This season's Poetry Contest was very challenging and every submission was much appreciated. The judges spent well over a week analyzing and scoring the poems. We are excited to share with our readers the winning poems and some background on the winning writers.
Tied for 3rd in the contest, we have Monique Espinoza.
Monique Espinoza is a Latina mother, teaching artist and poet from Phoenix, Az. Her poetry explores identity, motherhood, mental health, and love.
She is a citizen at the WordPlay Cafe open mic and a teaching artist with the youth poetry program, Project Lit.
Through her writing Monique hopes to inspire healing and connection.
Here is Monique Espinoza's poem from our Summer Contest.
Perfectly curated living rooms
Mom bloggers with flawless skin and 5 star dishes for their 4 year old child
I see six packs and big bootys
Thick thighs and airbrushed makeup
A never ending stream
You see my highlight reel
I see the behind the scenes
That picture at the wedding
The one with almost a 100 likes
Of my smile painted across my face in ruby red?
Skin tight black dress accenting my curves
I had an anxiety attack an hour before,
Stood dressless in the kitchen
As my boyfriend stitched the seam that I tore
like a professional to ease my tears
Makeup running down my face
Because that is how my anxiety likes to remind me she’s there
That she’s present
At all times even when
I’m so happy I almost forget
She likes to come unannounced
Makes ME feel like the unwelcome guest
Like the alien invader
On the planet of me
Fills up the room with so much tension
That I could feel the rope tighten around my neck
She shows up on good days
And lingers around on the bad
On the days I already doubt myself
She sits there and lists out all of my mistakes
How many goals I haven’t reached
Reminds me of how flawed I really am
How many people I’ve hurt and disappointed
Sometimes the bad days turn into weeks
And I am consumed
She is all consuming
Lover of death And stories
She writes drafts about my death
Make me fall in love with the idea
of my funeral
But I never commit to
I have commitment issues and
Nobody posts about funerals on
Follow Monique on Instagram and show her some love for all of her hard work in the community. Thanks to all of the writers in our community! Please continue to support and uplift the writers around you.