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Congratulations to all the poets who were selected for the annual HWA Poetry Showcase IX


Congratulations Poets! by Angela Yuriko Smith

Congratulations to all the poets who were selected for the annual HWA Poetry Showcase IX, especially our featured poets Stephanie M. Wytovich, Geneve Flynn and Naomi Simone Borwein. It was difficult to choose just 50 poems when well over 200 poetry submissions came in this year. I’m grateful for fellow judges Lee Murray, Maxwell I. Gold and Frances Pai for helping me to read all of these and make the hard decisions. 

A big thank you to HWA John Palisano for showing support for dark poetry and poets by not only doubling the Showcase payments this year, but for awarding poets both the payment and a contributor copy beginning with last year’s publication. Until now, poets had to choose between payment or a contributor copy.

With the HWA taking steps to show support for the dark poets, I hope we poets can return the love. The annual Showcase is historically an underperforming publication with less than 10 total sales per year. I know we can do better.

The selections for this year may be done, but we are far from finished. As the poems are being compiled and formatted for publication we will have many opportunities to showcase the Showcase. I encourage poets to share their poem in readings and link back to the publication to support fellow dark poets and the HWA, the organization that supports us. We appreciate this opportunity to be heard, and we have a lot to say. 

The Poetry Showcase was conceived by the late Peter Adam Salomon. He was an advocate for poetry and poets in the HWA. His support is why I write poetry now. I made my first professional poetry sale to Peter for the second Showcase back in 2015. The cover of this year’s Showcase, created by Kyra Starr, honors Peter Adam Salomon and all that he has done for us. His spirit is still very much a part of this publication. 

Congratulations to all the poets who make up this year’s Table of Contents and congratulations and huge thanks to every poet that submitted. It was difficult to choose just 50. Whether or not you are one of those 50, you have sent a message by your participation. 

Poetry matters. Poets matter. We continue to matter.

– Angela Yuriko Smith


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