For ten years, the Zócalo Poetry Prize has recognized the U.S. poem that best evokes a connection to place. Thanks to Tim Disney’s generous sponsorship of our 2021 Book and Poetry Prizes, this year, for the first time, we are thrilled to honor five additional poets with honorable mention awards. Sophia Chong, Ernesto L. Abeytia, Ross White, Sophie Klahr, and LeConté Dill were chosen by Zócalo’s poetry editor, Connie Voisine, and our panel of judges: Arizona poet laureate Alberto Ríos, Los Angeles Deputy Mayor for International Affairs Nina L. Hachigian, and Zócalo trustee Reza Zaidi.
The 10th annual Zócalo Poetry Prize was awarded to Angelica Esquivel for her poem “La Mujer.” She will deliver a reading of her poem during the 11th annual Zócalo Book Prize event on Thursday, May 20, at 5 p.m. PDT.
And maybe the feds did supply the hood with fireworks
And maybe the fireworks will scare the gentrifiers away
And maybe the gentrifiers will leave the hood
And maybe I’m a gentrifier …
by LeConté Dill
I want & want & the moon
orange in night sky.
Coyotes keep baying …
by Ross White
someone ate a bat, they say—that’s how it happened
photographs of empty rush hours empty vegas empty beaches
fake news of swans and dolphins in venice canals
true news of long-horned goats sprawling through small towns …
by Sophie Klahr
Like a Buddhist painting, winter
caps the peaks of Sierra Escalona,
its frosted strawberry trees mourning what’s to come.
Acorn seedlings fleck the ground in soft contrast …
by Ernesto L. Abeytia
The yard has been stripped, the hyacinths
along with the rose bushes, petals heavy of dew,
the basket of a child’s undershirt saddled with toys.
Perhaps for the best—Maa mi always wanted them gone …
by Sophia Chong