Meet the Winners of the First-Ever Copper Courier Poetry Contest

Photo of Trinity Miracle by Anita (@shotbyanitah)

By Jessica Swarner

June 6, 2023

Arizona is full of creative poets! 

The Copper Courier has been hosting an open mic at Cha Cha’s Tea Lounge in downtown Phoenix for almost a year now, and we’ve been blown away by the poets who have shared their work.

Knowing there’s hidden talent among us is what inspired us to launch our first-ever poetry contest last month.

Readers of all ages and from all over the state submitted poems, and we loved reading every single one of them!

The first-place poet was invited to be a featured reader at our May 31 open mic, while the top three submissions are posted here and will be added to our social media feeds and in our newsletter.

Here are the winners of our contest and their poems:

Trinity Miracle

Phoenix, 22


Meet the Winners of the First-Ever Copper Courier Poetry Contest

“Beautiful Black Voyager”

I am the descendant of piano keys

and a tight grip on a baseball bat,

emerging from Texas soil.

And a survivor of gentrification.

I am a vessel for life,

and a mover of water

in all of its forms.

I am a manifester of culture and revolution.

A breaker of curses,

and a healer of the dream deferred.

Beautiful Black Voyager of life,

how did the sky open for your ascendance?

What does your conscious know about your existence

when your world is burned to ashes

but your kingdom is still standing?

And the sun,

blazing on your skin.

Your feet,

covered in soil.

When dreams are not just dreams.

They are prophecies.

They are the flesh of the real world

when my mind manifests into my fingertips,

and everything I touch turns to gold.

Or magma if I ever so choose.

We are learners of life,

but teachers of things we’ve learned in a past life.

Fore if the revolution never be televised,

It is remembered by my spirit,

and that is enough.

That if death ever wished upon me,

I am never truly dead.

Or broken,

or hurt,

or banished from this realm,

because I will be in the next.

I am untouchable,

yet incapable

of judging another life.

Not even my own.

Fore the inner-child within me,

is me.

And my footprint will be a fossil

in the same streets another body lays,

and I see the next day.

Mark Coryell

Ahwatukee, 67

“Prayer For Our Southern Border”

“Oración Por Nuestra Frontera Del Sur”

Quiero vivir en la tierra de Paz, Esperanza y Libertad

Quiero ganar la riqueza de oro, plata y poder

Quiero Libertad de mi país y mi gobierno

Quiero Libertad de mi mala vida

¿Donde puedo tener Libertad, Poder, y Fortuna?

Everyday we hear the news

Of the new immigrants waiting at our Southern Border

We are told they want our jobs

We are told they want us to speak a language we don’t understand

We are told they simply want freedom and hope

¿Dónde está la tierra de Paz, Esperanza y Libertad?

Es un lugar al norte o es un sueño

Un sueño no podemos tener

Es un sueño de las corporaciones y la gente rica de Estados Unidos?

¿Un sueño que no tenemos el dinero para comprar?

These immigrants tell us they want a better life

For their young, their tired, their poor,

These immigrants tells us they are yearning to breathe free

Maybe just like our parents, grandparents, or great grandparents

Do we believe the voices of these immigrants?

¿Es Estados Unidos un sueño de una tierra, una verdad, una realidad?

¿Cómo puede saber?

¿La gente de las iglesias en nuestro país o Estados Unidos?

¿La gente de nuestro gobierno o nuestros abogados aquí o allá?

¿Cómo podemos tener el sueño norteamericano?

We were told government won’t solve our problems

We were told government is our problem

We were told that The Business of America is Business

What happened to Love, Hope, Charity?

¿Qué es el sueño norteamericano?

¿Es el sueño norteamericano un lugar?

Un lugar donde no podemos ir

¿Qué es el sueño norteamericano?

¿Un lugar, una idea, o una mentira?

We were told by a Young President

Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You

Ask What You can Do for Your Country

We were told by an Old President

Our Greatest Fear is Fear Itself

Do we still believe those words?

Es el país de Estados Unidos de Norteamérica

Un país solo para la gente que diga que

El mundo es para nosotros primero y para nadie más

Y ustedes no tienen derecho de vivir en nuestro mundo.

Hannah Levin

Tucson, 14


we were violet in some waking sky

untinged with soft or harsh;

a pastel loftily bleeding ink

unbetrothed to the abbot,

divorcing your diffused dark.

preening the comatose wing,

brushing its frigid beak,

apropos at midnight

twinkling winter’s soiled bells,

her kaleidoscope’s a life apart.

sharpening the edges

of kinship’s sawed-out blade,

shouldering a generation’s burdens

with songs of jaded hearts.


  • Jessica Swarner

    Jessica Swarner is the community editor for The Copper Courier. She is an ASU alumna and previously worked at KTAR News 92.3 FM in Phoenix.

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