Oceans of Possibility Writing Contest Winner

Blond woman in black clothes with a white spotted dog standing in front of a lake
Marcia Hurlow
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Jun 14, 2022

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Marcia Hurlow has won our writing contest on the theme of Oceans of Possibility with her piece "On Old Silver Beach with Jane."

Marcia L. Hurlow is a poet, fiction writer and journalist. She has a full-length book of poetry, Anomie (Edges Prize, WordTech) and five award-winning chapbooks of poetry. Her individual poems have appeared in Poetry, Wax Paper, Chicago Review, Poetry South, Louisville Review, River Styx, Poetry East and others. She is co-editor of Kansas City Voices.


As a child, Jane once asked her father for a penny
to toss in a fountain. He smiled. “Here’s a nickel
to make your wish five times more likely.” She asks

for the ocean’s salt smell and gull calls, long marsh grass,
dune shrubs. Now fifteen years retired on Cape Cod, she’s
been ordered inland, to check into a Kansas hospital.

Standing on the beach, Jane watches the nickel-colored
waves arrive and retreat, breathes deeply. “My friends say
they’ll return to the Cape,” Jane muses. “They forget
or they die. I will return.” She opens her purse.


Reviewed by Helen H.
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