The “Annual Juried Poetry Contest and Reading” is not new with the Yakima Coffeehouse Poets. Actually, 2018 is the contest’s 24th year, a milestone which is reflected in the title of this past year’s contest chapbook: “twenty-fourth.”
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
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 Custom Framing & Gallery. Earlier chapbooks from past years are still available by contacting Ed Stover at 509-833-8577 or…
The twenty-fourth annual Poetry Contest Reading Event was a great success!
2018 Yakima Coffeehouse Poetry Contest Photo Gallery
2017 Yakima Coffeehouse Poetry Contest Photo Gallery
2016 Yakima Coffeehouse Poetry Contest Photo Gallery
2015 Yakima Coffeehouse Poetry Contest Photo Gallery