The poems below were chosen as “Best Poems” and excerpted from the two most recent issues of the Aurorean. Potential submitters can get a good feel for the kinds of poetry we publish by reading these poems, and by being familiar with our journal as a whole. “Best Poem” winners receive $30.

If I Say

If I say
I have written a sonnet to you
do not
get caught up in linguistic details
of what a sonnet should be or not
think more of essence
and the sweetness of ripe peaches
and how the glow of a sunset
can sweep over you.

By Dennis Herrell, from Spring/Summer 2019


The Maid Pouring Milk

Vermeer knew the secret of light—
how it can illuminate
a life, sweeping majestically
like a halcyon broom,

the sun transmutes a loaf of bread
into gold, turns a dull scarf
royal blue and transforms
a maid pouring milk
into object d’art.

As if to say, from a certain angle
at just the right time of day
light imbues our lives,
no matter who we are,
with undeniable beauty.

by Ed Meek, from Fall/Winter 2018–2019