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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.