Neahkahnie Mountain Poetry Prize

Submissions for the 2024 Neahkahnie Mountain Poetry Prize open January 1, 2024.

The first place winner will receive $100 cash and have their poem published on the website. Second and third place winners also get their poems published on the website. See the 2023 winning poems and honorable mentions below.

In addition, the winning poets will read their work at a special Hoffman Center event on April 14th, which will celebrate the launch of new poetry collections from Airlie Press. .

The contest judge this year is Logan Garner, the 2023 winner of the Neahkahnie Mountain Poetry Prize. He lives and writes on Oregon’s north coast at the mouth of the Columbia River. His first poetry collection, Here, in the Floodplain, was published by Plan B Press in 2023, and his work has appeared in the Elevation Review, Flying Island, the North Coast Squid and others. He’s currently working on two more poetry collections. 

Click here to view and download event flyer

Logan Garner is the author of Here, in the Floodplain (Plan B Press, 2023). He won this year’s Poetry Prize held by Manzanita Writers’ Series and the Hoffman Center for the Arts. His poetry has appeared in The Purpled Nail (Underwood Press) and the Kneeland Center for Poetry’s Elevation Review and his fiction has been featured in speculative magazines and anthologies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in science communication and philosophy from Butler University. Logan moved from Indianapolis to Warrenton, Oregon in 2015 where the roots he’s put down continue to grow.

“The sense of place I have found on Oregon’s north coast is something I never quite grasped in the Midwest. There is something about our capricious weather conditions, which never seem to make up their minds about who they are, that sets me right at home. I’m sure that’s telling. While I’ll always consider part of myself a Hoosier poet, it is here where I find myself growing, exploring, creating, staying. This is in no small part due to organizations like the Hoffman Center for the Arts and the creative communities they serve. I am so grateful for both.”

The contest judge, Lauren Mallett, commented “I feel at home in the particular grief of “5 NOVEMBER.” The coast is a character here, and–in the absence of Sam, a beloved dog–an obtrusive one at that. The natural world speaks when the speaker and partner have nothing to say.”

5 NOVEMBER

You called me.
Sam—the dog
—our sweet boy
was gone.

Come home, he’s a pile
under the kitchen table.
His late final den.

The food we ordered
some days later,
after another hours-long cry,
was deep fried, crusted thick,
figurative ash caking
the soft palates of our mouths.

Today we drive to
take a walk, just us,
mosquitoes nitpicking
and reeling close.
Your arms crossed.
My head down.

The surf pines all lean
together over us rude and
low up over the dunes.
We can see the tide
rolling in dark
beneath the gray
and climbing anvils.

We’re coming into some weather.

Logan Garner

A Chance Meeting with My Mother
on the Anniversary of Her Death

Last night I found her sitting behind the wheel
in a sunny parking lot. She looked carefree:
short brown hair, blue t-shirt, bare arms.
I was thrilled to see her in the driver’s seat again
after those last months behind the red Rollator walker
or perched on the brown recliner, elevated
on blocks so she could rise. Now it seems
she was just resting, getting ready for this younger life.
Her arms so firm and supple—were they real?
“Could I touch you?” I asked.
“People even reach right through me,” she answered. 
Mother, were you smiling when you said that?

Phyllis Mannan

Phyllis Mannan has a memoir, Torn Fish: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and Their Shared Humanity, and a poetry chapbook, Bitterbrush. Her work has appeared in Cloudbank, the North Coast Squid, The Oregonian, Rain Magazine, and elsewhere. She has lived in Manzanita full-time since 2007.

 

Prepared

it’s important to be prepared
for emergencies
Grandpa said
opening the trunk
water
oil
towel
rope
screwdrivers
plastic bag by the tire iron
are those your emergency gummy bears Grandpa?

oh those


yes

Katz Bryan

 

Katz Bryan is a proud resident of Rockaway Beach, where he can often be found combing the beach for shells and rocks. In poetry, he seeks to honor the people he has known, and to share the humor or wisdom he has discovered along the way.

Ursula McCabe, Portland, OR  “Calling Doctor Bushtit”
L Swartz, Wheeler, OR   “OCEAN (mocking)”
Matt Wigdahl, Castle Rock, CO and Cannon Beach, OR  “Is language still the bed you seek?”