Second Annual Poetry Derby

Join us to celebrate the winning poems in this year’s Second Annual Poetry Derby on Sept. 9, 6-8 p.m., for a virtual reading hosted by the Kentucky Derby Museum. This year’s theme was “The Starting Line,” and we asked writers in Louisville and beyond to compose poems engaging lines from the work of Kentucky poets Frank X Walker, Nickole Brown, Maurice Manning, Rebecca Gayle Howell, Cynthia Arrieu-King, Wendell Berry, and Kentucky transplant Ada Limón. Twelve poems were selected as winners and ranked in the Adult Race, and nine poems were selected as winners and ranked in the Youth Race.

Thanks to the following Kentucky poets who facilitated writing sessions and helped with judging: Kristina Erny, Ashley Taylor, and Ken Walker.

Winners (Adult Race):

1st place: Tyler Curth’s “Forestral Scientafica”

2nd place (TIE): Isiah Fish’s “Yes, I’m Really Leaving & No, I’m Not Keeping Your Things”

2nd place (TIE): Andrew Hutto’s “(Version)

3rd place: Crozier Lanthrop’s “Starting with anagrams of dust and meat and ending somewhere elsewhere

4th place: Grace Sutphin’s “Glory”

5th place: Olivia Hooper’s “the darkness abounds”


Honorable mention:

Rowan Little’s “Passerby II”


Finalists (in alphabetical order):

Ana-Sophia Beardsley’s “My Blood Type is Perfluorooctanoic Acid”

Josh Christian’s “After so many years”

Brittany McCarthy’s “Dad Was Born on Derby Day”

Cathy Pendleton’s “The Garden”

Brigit Truex’s “Lascaux”

Dial-In Information

Hosted by Kentucky Derby Museum: register with them at They will send an e-mail with the Zoom link on the day of the event.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Virtual Event
Event Type

Arts, Talk, Academic


Students, Faculty/staff, Alumni, Public


Arts & Sciences, Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society, English, Arts & Culture Partnerships, Center for, College of Arts & Sciences






localarts, kentuckyderby, creativewriting

Contact Name

Brandon J Harwood

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