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  • Bibiana Ossai

Announcing The 2024 NaPoMo Winner & Finalists

We are delighted to announce the winner and finalists of our 2024 Iron Horse Literary Review NaPoMo contest. Iron Horse Literary Review’s annual NaPoMo contest is an annual issue dedicated to National Poetry Month in which we combine new voices with some established champions.

This time, we selected Shelly Cato’s “I WILL CARRY HER HOME” as the IHLR NaPoMo winner. Shelly Stewart Cato has had a lifelong love affair with literature and creative writing. She is interested in twentieth-century American poets Robert Frost, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Bishop, and twenty-first century American poets Tracy K. Smith, Ada Limón, Natalie Diaz, Matthew Olzmann, and Tiana Clark. Shelly is the 2021 Nancy D. Hargrove Editor’s Poetry Prize winner and a 2020 Rattle poetry prize finalist. Her poetry appears in Harpur PalatePoet LoreNew Ohio ReviewCagibiBlue Mountains ReviewSoutheast Review, and Washington Square Review. She has also published flash fiction at Little Patuxent Review and Ponder Review as well as creative nonfiction at Essays Daily. She is interested in blurring the lines and boundaries between genres and expanding ideas of form in writing.

Shelly Cato, winner of the 2023 IHLR NaPomo Contest

Congratulations to Shelly Cato and all our finalists!




Eric Odynocki, “Folderol”


Sean Cho A., “Because” and “Thesis Proof #11


Amy Thatcher, “Visitation”


Tara Westmor, “I Imagine My Father Sitting on the Deck I Built for him Just Moments Before He Has The Heart Attack”


Melody Wilson, “Shadow Birds”


Clare Banks, “Having Lost Your Daughter” and “My Mother On Her Knees”


Pamela Wax, “To my brother who left an “I love you, when can we talk?” message one day, then jumped from a bridge the next”


Lindsey Priest, “Mother–Dictionary, Son– Thesaurus”

The 2024 NaPoMo issue is now available here. You can also click on the magazine cover image below to gain access to the amazing poems written by winner and finalists!


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