3rd Wednesday Annual Poetry Contest

3rd Wednesday’s annual poetry contest is open for entries until February 15, 2020.

  • Submit up to 3 previously unpublished poems of any style, length or subject matter in a single .doc or .docx file (only through our portal at Submittable) with no identifying information within the text of the document.
  • Fee is $6 per entry. Multiple entries are allowed.
  • 3 winners will receive a cash prize of $100 and a print copy of the contest issue.
  • All non-prize winning poems, with author permission, will be given a second chance at publication as a regular submission to the magazine.
  • This year’s judge is Marilyn L. Taylor, former poet laureate of The State of Wisconsin.
  • Visit our website at: for complete details and link to our Submittable portal.
  • The Spring 2019 issue of 3rd Wednesday can be downloaded for free at our website so that you can read last year’s winning poems.

All Her Jazz / D.R. James

The 2018 micro-chapbook All Her Jazz, which is free (and fun!) to download and fold at the Origami Poems Project (click on the cover):

The title poem first appeared in 3rd Wednesday’s December 2017 issue.

D. R. James has taught college writing, literature, and peace-making for 35 years and lives outside Saugatuck, Michigan. His latest of eight poetry collections are If god were gentle (Dos Madres) and Surreal Expulsion (Poetry Box), and a new chapbook, Flip Requiem, will be released in Spring 2020 (Dos Madres).

D.R. James’ Author Page at

Volume XIII, No 1 (Winter 2020)

This issue includes winning poems and poems of merit from our fourth One Sentence Poetry Contest. We have new poems by Marge Piercy, Leslie Schultz, Gary Wadley, Jane Blanchard, Tiffany Babb, Alan Harris, Lisa Timpf, Terry Allen and many others. The print edition is available now at Contributor copies will be in the mail next week. For a free digital edition, click Free Issues on the menu.

Monsters in the Rain / Terry Allen

Monsters in the Rain
Publisher: Kelsay Books
Publication date: November 27, 2019
Available for Purchase:

Terry Allen’s chapbook, Monsters in the Rain, begins and ends with two dream-like lyric poems that reach back in time to explore a particular family legacy through the stories passed down across generations and geographical locations. There are beautiful, heart-rending elegies here; and longer, multi-layered narratives that are deepened and expanded through the use of masterfully placed moments of lyric suspension and contemplation. There are characters and relatives whose humanity is fully revealed; there are ghosts and the interplay of the uncanny—an acknowledgment of the fact that, no matter how much time has passed, the dead step in and out of our lives at will. In several of these poems, there is a dark humor that is handled so well it serves to deepen the collection’s pathos. A moving collection that explores family, loss, memory, and history, and with love informing and guiding all these poems, what more can we ask, or hope, for?
Jude Nutter, author of I Wish I Had a Heart Like Yours, Walt Whitman, and three other collections.

Terry Allen’s poems feature tightly-constructed narratives of family and rural life placed in an American landscape that has been nearly obscured by social media and technology. The settings are concrete and certain: small essential dramas that play out upon the ironing board, the stove, the sidewalk, the barn, in bushel baskets and body bags, with conclusions invariably unforeseen. The tone ranges from whimsical to poignant, occasionally chilling, juxtaposing the casual violence of rural life against the horror of murderous excess. Monsters in the Rain left me with awistful recognition of the ways people vanish from our lives, and what remains
Bridget Bufford, author of Cemetery Bird and Minus One: A Twelve-Step Journey.

Monsters in the Rain is a collection that resists an easy footing. Allen offers us what initially seems to be fond memories of childhood, thoughtful reflections on family history, but the deeper we go in the poems, the clearer it is that Allen has worked for that thoughtful fondness. He well represents the darkness that shadows the family scenes he presents, but he isn’t ruled by it. Neither bitter nor sentimental, Allen gives us a book that, in its best moments, compassionately exposes the complicated reality of loving and losing.
Marta Ferguson, author of Mustang Sally Pays Her Debt to Wilson Pickett

Terry Allen was born in Brisbane, Australia in 1946. He is emeritus professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he taught theatre arts. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Popshot Quarterly, Into the Void and Main Street Rag. He lives in Columbia, Missouri with his wife Nancy.

Terry’s Poem “Larry” was a winner in 3rd Wednesday’s One Sentenence Poetry Contest. It appears in Volume XIII, No 1.

All The Dead are Holy / Larry Levy

Larry Levy

In this collection, not only are all the dead holy, but all the living as well, including “the one-legged veteran, the toddler with doll and comb.”  There are echoes of those who perished in the Holocaust and those still laboring to make a life in the modern American landscape.  In Levy’s tightly crafted poems, we glimpse what is both familiar and human:  teachers, immigrant brides, a lost father’s shirts and ties, the sidekick brother, the dying mother.  The message is clear and powerful:  “You must remember.”

— John Jeffire, author of Motown Burning and Shoveling Snow in a Snowstorm (Finishing Line, 2016)

Larry Levy is the best kind of writer.  His poems–with their honesty and intimacy–invite you in, ask you to sit at the table of his life, and listen to his heart tell you the stories that you need to hear about the past that is never past, the wars that will not end, the people who loved him and who continue to touch him even though they are gone.  Hearing his stories, you begin to wake to your own stories, your own losses and loves, and finally you want to take his hand and thank him for what he has given you.

— John Guzlowski, author of Echoes of Tattered Tongues (Aquina Polonica, 2016)

All The Dead Are Holy – it is, at once, a prayer, a history and a family album.  Levy unlocks secret passages into the past and unearths the artifacts of not just an extended family but whole generations of people doing their best to be who they are in a world that often wishes they were otherwise.  Delivered in skillfully wrapped packages of prosody, All the Dead Are Holy is a wide-awake walk down memory lane in the city of what it means to be fully human.

— JodiAnn Stevenson, author of The Procedure (March Street, 2006)
and Diving Headlong Into A Cliff Of Our Own Delusion (Saucebox Books, 2010)