The Sandy Crimmins National Prize for Poetry


Hello, friends!

As some of you may know, I am Contest Coordinator and – just recently – Assistant Poetry Editor for non-profit literary magazine Philadelphia Stories! I come to you in hopes you will submit to this year’s Sandy Crimmins National Prize for Poetry.

Here’s a little info about Sandy (and a bit about the contest, too!):

Sandy Crimmins’ poem “Spring” appeared in the first issue of Philadelphia Stories in 2004 and she performed at our launch party. She served on the Philadelphia Stories board from 2005 to 2007. In the ten years since we debuted, Sandy’s voice and vision have fundamentally shaped Philadelphia Stories.  Sandy was a poet who performed with musicians, dancers, and fire-eaters, and one of her proudest accomplishments was celebrating the work of her vibrant poetry community. In this spirit, Philadelphia Stories hosts the annual “Sandy Crimmins National Poetry Prize” to celebrate poets of all backgrounds, experience, and styles.

Thanks to the generous support of Sandy’s family, we are proud to offer the following contest prizes:

● The first-place winning poet will receive a $1,000 cash award for an individual poem, an invitation to an awards event in Philadelphia and publication in the Spring issue.
● Three runners up will receive $100 cash awards for individual poems as well as publication in our Spring issue.
● The winning poet and runners up are invited to submit chapbooks to be considered for publication by PS Books.
● All submitted poems may be selected by the editors for publication in our Spring issue.

(All information courtesy of

There is a $12 reading fee for every submission, and the deadline is approaching fast! Get yours in by November 15, 2014. All entrants will receive a complimentary one-year subscription to Philadelphia Stories, and there is some seriously good stuff in every issue.

For more information on submission guidelines, please click here.

Or if you’re ready and rearing to go, click HERE to submit!!

And even if you don’t plan to submit…I’d be eternally grateful if you could share this post with every corner of the internet. Tell your mother, tell your brother, tell all your poet friends. We’d really appreciate it.


Nicole Marie



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Lay’s: Stop Putting Freaky Shit On Potato Chips!

Nicole Marie:

Head on over to Edward’s place for a Saturday giggle; potato chip flavors are seriously getting out of hand.

Originally posted on Edward Hotspur:

Lay’s Potato Chips.

They taste just fine with salt. Great, in fact, whether they’re ridged or regular. They taste good in an onion dip.

I like the barbecue and the salt and vinegar. I like the chili lime. But then they started getting weird.


Sriracha was good, but the other two… BLT was not good. Chicken and Waffles – literally no one in my family could finish the bag. We threw it out. Terrible. Just awful. But NOW THEY’RE GETTING STRANGE!!!!


Okay, these things have no business being on potato chips. None whatsoever. But people are voting on them, and they’ll see the light. Just like political election voters do! Ha ha!

But now, they’ve gone too far!!! They’re putting all kinds of weird shit on chips. It’s just sick and desperate, so very desperate. Terrible, really. Like the cable TV of chips. Mostly inedible. Just take a look…

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Lily Eyes

i’ve been packed in some

u n g o d l y   earth

like all of the dead i know

we are molding daisies

with our hands


her chest is

two perfect rosebuds

.         i close my lily eyes


leaves and cold rain


if i reach my branches

.                              a little
to the left

there are earth worms

digging their way up.


i try to dance with them

.         we twist freely in the dark

falling in rhythm with the forest


i’m blooming like my grandmother’s garden


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i see me best

take a look at my body,

can you see it?


I am a slow-dying series of rainstorms

drowning in the possibilities of me


I hide in washes of spiked holy water

and the hazy feel of

hands on these hips,

suddenly they are the gentlest waves


look at me in moonlight

it’s forgiving, that cosmic candlelight

my breasts

they’re almost worldly then


in the dark

I see me best

in the dark

I make shapes

like a goddess


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If I Were to Lose You


if i were to lose you


it would be in

handfuls of plums

from the fruit basket,

the last piece bruised,

but worth the keep.


i’d hold it in my hands

the tiny tender heart

i’d take a bite

and then



and after i’d made it

to the pit

i would crack every tooth

because you told me



that every thing

i’ve always

longed for

is buried in the

hardest parts

of me.


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I Bang My Fists In The Dark

Nicole Marie:

Join me for some poetry over at Tipsy Lit!

Originally posted on TIPSY LIT:


Photo credit:
Design credit: Ericka Clay

I grew up

missing a heart chamber

one was breathing

the second was laughter


then awareness

of something dull and aching

the room

where the last would have been

it was attic space

there is a faint must now

old, unrepaired damage

I grew

into something like a woman

you know, sexiness in moderation

confidence in quiet increments

and now there is a bragging right

being passed around

like a silly childhood photograph

let’s wave her life

like a white flag

we’re proud, we’re proud

so very proud of the

hurt in your words

I bang my fists in the dark

can they even see me?

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every single thing was as it had been

when I pulled into the driveway

I could already feel you.


you followed me

to the front step,

always the same bossy musk

that kept me standing

when I got too starry-eyed

in the city.


I slipped the key

into our lock

and paused,

I pressed both palms

against the door

and felt for your heartbeat.


when I stepped inside

I walked the path to our kitchen

in the dark


every single thing was as it had been.


I turned on the light

your grocery list waved hello

from the refrigerator.


I put a peace sign

to each temple

and breathed in deep,

some unexpected sweetness.


there wasn’t a card

this was your way


we’d never used words

to explain the synchronicity

of our bodies.


I moved to the coffee table

you must have placed them there

expecting me home


the petals were as wrinkled

as my blouse,

the dozen hung their heads

like silent grievers.


I sat down

and grieved with them.


This is my take on today’s Daily Prompt:

You return home to discover a huge flower bouquet waiting for you, no card attached. Who is it from — and why did they send it to you?



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Five Reasons with Meg Lago

Nicole Marie:

Just five more reasons why you should follow us at Tipsy Lit, via the brilliance that is Meg Lago.

Originally posted on TIPSY LIT:

Because why wouldn't you take my advice?  I'M HALF COW.

Because why wouldn’t you take my advice? I’M HALF COW.

When I went to college I had to use a fan to sleep through the night because my roommate snored so loud you could hear it all the way in space.  It was the only thing that helped drown out the methodical buzz drones coming out of my roommate’s nasal passage.

Anywhere I went: sleepovers, camp trips, hotels, I needed to have a fan in order to sleep. I became hopelessly addicted to white noise.

That year, I came home for the holidays and my mom, being the saint that she is dealing with a woman-child, had outfitted my room with a nice oscillating fan that allowed me to drift off into dreamland sans interruption.

Then on Christmas, I was faced with the greatest dilemma of all time.  Do I open the big box or the little box?  It had been so long since…

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I’m an American Citizen

Originally posted on TIPSY LIT:

It isn’t too often I have to flag someone in the airport, since customers come and go as quickly as I can say onomatopoeia or think of the perfect sound to imitate the projectile vomit someone may or may not be gifting to everyone on their flight (alcohol or anxiety related, it’s hard to tell).

A few days ago we experienced a supermoon which is pretty much code for bat-shit crazy customers; by the third hour of a quiet shift there was a woman, two and a half drinks in, flying backwards off her barstool like something out of The Hangover.

I’m always careful to watch for signs of drunkenness amongst customers, and this lady hadn’t dropped any hints until she landed on her ass and declared herself a klutz, quickly became “besties” with the patron beside her and starting to cry when she realized she’d missed her flight.

I presented her with…

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where loneliness begins


I remember drab linoleum

like a jaded family reunion


in muggy midsummer there are

flies making figure eights

over the casserole


that place is where

my loneliness begins.


a fan in the corner

is humming dust bunny confetti

around my bedroom


occasionally I hear

a lock turn over


the wood is splintered

at the bottom of my door


they won’t believe me


but it’s louder than

my songs

that rattle paper walls

like sudden cracks of thunder.


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