Winning Manchester poet

Ruthie Zolla

Poets entering Peterborough Poetry Project’s three recent poetry contests sent their poems from California, Texas, Florida and other states as well as from New England.

Student/poet Ruthie Zolla from Manchester won the project’s recent quarantine poems contest with her poem “On Missing.” Zolla will be a senior at the Derryfield School this fall.

Her poem begins:

This is what it means to miss: city smell like burning tires

And something else, churros

From the man who came here with nothing

Who built himself with bricks and cinnamon and nothing

Pero todos somos unidos, but we are all united

But that was another time

When we could press our hips and our shoulders into each other,

The train dance made by people with somewhere to go

Since its founding in early 2019, Peterborough Poetry Project is reaching its goal to “promote poetry in Peterborough and beyond,” a news release states.

Since April, the project has held three poetry contests with 242 entries from 15 states and over $600 in prizes.

See the winning poems and authors’ bios for all recent contests at

Peterborough Poetry Project’s first book (“On and Off the Road: Poems of New Hampshire”) featured 48 of the best poems from the fall 2019 poetry contest and has almost sold out of its first printing run.

The second book, “Out of Darkness” (Poems by Bill Chatfield) received its first order from California before the book was printed, with the second sale coming from a nearby neighbor.

Readers may order directly from the publisher; see for book summaries, reviews, and ordering information.