Palm Beach Poetry Festival Launches FISH TALES POETRY CONTEST Inspired by the ‘Fish Tales’ Exhibit at the Delray Beach Historical Society

Susan R. Williamson, Director of the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, has announced the Fish Tales Poetry Contest. To enter, local writers are encouraged to submit up to 30 lines of original poetry inspired by one of 10 designated photographs that are part of the Fish Tales exhibit now running at the Delray Beach Historical Society, located at 3 NE 1st Street.

Fish Tales refers to the stories, memorabilia, artwork, writing and history surrounding the sport and art of fishing in Delray Beach.

Untitled-design-143As Chris Justice wrote in The Poetry of Fishing, “As anglers cast into the mysterious lake of possibility seeking perfectly scaled gems, writers cast into the sea of language seeking the perfect word or phrase. Those quests are sometimes frustrating and often challenging, but regardless of results, they are always rewarding: having examined our deepest worries and wonders while writing of fishing, poets and anglers alike often produce memorable tales.”

The designated photographs now on display at the Delray Beach Historical Society include:
1. First Sailfish with Diane (Martini) Brewer (1980)
2. Uncle Bob’s First Fish, a pompano (1928)
3. Delray Fisherman and Writer Randall Wilson Davis (1937)
4. Samuel Ogren, Sr., Father of Delray Beach Architecture, fishing with family
5. Pioneers’ Catch of the Day, every face a story (circa 1910)
6. Dorothy Zill Susleck with Bluefish (1953)
7. Irwin J. Sinks’ Tackle Box (1926)
8. Fisherboy & Bonehead Shark (2007)
9. Sam Ogren Sr. & Jr., Father Son Fish from Delray Beach to Bimini
10. Fisherman Returning to Boynton Inlet – Photo by Peter W. Cross.

All images can be viewed now at the Delray Beach Historical Society or online at:

The winning poet will receive a $100 prize, and $25 will be given to each of the three runners-up. Their submitted poems – along with another five “honorable mentions” – will be published on the Poetry Festival’s website at

Poems should be submitted to: no later than March 1 , 2017. There is no age limit to enter, and all entries must be previously unpublished and submitted in English.

The Contest Judge is Stephen Gibson, author of seven poetry collections, most recently, Self-Portrait in a Door-Length Mirror, winner of the 2017 Miller Williams Prize, selected by Billy Collins. His poetry and fiction have appeared in American Arts Quarterly, Gargoyle, The Georgia Review, The Gettysburg Review, North American Review, The Paris Review, Pleiades, Poetry, River Styx, The Sewanee Review, Shenandoah, and The Yale Review among others. He taught for 32 years at the Belle Glade campus of Palm Beach State College.

“The Palm Beach Poetry Festival, through our collaborations with cultural organizations throughout the county, seeks to provide opportunities for artistic expression based on photography, painting, the heavens, the Everglades, and more,” says Festival Founder Miles Coon.

“We are thrilled to join with Delray Beach Historical Society to be inspired by the rich history and long traditions of the lives of those who fish in and around Delray Beach. I have learned so much from visiting the exhibit and from working with Winnie Edwards on the contest. We hope to catch a lot of poems! Looking so forward to reading what these images and treasured items will inspire poets to write,” adds Williamson.