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.
Happiness is yet the essence of a moment--
be still for this!
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
a titter, chickadees.
Teakettle steam quilts
air, her eyebrows arch.
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Submit no more than three (3) original, unpublished poems and donate $15.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.