Annual Poetry Contest

The “Annual Juried Poetry Contest and Reading” is not new with the Yakima Coffeehouse Poets. Actually, 2019 is the contest’s 25th year, a milestone which is reflected in the title of this year’s contest chapbook: “twenty-fifth.”

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.

2020 Yakima Coffeehouse Poetry Contest

A special note to the Yakima Coffeehouse Poets community…

If you’re wondering about why you haven’t received your annual Call for Submissions for the Yakima Coffeehouse Poetry Contest, it’s because we have decided to move the dates of the contest.

For the last six years, the Call for Submissions has come out in March with the deadline for submissions coming about July 1. This put the reading event and release of the contest chapbook in October.

The timing of the reading event has created problems with scheduling; namely, finding a date that wouldn’t conflict with other community events. October is a busy month in Yakima.

To avoid this conflict, your board voted to move the contest so that the Call for Submissions will come out about Dec. 1, with the deadline for entries following on about March 1. The contest reading event and release of chapbook will happen in late April.

Incidentally, we made this decision before the pandemic. So that event had nothing to do with it. Hopefully, this will work for all of our poets out there who look forward to the contest event every year. Look for the Call for Submissions later this year.

Poetically yours,
Yakima Coffeehouse Poets

Contest questions, contact us at:

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.

The 2019 chapbook of winners, “twenty-fifth,” 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…

2019 Yakima Coffeehouse Poetry Contest Photo Gallery

2017 Yakima Coffeehouse Poetry Contest Photo Gallery

2016 Yakima Coffeehouse Poetry Contest Photo Gallery