tea poetry contest


tea poetry contest

Our second Tea & Poetry Contest was very well received with 35 entries from across the USA. People from all walks of life and ages took part with our youngest contestant being only nine years old!

We really want to thank Dr. White-Lewis for being our judge again this year. She is a professor of English and Communication at Lord Fairfax College in Virginia, and a published author.

"The quality of the submissions this year was great. Sometimes humorous and sometimes sentimental, many submissions involved sharing tea with friends, and a few focused on drinking tea in solitude. The tea-focused themes ranged from the preparation of tea as a sign of love to the correct protocol for drinking tea with the Queen." Dr. White-Lewis

After much deliberation, the judge selected the following poems:

FIRST PRIZE: Elizabeth Irwin, Seattle, WA

"This year's first place poem is "Quaran-tea". The title's fun word play sets the scene for the trials we've all been facing during the last two years. This work was particularly fetching because, in addition to being timely, the poet wrote with brevity and imagination. The judicious use of embedded alliteration makes the work memorable."

Every day before I'm up I dream of tea inside my cup'
Tis mandatory as I rise, to forgo this pleasure most unwise
(Even my kids realize it's true- I need my tea to feel anew)
Water boiled by husband dear, whose love for me is so sincere
He perceives the continual urgency, avoiding a tea emergency
The big decision I must plot, is the kind of tea inside the pot
Been locked down far too long, more is better - my tea is strong
The first taste ever so divine, it helps me deal with every whine
Cream and sugar all combine and help me cope to teach online
Kids may tantrum, kids may cry, but onward teatime! as I sigh,
"Covid is a nasty beast, with teatime I can find my peace"

SECOND PRIZE: Diana Cooper, Shepherdstown, WV

"Second place goes to "My Cuppa Haiku". It's deceptively hard to write a good haiku. "My Cuppa Haiku" is a gem of brevity and imagery."

My Cuppa Haiku
Smoke floats in my mouth,
Crackling fall fire memory.
Lapsang Souchong Tea.

The first-prize winner received $150 in products from The Larkin Tea Company, a two-year subscription to Tea Time Magazine, plus the winner's choice of one of Tea Time's books or two of the magazine's special issues.
The second-prize winner received $50 in products from The Larkin Tea Company and a one-year subscription to Tea Time Magazine.
The caliber of submissions was so high this year that we decided to add two honorable mentions. These people received two bags of tea of their choice.


"First Honorable Mention went to Jamie Cornutt of Seattle, WA for "Tea All Day", which is a humorous look at a day of tea. The poet's use of dialog makes this work stand out."

In the morning, at the dawn, I put the whistling kettle on.
Tea for breakfast, black and fine, with cream and sugar tastes divine!
At two o'clock a friend stops by- "Is there a tea you'd like
to try? "Cakes and sandwiches, let's see...lots of options for your tea!"
"Herbal flowers, jasmine, berry, lavender is light and airy.
Orange, or another fruit? Choose your favorite, no dispute!"
In the evening, time to rest. I think chamomile is best.
Please do not tell me to abstain; When morning comes, I'll start again!

"Patricia Jaramillo of Snyder, NY submitted "My Cup of Tea" which received an Honorable Mention for its theme and fun word play. The last line is solid."

To tea or not to tea?
What will it be?
Darjeeling, Earl Grey, or English Breakfast?
So many possibilities.
My day brightens with all these tealightful scents.
All is calm.

Elizabeth Irwin

FIRST PRIZE: Elizabeth Irwin

Elizabeth Irwin lives in Seattle and is a wife, psychologist, professor, and mother of three children. Elizabeth has always enjoyed writing but is new to the world of poetry. She adores tea and tea times with friends. The sheer variety of tea keeps her interest fresh, and she loves trying new flavors. Tea time is a relaxing and contemplative part of the day. Traveling is also her passion and she has enjoyed tea all over the world.

Diana Cooper

SECOND PRIZE: Diana Cooper

Diana Meese Cooper grew up in Maryland, but lived in MS, SC, FL, NM and six years in England, where she learned to love good tea. For the last thirty-odd years, she has lived in Shepherdstown, where you can find her most days in her wildlife and scenic photography shop, Cooper Captures Gallery. When you do come across her, you can count on Diana having one of three things in her hands - knitting, a book, or a camera - and of course, a cup of tea.

The Larkin Tea Company would like to express its thanks to Tea Time Magazine for once again publicizing our Tea & Poetry Contest and for donating prizes to the winners.

About The Larkin Tea Company
The Larkin Tea Company is owned by Judy and Bill Larkin, certified tea specialists. Their company sells tea from around the world as well as holds special events educating people about tea. The Larkin Tea Company was named in 2018 as one of the best tea houses in West Virginia by Best Things West Virginia. For more information, go to www.larkintea.com or like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/larkintea.

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