Annual Poetry Contest

The 2020 has been a challenge for all — including Yakima Coffeehouse Poets. YCP president Ed Stover said the nonprofit’s board had a virtual meeting and made the decision to go ahead with the contest, now scheduled for the Spring of 2021.

“The Covid-19 pandemic we’re all facing is just the sort of challenge that brings out the best in us as poets,” said Stover. “What better reason to express oneself? Poetry is a powerful tool. It gives us permission to express how we feel.”

Yakima Coffeehouse Poetry Contest

Submissions are now closed for 2021.
  • An ENTRY is defined as at least three poems and no more than five.

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

  • To receive the TOM PIER PRIZE, Poetry submitted should demonstrate skill in the creation of at least three inter-related poems.

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

  • EMAIL submissions to

  • USPS snail mail submissions must be typed and include all of the items listed above. Mail to YCP, Box 2874, Yakima, WA, 98907.

  • ENTRY FEE: $10.00 per ENTRY (Students, $5.00) by USPS. Entries are valid when payment is received. Entry fee by check to YCP, Box 2874, Yakima, WA, 98907.

Poets residing in EASTERN WASHINGTON are ELIGIBLE. Eastern Washington includes eastern Cascade Mountains, mid-Columbia Basin, Tri-Cities and Walla Walla. Poets included in previous YCP and Allied Arts publications are also 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 2021 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.

The judging process is BLIND. That is, no information is available to the judges about the identity of any poet until the final selection is complete.

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.

Contest questions, contact us at:

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.

2019 Yakima Coffeehouse Poetry Contest Photo Gallery

2017 Yakima Coffeehouse Poetry Contest Photo Gallery

2016 Yakima Coffeehouse Poetry Contest Photo Gallery