Bryn Mawr Club of New York City 2024 Evelyn Barish ’56 Poetry Contest (Deadline: Friday, March 8, 4:00 p.m.)

For a third year, New York alum Evelyn Barish ’56 is sponsoring a poetry prize to be awarded by the Bryn Mawr Club of New York City to a Bryn Mawr graduate. This year’s topic is endings or beginnings—or both. The poem should be submitted in traditional haiku format: three lines, with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the third line.

The contest is open to all Mawrter alums, including graduate school alums, and requires no entry fee.

WHAT: The Bryn Mawr Club of New York City 2024 Evelyn Barish ’56 Poetry Contest
WHEN: Email or postmark entries by Friday, March 8, at 4:00 p.m. Eastern time

Bryn Mawr Club of New York City 2024 Evelyn Barish ’56 Poetry Contest Rules

1.     The deadline for all submissions is Friday, March 8, 2024, at 4:00 p.m. Eastern time. No late submissions will be accepted. Submissions may be made by email or US mail.

  • Email: Please email your poem to with the subject line “Poetry Contest.”
  • US mail: Please mail your poem to Bryn Mawr Club of New York City, P.O. Box 437, Old Chelsea Station, New York, NY 10113, postmarked no later than Friday, March 8, 2024.

2.     Each participant may submit only one poem.

3.     No entry fee is required.

4.     Each poem must conform to traditional haiku format: three lines, with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the third line.

5.     The poem must be original work and not previously published.

6.     Eligibility is limited to alums of Bryn Mawr.

7.     All poems must be written in English.

8.     All poems must have a title.

9.     Winners will receive a check in the amount of $250.00.

10.  Winners must agree to the publication of the winning poem in the Bryn Mawr Alumnae Bulletin and in electronic and social media communications from Bryn Mawr College and the Bryn Mawr Club of New York City.

11. All submissions must be accompanied by the following:

  • author’s name;
  • class year; and
  • contact information, including mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address.
Prize Selection and Announcement
The judges will select the winning poem in April, and the winner will be announced publicly shortly thereafter. The judges’ decision is final. If the judges do not find a poem worthy of the prize, no prize will be awarded.
Bryn Mawr Club of New York City
2024 Evelyn Barish ’56 Poetry Contest Judges

The following panel of judges (listed in order of class year) will review the submissions.

Evelyn Barish ’56: A native of New York, Evelyn graduated from Bryn Mawr College magna cum laude and studied at Oxford as a Fulbright scholar while earning a PhD from New York University. Her four literary biographies, based on archival sources, include Emerson: The Roots of Prophecy (a recipient of Phi Beta Kappa’s Christian Gauss Award), chosen by the Modern Language Association as “the year’s best work of criticism and scholarship,” and The Double Life of Paul De Man, for which the Bryn Mawr Club of New York City hosted a launch party in 2014. Evelyn has received numerous fellowships, including those from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

Helen Thurston ’74: After graduating from Bryn Mawr with a degree in English, Helen worked in Boston city government, on Wall Street, and at not-for-profit education and arts institutions. She now is a consultant in the areas of historic preservation, the arts, sustainable natural development, and nonprofit programming. While at Bryn Mawr, she served on the Haverford College student council. A lover of poetry, thanks to high school teachers who went to Bryn Mawr, she believes in the transformative power of the arts to influence ideas and hearts and to support efforts for the public good. She holds degrees from Université d’Aix-Marseille II and Columbia Business School. Helen has been involved with the Bryn Mawr Club of New York City for more than fifteen years. Under her program-focused leadership, the club has welcomed more than four thousand attendees to an extensive variety of monthly events that provide opportunities for networking and connecting with other alums. Helen currently serves as club president.

Barbara Clark ’79: Barbara was an English major at Bryn Mawr, where she won the Bain-Swiggett Poetry Prize for best single poem. Shortly after graduation, she began her career in book publishing, where she’s been ever since—except for three years in the mid-1990s, during which she earned her MFA in acting. She is currently a freelance book editor. In 2022, her haiku “Goodhart Hall” won the inaugural Evelyn Barish ’56 Poetry Contest.

Trilby V John ’98: Trilby is a program manager for the Office of Teacher Recruitment and Quality at the New York City Department of Education. After decades as an English teacher, she is elated to now be leading the team that hires and trains new teachers. Trilby serves as the ’90s representative to the Bryn Mawr Club of New York City.

Alisha Park ’13: Alisha graduated from Bryn Mawr with a degree in anthropology and an interest in environmental sustainability. Shortly thereafter, she moved to Newark, New Jersey, and served as an AmeriCorps teaching fellow for two years. Also in New Jersey, she cofounded the environmental nonprofit organization Greener JC and completed an MBA in finance at Rutgers Business School. An avocational writer, she is a former participant in the Evelyn Barish ’56 Poetry Contest. Alisha serves as assistant treasurer of the Bryn Mawr Club of New York City.