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Joy Bale Boone (1912-2002) was an American poet best known for her devotion to the arts. Born in Chicago, where she received inspiration from

poet Harriet Monroe, Boone spent most of her life in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. She was active in the women's liberation movement, having formed the League of Women Voters in Hardin County, KY in 1944. Throughout her life, she served on numerous committees and boards in hopes that more people

would have the opportunity to experience the arts in the way that she had. Her most significant work was The Storm's Eye: A Narrative in Verse

Celebrating Cassius Marcellus Clay, Man of Freedom 1810–1903. She served as Kentucky's Poet Laureate from 1997-1998.

              From Joy



              Happiness is yet the essence of a moment--

               be still for this!

              Resist kaleidoscopes,

              the mad twirling of colors,

              and the hunter's horn.

              Fleet is the moment

              its essence shy

              can wait forever . . .

              only we die.

2023 Joy Bale Boone Poetry Prize


Now Open!

August 5-December 15, 2022

$750 Grand Prize
Please read the guidelines  below.

Contest Guidelines

  1. Submit no more than three (3) original, unpublished poems and donate $10.

  2. Poems should be typed, 12 point font and submitted as a Word file (no pdfs). Any style and/or length are accepted.

  3. Simultaneous submissions accepted, but poems placed elsewhere will not be included in contest.

  4. Each entrant will receive a copy of the Spring 2023 issue of The Heartland Review wherein winners and finalists will be published.

  5. Entrants should provide a cover page/cover letter that includes name, address, email, and a 30-40 word biography with the poems in one Word document. Personal information on the manuscripts results in immediate disqualification.

  6. Deadline for entries is postmark December 15, 2022.  Use the submit link below or if you mail your submission, the postmark must be Dec. 15, 2022.  Winners will be announced in February 2023.

  7. There is a $10.00 submission fee/donation.  Your donation supports the prize for this competition

Thank you for supporting our journal and remembering Joy!

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Meet the Judge

Bernard Clay is a Louisville, Kentucky, native who grew up in the shadow of the now demolished Southwick housing projects on the “West End” of town. He has spent most of his life in Kentucky cultivating an appreciation, over the years, for the state’s disappearing natural wonders and unique but sparse urban areas. 

Bernard received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Kentucky Creative Writing Program and is a member of the Affrilachian Poets collective. His work has been published in various journals and anthologies. He currently resides on a farm in eastern Kentucky with his herbalist wife Lauren (founder of Resilient Roots). English Lit is his first book.