Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition

Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition

Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition

About the Annual Kent County Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition

The Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition was started in 1968 by poet James Allen at the urging of John Hunting, the founder of the Dyer-Ives Foundation, to encourage excellence in writing and to provide recognition for local work of high quality. The annual contest is open to poets ages 5 through adult who reside in or attend school in Kent County.

Submissions are accepted every February, and winners are selected in the spring. Winners selected in different categories have their poems published in Voices, receive a cash award, and participate in the annual Awards Reading Ceremony during Festival of the Arts in June.

Submissions accepted February 1 - 29, 2024.

2024 National Judge

Francesca Bell was born in Spokane, Washington into a family with deep, hardscrabble roots in the Northwest. Her maternal great-grandfather raised his six children, including Bell’s grandmother, on a 160-acre homestead in Plummer, Idaho. On her father’s side, the Norwegian Wikum family, when traced 700 years back, was already renowned for its heavy drinking. The hard living continued in America where the clan was referred to around Coeur d’Alene, Idaho as “the fighting Wikums.”

Bell was raised in Washington and Idaho and settled as an adult in California. She did not complete middle school, high school, or college and holds no degrees. She has worked as a massage therapist, a cleaning lady, a daycare worker, a nanny, a barista, and a server in the kitchen of a retirement home.

Bell’s writing appears in many magazines including ELLE, Los Angeles Review of Books, New Ohio Review, North American Review, Prairie Schooner, and Rattle. Her translations appear in Mid-American Review, The Massachusetts Review, New England Review, River Styx, and Waxwing. Her first book, Bright Stain (Red Hen Press, 2019), was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award and the Julie Suk Award. In 2023, Red Hen Press will publish What Small Sound, her second book of poetry, and Whoever Drowned Here, a collection of poems by Max Sessner that she has translated from German. She is translation editor at the Los Angeles Review and the Marin County Poet Laureate.

Divisions and Awards

Elementary School
Grades K – 2
First Place: Evelyn Wiegand
Second Place: Evie Steed
Honorable Mention: Lucy Wiegand

Grades 3 – 4
First Place: Diana Dehring
Second Place: Teddy (Theo) Lasley
Honorable Mention: Kiawah Steele

Middle School
Grades 5 – 6
First Place: Julissa Paiz
Second Place: Vivienne Halford
Honorable Mention: Nicholaus Carrier

Grades 7 – 8
First Place: Ethan Adrianse
Second Place: Guenevere Kimber
Honorable Mention: Nenrit Darshak

High School
Grades 9 – 10
First Place: Tyler Mason
Second Place: Zoey Riek
Honorable Mention: Sofija Dainelis
Honorable Mention: Sabani Magar

Grades 11 – 12
First Place: Adia Sikkema
Second Place: Julian Robinson
Third Place: Zoe McNally
Honorable Mention: Jonathan Locke
Honorable Mention: Ella Anderson

First Place: Brooke Rempalski
Second Place: Grace Hsu
Third Place: Kallie Crouch
Honorable Mention: Alissa Vezikov
Honorable Mention: Ben Plantinga

First Place: Jamie L Roelofs
Second Place: Jared Stevenson
Third Place: Alyssa Evans
Honorable Mention: Audrey Jean

Hoopla and Libby Digital Magazines

Digital magazines you can enjoy free with your library card.

Voices Publication

Voices is published annually to highlight the winners of the Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition.


If you have questions about the competition, email us or call 616.988.5400.


Special thanks to the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation — Dyer-Ives Foundation Poetry Fund for their support of this program.

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