Ars Poetica Prize 2022

The Ars Poetica Prize aims to recognize exceptional poetry about poetry.

For the 2022 Ars Poetica Prize we asked for poetry that “identifies and engages with itself as poetry—and/or the process and product of writing poetry—in some central and meaningful way.”

We gave no restrictions on poem length, genre, subject, style, or publication history. We left it to you, poets, to show us what “exceptional ars poetica” looks like.

We received nearly 200 poems, each with a unique approach to writing poetry about poetry. The proceeds from the 2022 Ars Poetica entries and private donations will help support Riddled with Arrows Literary Journal. This year we earned enough to fully fund one more issue in 2022, with some left over. Thank you!!

.Ars Poetica Winning Poems

First Place

Jennifer Martelli

Second Place

saturday with kenneth koch
Brian Evans-Jones

Third Place

Dead Bird:
Another Mental Illness Poem

Eileen Malone

Ars Poetica Finalists
Congratulations to the following poets for their excellent work in ars poetica:

“Sentience” (Honorable Mention)
Matthew Murrey

Chris Bullard

“Why I Write Poems”
Gretchen Fletcher

“Through an Excess of Caution”
D.B. Jonas

“Close Reading”
Tina Kelley

“Poetry Is”
Elaine Koplow

“Carole Mertz”
Invited to Linger

“Ars Poetica”
Colleen Michaels

About the Judge

Jennifer Givhan is a Mexican-American and indigenous poet, novelist, and transformational coach from the Southwestern desert and the recipient of poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and PEN/Rosenthal Emerging Voices. She holds a Master’s degree from California State University Fullerton and a Master’s in Fine Arts from Warren Wilson College.

She is the author of five full-length poetry collections, including Rosa’s Einstein (University of Arizona Press), and the novels Trinity Sight and Jubilee (Blackstone Publishing), which were finalists for the Arizona-New Mexico Book Awards.

Ars Poetica Prize Winners and one entrant selected by lottery will receive a signed copy of JUBILEE, courtesy of Riddled with Arrows.

Jennifer’s newest poetry collection Belly to the Brutal (Wesleyan University Press) and novel River Woman, River Demon (Blackstone Publishing) drop this fall 2022. Both new books draw from Givhan’s practice of brujería.

Her poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have appeared in The New Republic, The Nation, POETRY, TriQuarterly, The Boston Review, The Rumpus, Salon, and many others. She’s received the Southwest Book Award, New Ohio Review’s Poetry Prize, Phoebe Journal’s Greg Grummer Poetry Prize, the Pinch Journal Poetry Prize, and Cutthroat’s Joy Harjo Poetry Prize. Learn more at

First Readers

In the interest of being well-rounded and as equitable as possible, we recruited a panel of volunteer First Readers to help screen and score every Ars Poetica entry.

No system can resolve all possible evils—if you ever doubt that what constitutes “good” poetry is anything but arbitrary, ask three literate people to score the same ten poems.

It’s a big ask to say, hey come sit with three dozen esoteric poems about poems by total strangers on this nice summer day for no pay, just “eternal gratitude” and “All due glory”. In our eyes, these folks are literary heroes. Can we get a round of public adoration for these most generous volunteer readers and Friends of Riddled with Arrows?  (Including those who chose to remain anonymous. You know who you are. Presumably.)

Christina Durborow is a former adjunct professor with an MA in English Literature. She taught at Rowan University, Rutgers-University Camden, and the University of Delaware, where served as an editor for the Arak Anthology. Christina serves as the current Emerging Fellow in Creative Non-fiction for the Delaware Division of the Arts.

Margaret King‘s recent work has appeared in MoonPark Review, Sledgehammer, Nightingale & Sparrow, and Moist Poetry Journal. In 2021, she was nominated for a Pushcart for her eco-flash fiction story “The Sky Is Blue.” She teaches tai chi in Wisconsin. She is also the author of the poetry collection, Isthmus.

Stef Rozitis is a high school teacher, and an early career researcher from South Australia. They live with 2 of their 3 children and write about the environment, relationships, including their toxic co-dependent relationship with their cat. Being an avid reader as well as a teacher, Stef feels privileged to read other people’s work

Jeff Smith is an experienced parole officer, longshoreman, babysitter, herb vendor, tropical agriforester, refugee, public relations copywriter, census taker, photographer, singer-songwriter, corporate executive, stay-at-home dad, author, and replacement for a broken switch, among other things. His love of photography died in the digital revolution. Most of his writings are lost as obsolete software. A pinched nerve numbed his hands, to the detriment of his guitar playing. He can still sing, and does.

Amanda Yskamp is a writer and collage artist. Her work has appeared in such magazines as Threepenny Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Georgia Review, Boxcar Review, Rattapallax, and Caketrain. She lives on the 10-year flood plain of the Russian River, where she serves as the librarian at a local school and teaches writing from her online classroom.

Riddled with Arrows 5.4:

Open Fiction | Open Poetry
Open Foreword | Open Ars Poetica
Open Contents | Open Contributor Bios
Close this Issue