TEA & POETRY CONTEST 2022

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.”

Quaran-tea
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.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

“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.”

TEA ALL DAY
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.”

MY CUP OF TEA
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.

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.

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.

3 Comments

  1. Dorothea Daddato on March 10, 2022 at 7:50 pm

    Hello!!! I am so excited to read this lovely Poem in Tea Time 3/4/2022. I must have read it 50 times it was so lovely. Then I began to think. I bet I can write a Poem too. I have been a subscriber to Tea Time, Victoria, Cottage and love them all.

    I am 89 years young, (pushing 90 years) and have never even had an idea like this in my mind. Since I lost my husband of 63 years, and my oldest son, my heart has been crying for so long a time, and, my happy time is reading the above magazines. My house looks like a lot of those lovely pictures in your magazines. I collect dolls, tea cups, teas and teapots. So when I read the Poem article, I said to myself, why not try to do this. So, here I am, Winning or not it is making me so happy to refresh my mind, while I am drinking tea, pay tribute to my Husband and my son, and as I said in the Poem, My Memories Dance and My Heart Sings. Thank you. I am sending my Poem via Mail. Also, I must own hundreds (I am not kidding) of different teas.. My favorite right now is Stash Double Bergamot, and the fruit teas of TeaForte. I was born in the Bronx, NY on 9-19-1932 and moved to Aurora, Colorado in Sept of 1968.
    . My husband and I rented a U-Hall, which he drove and I followed behind with 6 kids in a station wagon. What you can do when you are young. We made a great life in Colorado, we moved to Colorado in 1968. One of my brothers was in the Air Force and he said Colorado was beautiful, sunny, no smog, great for the Kids, so we jumped at the chance, used my husband’s GI Bill, bought a little house and here we live for over 50 years. Sometimes, when I think of uprooting 6 kids, my heavens what were we thinking. It was hard at first, but looking back we would do it again.



    • William Larkin on March 11, 2022 at 1:07 pm

      Dear Dorothea, So lovely to hear from you. It was very interesting to hear your story. I haven’t received your poem in the mail yet but look forward to reading it. Best wishes, Judy Larkin



  2. Joanna on April 26, 2022 at 2:23 pm

    Can’t wait to see the poetry results!!