Winners Announced for 2007 War Poetry Contest

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Kyle McDonald of Toronto is the winner of the sixth annual War Poetry Contest sponsored by Winning Writers. This contest seeks today's best poetry on the theme of war. Mr. McDonald's poem, "The Rose of Ilium", was judged the best of 840 entries from around the world. The winning entries are published at

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Winning Writers is pleased to announce the results from its sixth annual War Poetry Contest. Kyle McDonald of Toronto, Ontario won first prize and $2,000 for his poem "The Rose of Ilium", an epic account of a battle between Greek hero Achilles and Penthesilea, queen of the Amazons. Mr. McDonald's poem was written in rhyming iambic pentameter couplets, in the style of Alexander Pope's translation of the Iliad.

Poets from around the world submitted 840 entries of 1-3 poems each. They were judged by Jendi Reiter, award-winning author of A Talent for Sadness (Turning Point Books, 2003). Ms. Reiter comments, "I was immensely pleased to find such skilled formal poets among this year's entrants. The winning authors did not simply imitate outworn romantic styles, but engaged with the classical tradition on a sophisticated level and made it their own... McDonald captures the heroic grandeur of equally matched warriors who lament yet succumb to the fate that made them enemies instead of lovers. This tragedy makes the poem intensely personal and moving, notwithstanding the epic scope of the storyline."

Julian Damanas of Atlanta, GA won second prize and $1,200 for "Gasoline", an apocalyptic allegory of the clash of great powers over the world's oil. Aliene Pylant of Flower Mound, TX won third prize and $600 for "Girl in the Fire". In this lyric poem, a young girl, watching her father build a bonfire, finds that her childhood faith provides little reassurance in the face of the human potential for violence. Twelve honorable mentions of $100 each were also awarded, bringing the total prize pool to $5,000. The winners and 14 finalists are published at

The War Poetry Contest is sponsored by Winning Writers. It seeks original, unpublished poems on the theme of war. Contestants may submit 1-3 poems, up to 500 lines in all. Submissions for the 2008 contest are accepted from November 15, 2007 through May 31, 2008. The prize pool is again $5,000, including a first prize of $2,000. Entries are accepted online and by mail. The entry fee is $15. For more information, please see our guidelines page.

Please feel free to request additional information or permission to reprint poems, or to arrange interviews with the contest winners.

About Winning Writers, Inc.

Winning Writers is today's leading source for poetry contest information. We have been selected as one of the "101 Best Websites for Writers" by Writer's Digest for three years running (2005-07). Our online database, Poetry Contest Insider, includes complete guidelines and rankings for over 750 poetry contests, plus over 300 of the top fiction and essay contests. Our free email newsletter offers news about quality free contests and literary resources. Winning Writers sponsors two annual contests, the War Poetry Contest and the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest. The latter is free to enter.

Winning Writers was founded in 2001 by Jendi Reiter and Adam Cohen. Learn more at


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Kyle McDonald, First Prize Winner in the 2007 War Poetry ContestKyle McDonald of Toronto won First Prize and $2,000 in the 2007 War Poetry Contest sponsored by Winning Writers. His poem is entitled "The Rose of Ilium". Born in Saskatchewan in 1980, he has lived most of his life in Ontario and attended the University of Toronto and Sheridan College for Theatre and Drama Studies: he is currently a professional actor. Having always been interested in writing, he has composed several plays (most of which are in verse) and two novels. He is currently working on a third novel composed entirely in sextet cantos.Julian Damanas, Second Prize Winner in the 2007 War Poetry ContestJulian Damanas of Atlanta, GA won Second Prize and $1,200 in the 2007 War Poetry Contest sponsored by Winning Writers. Her poem is entitled "Gasoline". "I've been an editor, a teacher, an actress, a fashion designer, a nightclub singer, a child-laborer, a kept woman, a wife, a mother, a tea-garden socialite, a palace denizen, a temple mascot, a clubkid, an office-drone, an academic and a stonemason. I've been a tailor, a wanderer, a homeless bum, a volunteer and a barbarian."Aliene Pylant, Third Prize Winner in the 2007 War Poetry ContestAliene Pylant of Flower Mound, TX won Third Prize and $600 in the 2007 War Poetry Contest sponsored by Winning Writers. Her poem is entitled "Girl in the Fire". Ms. Pylant is employed at Richland College in Dallas, Texas, as a Senior Rehabilitation Specialist in the Office of Disability Services. Her poetry, most of which approximates rhymed iambic pentameter, has appeared in The Formalist, Raintown Review, Daughters of Sarah, Relief, and Texas Poetry Calendar. Ms. Pylant was Commended in the 2007 Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse.Jendi Reiter, Judge of the War Poetry ContestJendi Reiter is the editor of Poetry Contest Insider, an online database of poetry contests published by Winning Writers. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The New Criterion, First Things, Hanging Loose, Cider Press Review, Southern Poetry Review, Grasslands Review, Best American Poetry, and many other publications. She has won two awards from the Poetry Society of America, Lyric Magazine's College Poet of the Year Prize, the Mildred Werba Poetry Prize, the Olay Fine Lines Poetry Contest, and a National Endowment for the Humanities grant for poetry criticism. Turning Point Books published her first book of poetry, A Talent for Sadness, in 2003. See Ms. Reiter's work at Writers LogoWinning Writers finds and creates quality resources for poets and writers. It sponsors the annual War Poetry Contest and Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest. Established in 2001, Winning Writers has been named one of the "101 Best Websites for Writers" by Writer's Digest (2005-2007). Learn more at