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.

2022 Joy Bale Boone Poetry Prize

First Place 2021 Joy Bale Boone Poetry Prize

Libby Falk Jones

Dark Winter


Their tongue

a titter, chickadees.

Teakettle steam quilts

air, her eyebrows arch.

The twitter

of snow-


flakes on the window pane, snow

a chilled tongue

of grief, twitter

of dis-ease.  No black-and-white chickadees’

notes penetrate, arch

guiltily under the quilt


of troubled dreams.  To quilt

is to make art, make blocks cascade, like snow

seals Arctic ice blocks, arch

of igloo door an impenetrable tongue.

Hush, hush, little chickadees,

she croons, as the last logs twitter


in the woodstove, fritter, smoosh, twitter

like lovebirds long familiar, under bedquilt.

Fricassee, wait and see, who is he, chickadees?

Who can tell, ever, the meaning of snow

in any tongue

especially ours, so bare, so thin?  Under hearth arch


a cat sleeps orange, twitches with dreams of his arch

rival, black, bitter, sleek.  Paws a-twitter,


silent, claws stretched across the quilt

her grandmother pieced, snow

cluttering the empty birdfeeder, chickadees


so soon gone.  She to follow those chickadees,

echo that call, through the arch

of  eternity.  Who will carry her through snow,

whose soothing twitter

lay her to rest beneath the quilt

her grandmother sold her coat to finish, who will sound her tongue?


Snow softens frozen memories, chickadees’

tongues, leaves language to arch,

to astonish, its twitter smooth as a quilt.




Grand Prize $750

Submit no more than three (3) original, unpublished poems and donate $15. Or send poems and check or money order (we cannot accept cash) with a SASE to:

2022 Joy Bale Boone Poetry Prize

c/o Sandi Howard

ECTC 600 College Street Road

Elizabethtown, KY 42701


Poems should be typed, 12 point font and submitted as a Word file. Any style and/or length are accepted. No simultaneous submissions accepted. Each entrant will receive a copy of the Spring 2022 issue of The Heartland Review wherein winners and finalists will be published. Entrants should provide a cover page separate that includes name, address, email, and a 30-40 word biography with the poems in one Word document. Personal information on the manuscript results in immediate disqualification. Deadline for entries is postmark December 15, 2021. Winners will be announced in February 2022. Thank you for supporting our journal and remembering Joy.




Judge Tom C. Hunley


Tom C. Hunley is a professor in at Western Kentucky University where he directs the MFA/BA Creative Writing programs. He is the author of seven chapbooks and seven full-length poetry collections, including Adjusting to the Lights a Rattle Chapbook Prize winner and What Feels Like Love: New and Selected Poems (C&R Press 2021). He is the co-editor, with Alexandria Peary, of Creative Writing Pedagogies for the Twenty-First Century (Southern Illinois University Press 2015). He and his wife, Ralaina, have been married since 1996. They have raised four children.