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The Write Like Roethke Poetry Contest

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize, we invited the writers in the area to create a poem inspired by Saginaw’s native son and one of the most highly regarded poets of the twentieth century, Theodore Roethke (1908-1963), who remains the only Michigan writer to have won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

This contest was open to all residents of the Great Lakes Bay region. Three $100 cash prizes were awarded.  

Writers were asked to take one of the following quotes from Roethke’s poetry, and use it to inspire their own poem:

• “I have learned not to fear infinity / The far field, the windy cliffs of forever / The dying of time in the white light of tomorrow.”

• “Deep in their roots, all flowers keep their light.”

• “Love’s not love until love’s vulnerable.”

• “What is madness but nobility of the soul, at odds with circumstance?”

Thanks to all the 76 writers who submitted work for this contest, and congratulations to our three winners.

Contact Us

Festival Chair

Helen Raica-Klotz


Zahnow Library, 308