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In-House Poem Contest

Winning Results


We are so excited to announce that Khalisa Rae's "Upon Learning My Ancestors Were Geechie Freed Slaves and Owned an Island off Louisiana" is this year's winner for the 2024 In-House Poem Contest! This important poem is a sonically complex, explosive exploration and illumination of history, both familial and collective. It calls on the reader to think deeper about the lineage of slavery and freed slaves in Louisiana on the language level, never veering from the message of power dynamics and, eventually, rebirth. 

We would also like to thank the following finalists as well for their amazing work, which we will be publishing in our 2025 Anthology alongside the winner.

  • Emilee Kinney, "County Fair at Night"

  • Danielle Harms, "Reminders to Self" 

  • Marina Kraiskaya, "For Vera"

Finally, we'd like to say a big thank you to everyone who submitted their work. We were honored to read all these poems, and we cannot wait to see what amazing poems we receive for next year's contest!


  • Submissions will be open from September 1st to January 31st.

  • Winner will be announced in April or May 2024.

  • Winner will be published in our annual anthology.


  • The winning poet will receive $300 USD, five copies of the anthology they appear in, and the opportunity to participate in a standout interview about their work.

  • Up to five finalist will be selected as well. Finalists will receive $50 USD, publication in Driftwood Press' print journal, and a free copy of the anthology they appear in.

Past Contest Winners

[2023 Contest]

[2022 Contest]

[2021 Contest]

[2020 Contest]

[2019 Contest]



  • Submitters may send up to five poems in a single document for consideration.

  • Each poem must not exceed sixty lines.

  • Prose poetry, experimental poetry, and poetry with a visual element are all welcome. Collaborations are also welcome, just know that you will be required to evenly split the $300 USD reward money amongst however many contributors there are.

  • We do not accept translations, and any submissions should be written primarily in English.

  • We do not accept previously published poems.

  • We read submissions blind, so please do not include your name, email, or any identifying characteristics on the manuscript itself.

  • You may include a cover letter/biography in the form space below, but these are not read by editors and hold no sway in our selection process.

  • Submission fee is $25.00 USD. Each submitter will receive a free copy of a Driftwood Press poetry collection of their choosing in the mail. 

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