2019 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize Winners: John Sibley Williams + Amy Trotter

2019 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize Winners: John Sibley Williams + Amy Trotter

August 01, 2019

Ruminate Magazine is excited to share with you the winners of the 2019 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize. The winning poems were selected by our final judge, Craig Santos Perez


FIRST PLACE: "Encroachment" by John Sibley Williams

John Sibley Williams is the author of As One Fire Consumes Another (Orison Poetry Prize, 2019), Skin Memory (Backwaters Prize, University of Nebraska Press, 2019), Disinheritance, and Controlled Hallucinations. A nineteen-time Pushcart nominee, John is the winner of numerous awards, including the Wabash Prize for Poetry, Philip Booth Award, American Literary Review Poetry Contest, Phyllis Smart-Young Prize, Confrontation Poetry Prize, and Laux/Millar Prize. He serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and works as a freelance poetry editor and literary agent. Previous publishing credits include: The Yale Review, Midwest Quarterly, Southern Review, Sycamore Review, Prairie SchoonerThe Massachusetts Review, Saranac Review, Atlanta Review, TriQuarterly, Third Coast, and various anthologies.

Craig Santos Perez writes:

"This poem stands out for its innovative form and haunting content. The title sets up the main theme of the poem, and each section develops the theme from different perspectives. I appreciate how the poem explores the wild dynamics between predator and prey, between gentle and violent animals, between hunger and consumption, between the bullet and its target. The poet writes: “Prayer is an archaic word / for loving at least one thing more than myself…” Indeed, this poem asks us to consider the physical and emotional encroachments that occur between beings who are daily entangled in hunting, eating, living, and dying."


Everbearing" by Amy Trotter

Amy Trotter is a poet and photographer with an MFA from American University. She is an Alabama native currently homesteading in the outskirts of D.C. with her two children and husband. She is a recent participant of the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, and her work has appeared in The Potomac Review, Driftwood Press, Obsidian, Mezzo Cammin, and The American Journal of Poetry.



Jesse Breite, “Fishing the Caddo”

Matt Miller, “The Adorned Fathomless Dark Creation”

Dayna Patterson “God the Mother Speaks of Trees”


Joshua Garcia, "Praise"

Gavin Yuan Gao, “Opera”

Rebekah Hewitt, “God as Rumpelstiltskin”

Karen Kubin, "Lake Harriet, 2005"

Jed Myers “The Wanting”

Preeti Parikh, "integument"

Jendi Reiter, "Buzz Aldrin Takes Communion on the Moon"

Lisa Rosenberg, "Praise on Pi Day"

Sally Rosen Kindred, "Dementia, or My Mother Is Not a Confederate Statue"

Catherine Turnbull, “Looking at American Gothic”



Thank you to all of you who entered the poetry prize!  

Ruminate Magazine hosts an annual contest for short fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and visual art. You can read more about our writing contests and art contest here.

Want to read the winning poems? Subscribe and you'll receive the poetry prize issue this coming winter! 


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