Jim McGarrah

Judged: Oct-Dec 2020

JMcGarrahPx

Jim McGarrah

Jim McGarrah’s poems and essays have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including After Shocks: Poems of Recovery, The American Journal of Poetry, Bayou Magazine, Breakwater, The Bitter Southerner, Café Review, Chamber Four Magazine, Cincinnati Review, Connecticut Review, Elixir Magazine, and North American Review. His play, Split Second Timing, received a Kennedy Center Award in 2001. He is the author of five books of poetry, Running the Voodoo Down, When the Stars Go Dark, Breakfast at Denny’s, The Truth About Mangoes, and A Balancing Act. His memoir of the Vietnam War entitled A Temporary Sort of Peace received the 2010 Eric Hoffer Award for Legacy Nonfiction and was followed by The End of an Era, an account of life in the counterculture during the sixties and seventies. In September of 2015, Blue Heron Book Works published his third nonfiction book, Off Track, and In April of 2018 his fourth, Misdemeanor Outlaw. McGarrah is editor, along with Tom Watson, of Home Again: Essays and Memoirs from Indiana. He holds a master’s degree in liberal studies from the University of Southern Indiana and an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. He taught creative writing and literature at the university level for several years, but has also been a horse trainer, a janitor, a social worker, and a mailman.


  • January 2021 Winners

    • First Place

      Winter Flower
      by Billy Howell-Sinnard
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Live Nativity
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Waters

      Third Place

      Hitchhiking Through the Wilderness
      by Midnight Moon
      Wild Poetry Forum

  • December 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Avaricious
      by Judy Kaber
      The Waters

      Second Place

      To James Bulger, aged 2, murdered February 1993
      by two boys aged 10 in Liverpool, England
      by Christopher T. George
      Babilu

      Third Place

      Dr. Pachango’s Mango
      by Jim Fowler
      Babliu