66th Annual Festival Explores the Poet’s Life and Features Winning Poems

On April 15, attendees from across Tennessee and beyond came together on Zoom for PST’s 66th Annual Poetry Festival. Attendees enjoyed an exploration of the poet’s life and a reading of winning poems to be featured in an upcoming edition of Tennessee Voices, PST’s annual anthology.


Following opening remarks by Festival Coordinator Howard Carman, Rick Hilles, Associate Professor of English at Vanderbilt University, presented
“A Writer’s Life: Getting Started, Keeping Going, Getting Started Again.”

The program explored poetry, the unique challenges of writing poetry, and methods to keep at the writing process. Several writing prompts helped poets generate new ideas for future poems.

Poetry Reading

Following a brief intermission, a group of poets read their poems selected for inclusion in Tennessee Voices, 2022-2023. Readers included poems accepted from the Tennessee Voices call for submissions and monthly member contest 1st prize winners (see full list of winners here).

Call for Submission Top 3 Prizes

Prior to the festival, Tennessee Voices editorial board members Connie Jordan Green, Lacy Snapp and Maria Zoccola presented a short list of accepted poems, and Rick Hilles chose the top three:

  1. Carson Colenbaugh ($150), for “At the Powerline, Picking Blackberries”
  2. Jake Lawson ($100) for  “Sky Master”
  3. Rieppe Moore ($50) for “Lines on Snow”

ETSU Contest Winners

PST also announced the first place ETSU contest winner during the festival, Emily Wilson, for après moi, le déluge”. Get the full winner’s list here.

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