requirement for having poetry included in the anthology. Contestants need only reside in Iowa.”

Besides those awarded cash prizes or honorable mentions in the seven adult categories and four student divisions, many other top-ranking poems are showcased in this172-page book with full-color cover. A total of 340 poems was selected from close to 2,000 entries submitted to IPA’s 2021 contests, including five Pushcart Prize nominations selected from those published in the anthology.

While the supply lasts, books may be ordered from IPA. Cost is $10 per copy (plus shipping) to anywhere in the United States. Books from some previous years are also available. Check for details at or contact the editor at

The mission of the Iowa Poetry Association, a non-profit organization, is to promote interest in and appreciation of poetry among Iowans through educational opportunities, poetry writing contests and the publication of an annual anthology of Iowa poetry. Besides sponsoring the annual contests, IPA offers two workshops for poem critiques each year, as well as IPA LIVE!, a vibrant monthly program of online mini-workshops and readings.

Association executive officers include: Jerrold J. Narland of Winterset, President; Rodney Reeves of Burlington, 1st Vice-President; Heather Clark of Iowa City, 2nd Vice-President/Historian; Margaret Westvold of Ames, Secretary; Linda S. Harris of Altoona,Treasurer; Shelly Reed Thieman of West Des Moines as Communications Officer; Dawn Terpstra of Lynnville, IPA LIVE! Coordinator; Julie Allyn Johnson of Norwalk, Spring/Fall Workshop Coordinator; Allison Berryhill of Atlantic, Teacher Liaison; and Marilyn J. Baszczynski of Earlham, Editor and Contest Chair.

“We are also excited to announce our 2022 Lyrical Iowa Competition,” Baszczynski added. “We are expanding our regular adult contests to include Traditional Forms (ghazal, pantoum, sonnet, villanelle) and an Ekphrastic Challenge for IPA members only.” Contest entries may be sent January 1 — February 28, 2021. Complete contest rules for adult, college, high school and grade school entries are available on their website at There is no entry fee.

Also on the website: how to order books, winning poems, Pushcart Prize nominees, resources for teachers, links to publication opportunities, workshop information, and more, all in support of Iowa poets. See



SONNETS: JUDGE: Ralph Speer, Colbert WA (33 entries)

1st — Linda Wolfe; Greenfield

3rd — Allison Berryhill; Atlantic

HAIKU: JUDGE: Stan Malless, Murphy, NC (124 entries)

3rd — Bill Simmons; Carroll

HUMOROUS: JUDGE: Crystal Stone, Boyerstown, PA (37 entries)

2nd — Lori Shannon; Manning

School Division Results

HIGH SCHOOL: JUDGE: Susan Wylie, Ottumwa IA (240 entries)

3rd HM — Mallory Ericksen, Gr12, Atlantic HS, Atlantic

ADAIR: Linda Wolfe, Greenfield — 1st Place — Sonnets

CARROLL: Lori Shannon, Manning — 2nd Place — Humorous Verse;

Bill Simmons, Carroll — 3rd Place — Haiku

CASS: Allison Berryhill, Atlantic — 3rd Place Sonnets

ABOUT THE IOWA POETRY ASSOCIATION We were founded in 1945. Membership and contests are restricted to Iowa residents (see rules for student exceptions). We are a not-for-profit organization. We are affiliated with the National Federation of State Poetry Societies and with the Academy of American Poets. Editorial staff: Marilyn J Baszczynski, editor-in-chief; Steven Rose & William Rudolph, associate adult editors; Rustin Larson, college editor; Joy Lyle, high school editor; Della Weems, grade school editor.

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