The Patricia Dobler Poetry Award, sponsored by Madwomen in the Attic, is an annual contest open to women writers over the age of 40 who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, currently living in the U.S., who have not published a full-length book of poetry, fiction, or non-fiction.

2021 Award Winner

Elizabeth Wilson

Title: Your Sister Brings Me An Orchard

Wilson’s poem, “Your Sister Brings Me An Orchard,” with its singular, distinct voice and its willingness to risk, distinguished itself from a field of 426 entries. As winner of the 2021 Patricia Dobler Poetry Award, Wilson will receive $1000 and publication of her winning poem in Voices from the Attic, a Madwomen in the Attic publication.

Elizabeth Wilson standing in front of a brick wall.

About the winner: Elizabeth Wilson is a tap dance enthusiast, chronic illness advocate, and Rising Voices of Narcolepsy speaker living in the North Carolina mountains. Her poems have appeared in “13th Moon”, “Asheville Poetry Review”, “Clementine Unbound”, “ONE ART: a journal of poetry”, “Trouvaille Review”, and others. She received her MFA from Hunter College and is currently working on her first manuscript.

Honorable mention

  • “Trash Talk”, Lisa Caloro from Hurleyville, Ny
  • “Counting”, Sandra Vrana from Mechanicsburg, Pa
  • “Penitent”, Elizabeth Wilson from Sugar Grove, Nc


  • “Eulogy for Our Stepmother”, Karen Benning from Boise, Id
  • “Blue Shadows Fall”, Deborah Davidovits from Beacon, Ny
  • “Shameless”, Stacey R. Forbes from Tucson, Az
  • “Nothing Forgets”, Hope Jordan from Concord, Nh
  • “Kingfisher”, Kathryn Jordan from Berkeley, Ca
  • “Sister Fish”, Claire McCabe from Elkton, Md
  • “Alone”, Susan Stringfellow from Pittsburgh, Pa
  • “Date Rape”, L.J. Sysko from Wilmington, De
  • “For”, Julia Travers from Gordonsville, Va
  • “Army Wife”, Melody Wilson from Beaverton, Or

Past award winners

To view or download the poem and additional information about our winners [pdf], click on the title of the poem below.

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