The 2023 Ekphrastic Poetry Prize Winners & Finalists!

Please join us in congratulating the winner of Frontier Poetry‘s Ekphrastic Poetry Prize, the talented Ryan Varadi. The team here at Frontier Poetry is beyond thankful for everyone that has submitted their work to the contest–your voice is necessary. Thank you for your patience as our team read through the many wonderful submissions.

Ryan Varadi has been selected for the $3,000 prize by our talented guest judge, Steve Bellin-Oka. Olga Maslova was selected as the second place winner and Apollo Beaber as the third place winner. We are excited to share the winner’s poems with you throughout the month of June!



Ryan Varadi

“Still Life, Round”

To be published on June 26, 2024

Ryan Varadi is a midwestern poet living in Chicago, where he writes on the train on the way to work his retail job. He holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he received the Bernice Kert Fellowship and taught undergraduate courses in creative writing. He received his BA in English from Northwestern University, where he won the Edwin L. Shuman Award for Poetry for two of his original poems. He has served as editorial staff for Ecotone and Chautauqua and as an intern for RHINO Poetry. He currently teaches online with The Porch. His work appears in Poetry Northwest, The Shore, and Collision Literary Magazine, among others. You can find sporadic updates on Instagram @ryanvaradi or


2nd Place

Olga Maslova

“Tokyo Prepartum”

To be published on June 19, 2024

Olga Maslova is a Ukrainian-American writer and theater designer. Born and raised in Kharkiv, Ukraine, she holds a BFA in directing from Ukraine, an MFA in dramaturgy from SUNY at Stony Brook, and an MFA in costume and set design from NYU, and she is a 2021/2022 Fulbright Fellow. Olga is the librettist of several large-scale vocal works: an opera, Black Square, an oratorio, The Last Day of the Eternal City, an art song cycle, Venetian Cycle. Olga’s poetry has appeared and is forthcoming in New Ohio Review, New American Writing, Plume Poetry, The Coachella Review, Strange Horizons, ONE ART, Passengers, and others. Back in Ukraine, Olga worked as a metal turner of the 3rd rank, a theatre instructor and acting coach at the Kharkiv Juvenile Detention Center for Girls, and a theatre instructor in one of the first Russian Waldorf schools. She now teaches costume design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


3rd Place

 Apollo Beaber

“Ode to Joe Brainard”

To be published on June 12, 2024

Apollo Beaber is an art history student and poet living in Portland, Oregon. Beaber’s work explores the self as both fracture and collage, while engaging with themes of queerness, art, and the natural world as a means of examining the historical matrix within which we all live, love, lose, and repeat, endlessly.


The Finalists

Folasade Adesanya
Raza Ayoob
Roxanne Cardona
Heidi Seaborn
Jane Shoenfeld
Liz Sutherland
Ali Wood

The Longlist

Bader AlAwadhi
Alison Braid
Michelle Brock
Herbert Clark
Bonnie Jill Emanuel
Tia Hudson
Luisa Igloria
Brian T. Johnson
E. W. I.  Johnson
Jessica Lee
Barbara MacKay
patricia heisser métoyer
Jennifer Metsker
Esther Omole
Ayinde Ricco
JoAnna Scandiffio
Hunt Scarritt
Daniel Schonning
Annie Schumacher
Phia Spencer
Brian Volck
Elinor Ann Walker

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