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Read the winning poem from our 2023 poetry contest

We challenged our readers to turn one of our newsletters into a poem — here’s what you came up with.

A graphic with the words "2023 poetry contest finalists"

Drumroll, please.

Graphic by 6AM City

This April, we ran a poetry contest to celebrate National Poetry Month. We challenged you, our readers, to craft a poem using only the words that appeared in one of our newsletters (here are the original contest guidelines if you want to give it a try).

Turns out, you’re all poets and we didn’t even know it. We were beyond thrilled to read the original, creative, and awe-inspiring poems Raleighites created from our newsletter copy. Check out the poems below, including the contest winner our readers voted for.

Winner: “Raleigh poets’ night out” by Anna W.

Sitting in a bar downtown,

pruning minutes

back to the sweet,

we wrap another broken day

in a three-course rescue

of close talk

and swap perfect

for comfortable.

What happy erasure!

(If you’re trying to take

yourself offline,

this is the only way.)

After sundown, we forget

all limitation, practice

this city love-circus nonstop—

our must-dos discontinued,

playground gusto


If you’re looking at us,

we’re looking at you.

Please excuse our dazzling.

Finalist: “Minds & souls as well as just hearts” by Savannah H.

The luminance of a woman
is not unlike the lights of Orion
pressed to an ink-dark night like calligraphy,
dazzling as one sip of a star dust cocktail.
At sundown, the moon of Artemis is calling to you
to the women that walk through
pretty flowers and nonstop rain and cloudy smoke
and stay in the times we are trying to forget.

Finalist: “What it Could Be” by Julia B.

You need to love.

You bring the flowers,
Listen to the music.

Stay out,
Make history.

It can be simple,

Finalist: “Spring and Summer” by David S.

April will bring spring and summer
Happy hill unleashed their flowers
cloudy night show its treasures
The moon is full and on display
you ready for the rule of May?

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