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There’s a new effort to encourage aspiring poets on the Central and South Coasts

Hannah Olinger
There’s a new effort to encourage aspiring poets on the Central and South Coasts

Cash prizes will be offered to the winners of an annual writing competition in Santa Barbara County

The Carol DeCanio Abeles Emerging Poets Prize is intended to encourage adult poets in Santa Barbara County, who have not yet published a full-length book of poems.

The top prize is $500 and is in honor of late local poet Carol DeCanio Abeles, explained Chryss Yost, Director of Santa Barbara Poetry Fund.

Each prize is awarded for a single poem, and poets can send up to three poems per entry.

“Our poetry community is incredibly vibrant,” said Yost, who served as Poet Laureate in Santa Barbara from 2013-2015. “But it can be difficult for adult poets to share their work. This prize is meant to be a way to encourage poets at the beginning of their poetry career, whether they are 20, 40, 60, or more. Poetry is open to everyone!”

Three awards will be given: 1st place ($500), Runner-Up ($300), and Second Runner-Up ($200).

Winners will be shared online and on social media by Santa Barbara’s own independent poetry publisher, Gunpowder Press, as well as being displayed by the Library.

The prize honors Carol DeCanio Abeles, who was an enthusiastic supporter of poets in the local community and organized poetry month displays every April and encouraged other poets to share their work.

Submissions are due by March 15, 2022.

To learn more, visit the Gunpowder Press website.