Yakima Coffeehouse Poets   

Yakima Coffeehouse Poets

A meeting place for Yakima regional writers

Annual Poetry Contest

The "Annual Juried Poetry Contest and Reading" is not new with the Yakima Coffeehouse Poets. Actually, 2017 is the contest's 23rd year, a milestone which is reflected in the title of this year's contest chapbook: "twenty-third."


The event has a history, one that got its start in 1994 as the brainchild of Elizabeth Herres Miller, a former executive director of Allied Arts of Yakima who thought a literary event would complement the nonprofit' s visual arts calendar. The contest quickly caught on. In 2006, a second event was later added: "Open Mic Night," a monthly spoken-word forum for local poets to read their own poetry. Unfortunately, while the fortunes of these poetry events waxed, those of Allied Arts waned. The nonprofit closed its doors in December 2013.


Enter the Yakima Coffeehouse Poets, organized by local writers in 2014. The goal? Keep poetry alive! A nonprofit was formed. In 2014, in lieu of a contest, YCP, supported by many generous donors, published "Twentieth," an anthology of winners from 19 years of contests under Allied Arts. The title acknowledges what would have been the contest's 20th year. The release event on Nov. 30, 2014, attracted many poets from past years who read their winning poems to a standing-room-only crowd.


That event set the stage for the 2015 Yakima Coffeehouse Poetry Contest, which, if you give us the formatting hiccup in 2014 to reorganize, marked 21 consecutive years of juried poetry competition in the Central Washington poetry community.  


The 2017 chapbook of winners, "twenty-third," with cover art by Cheryl Hahn, is available for a $10 donation to YCP either at  Inklings Bookshop or Oak Hollow Gallery & Frames. Earlier chapbooks from past years are still available by contacting Ed Stover at
 or 509-833-8577.


Download General, Submission, Eligibility
 Tom Pier Information (PDF)



 Yakima Coffeehouse Poets

How to submit your poetry

- All Entries Due Monday, July 2, 2018 -  

1. An ENTRY is defined as at least three poems and no more than five.

2. One poem per page.  Longer poems must include the poem’s title on all sequential numbered pages.

3. A Separate Cover Sheet is required with your name, address, phone number, email address and all poem titles.

4. E-mail submissions to    .  USPS snail mail submissions must be typed and include all of items listed above. Mail to:   Yakima Coffeehouse Poets, Box 2874 Yakima WA, 98907

5. ENTRY FEE:  $10.00 per ENTRY (Students, $5.00) by USPS.  Entries are valid when payment is received!    Please send entry fees by check to Yakima Coffeehouse Poets, Box 2874 Yakima WA, 98907


Yakima Coffeehouse Poets

2018 Eligibility & Tom Pier Prize Notation

All poets residing in INLAND WASHINGTON STATE are ELIGIBLE.  INLAND  WASHINGTON includes eastern Cascade Mountains, mid-Columbia Basin and south to the  Tri-Cities and Walla Walla.

Poets in previous YCP and Allied Arts chapbooks are eligible. Signed or hand--written poems, or poems decorated with clip art, borders, drawings or photos WILL NOT  be accepted.

Winning poems will be published in 2018 YCP chapbook.  All entering poets will receive a free copy of the chapbook.  Chapbooks will be available to the public for a donation of $10.00 per copy.
For the contest year of 2018,  YCP governing committee members will be ELIGIBLE  to submit poetry for the contest.  Judges are selected by the YCP committee and are often winners from the previous year, however, judging for the contest will be and has always been carried out by NON-MEMBERS of the committee.  The judging process is BLIND.  That is, no information is available to the judges about the identify of any poet until the final selection is complete.

For clarification, this year, we include the following remark about the TOM PIER
PRIZE.  To receive the prize, the poetry submitted should demonstrate skill in the creation of at least three poems inter-related in theme.


Yakima Coffeehouse Poets


2017 Yakima Coffeehouse Poetry Contest
Photo Gallery
  (Click on any picture to enlarge)



Emcee Mark Fuzie
Emcee Mark Fuzie

Joyce Hernandez reading at the 2017 Contest.
Joyce Hernandez reading at the 2017 Contest.

Reception and lots of chitchat
Lots of chit-chat at the reception.

The Test Tube Poets
The Test Tube Poets providing entertainment for us all




Yakima Coffeehouse Poets



2016 Yakima Coffeehouse Poetry Contest Photo Gallery
  (Click on any picture to enlarge)


2016 Poetry Contest - Judge Clair Carpenter
Judge Claire Carpenter speaking to the audience at The Seasons.


2016 Poetry Contest Emcee - Mark Fuzie
Emcee Mark Fuzie

2016 Poetry Contest - Kathleen Smith
Second Prize - Kathleen Smith

2016 Poetry Contest Tom Pier Prize - W.D. Frank
Tom Pier Prize - W.D. Frank


2016 Poetry Contest - Randi Gotlieb
Honorable Mention - Randie Gotlieb



Yakima Coffeehouse Poets 


2015 Yakima Coffeehouse Poetry Contest Photo Gallery
  (Click on any picture to enlarge)


2015 Poetry Contest First Prize - Joanna Thomas
First Prize - Joanna Thomas


2015 Poetry Contest Second Prize - Karly Smith
Second Prize - Karly Smith


2015 Poetry Contest Third Prize - Susan Blair
Third Prize - Susan Blair

2015 Poetry Contest Tom Pier Prize - Jo Shafer
Tom Pier Prize - Jo Shafer


























Yakima Coffeehouse Poets


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2018 Contest Information 

YCP 2018 Contest Information


2017 Contest chapbook 

Library of Publications - Twenty-third chapbook for Yakima Coffeehouse Poets
Link to our: 
Library of Publications


2017 Poetry Contest...

1st Prize - Joyce Hernandez

2nd Prize - Joe Powell

3rd Prize - Penny K. Johnson

Tom Pier Prize - Terry Martin

- Honorable Mention -
Mark Burns
Claire Carpenter
Susan Johnson
Victoria Patschke
Donna Raforth
Jo Shafer
Kathleen Stancik (2)
Joanna Thomas (2)


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Featured Poets...


Joyce Hernandez

Joe Powell

Penny K. Johnson

Terry Martin

Victoria Patschke