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Events in the Library - Fort Wayne: Ink Cloud - Student Poetry and Art Contest

What Is Ink Cloud?

Ink Cloud is a collection of poetry submissions from the Ivy Tech Community College- Fort Wayne students. What started as a student poetry contest became an Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Library publication. We first started this contest in April 2015. We received 80 original poetry submissions. A committee comprised of Ivy Tech staff and faculty was created to determine a winner of the contest. Poems were judged on Originality, Creativity, and Focus/Clarity of writing. While judged, identifying information was removed from each poem. The top winners of the Student Poetry Contest have been invited to judge the winner for their submissions.

Student Winners for 2019

We are happy to present the following as the student winners for the Ink Cloud 2019 Poetry contest.


1st Place:

"Lovers Like Us" by Julia Carter

You kissed me with poison from your last lover still damp on your lip
I swallowed it down like the sticky sweet tea you served me last June
And then I asked for more, more of this fire running rampant in my veins
More compression, depression, cutting off my air supply
Until my eyes grow milky white where irises used to lie

You crack wide open like a cicada in September, shedding yourself,
Burrowing into darkness where you’ll hide for the rest of my life
I cloak myself in the remnants of you, pulling your skin taut
Over my too bigness, squishing myself into your vacant chest cavity

“Love me, love me, love me,” I chant as I lay on my back
Surrounded in you, inside you, but never really having any of you
While you have all of me in my entirety, crooked teeth and knotted hair
Completing you with my incomplete, soothing myself over all your cracks

When I am everything you need, will you finally love me?

“Use me,” I pray as I worship the soft skin draped over the hollow
Where clavicle and shoulder come together as one
I write my sins across your ashen skin
The tip of my tongue my fountain pen

I need you to break me in the most glorious of ways
Rip me open, hollow me out, feast on the blood and flesh
Until all that is left is the essence of me and all that I lack


2nd Place:

"Dear Grandma" by Morgan Cooley

You told me
I was worthless
Just a pair
Of forgotten shoes
The dog tore up


You told me
I would never amount to anything
Just seeing the
“failures” of my parents
Under the weight of your disapproval

Walking away
On Thanksgiving
I won’t forget

A line drawn
Through the word family
Between Grandmother
And Granddaughter
Unforgotten words

Thanksgiving was
In a different home
Held together without blood

You told me
You refused to help me
Pay for college
Because I am
The way I am

Through the pain

I made it here anyway.

Ink Cloud - Full Version

Judge's Favorites 2019

"Air" by Madison Mitchell

"American Child" by Julia Carter

"Bang Bang" by Tiffany Jackson

"Broken" by Jodi Trierweiler

"The Demon Dreaming" by Aaron Guiff

"Dragon’s Breath" by Madison Mitchell

"Duel of Wits" by Isabel Kern

"Godzilla" by Aaron Guiff

"Love Me Not" by Morgan Cooley

"The Things I Saw" by Mallory Wittwer

"The Wayside" by Aaron Guiff

"Why I Write" by Mallory Wittwer

"Wild and Free" by Jodi Trierweiler

Cover Artwork Winner 2019

"Her Silhouette" by Mallory Wittwer

Submission guidelines

Note: Submissions are closed for 2019.

Ink Cloud: Poetry Contest

(Submission due date is April 19, 2019)

April is National Poetry Month. In celebration, the Ivy Tech Library is accepting submissions for a poetry contest. All submissions are accepted now through April 19th by the end of the day. Student winners will be selected from a committee of Ivy Tech Fort Wayne staff and faculty. Faculty and staff winners will be selected by a committee of the student winners. Poems will be read and judged without the authors' information attached. Winners will be published in Ink Cloud, the Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Library’s yearly poetry publication.

In addition to original poetry, participants may submit original artwork for consideration for the cover of Ink Cloud. Artwork must be submitted in a digital format. 

Criteria for Judging Poetry or Art: Originality/Creativity

Submission Requirements:

  1. Poetry or Art must be submitted by a current Ivy Tech student, staff or faculty member.
  2. Poetry or Art must be original work.
  3. Print or electronic Word versions accepted for poetry. Hi-resolution digital files will be accepted for cover art submissions.
  4. Name, contact information, and title should be included (Personal information will be removed before it is seen by the judges).
  5. You may submit up to 5 poems and 3 pieces of visual art.

Deadline April 19th, 2019 by the end of the day.

Top winners will receive prizes. The winners will be announced on or around April 26th.

Submit poetry or artwork and direct questions to Library Clerk, David Winn.