the Crystal Ox poetry contest

The Crystal Ox Poetry Contest started with the 2022–23 OxMag staff and runs every winter.


  • First Place Winner receives a prize of $50 worth of books of your choosing and publication
  • Second Place Winner receives a prize of $25 worth and publication
  • Third Place Winner receives publication

Winter 2023

For this year’s winter edition of Crystal Ox, we are interested in free verse and form poetry that captures the raw elegance of nature. We value poetry that has a strong command over language, poetry that illustrates the unbound allure of a tranquil snowfall, and the sincerity in a white-tailed deer’s gaze. Send us your single BEST poem which illustrates an appreciation for nature’s inherent charms. (If you send more than 1 poem, we will not read it.) Cover letters are not necessary, but a brief reader bio is required (about 50 words).


First Place: Cathy Bryant, “Nature Has Gone Paintballing”
Second Place: Michael Mingo, “Koi in Winter”
Third Place: William Doreski, “The Blizzard Dream”