Announcing: Lit Shark Magazine’s February Poem of the Month!


Happy Wednesday, readers, writers, and shark fans! I hope you’re having an incredible week! Our week at Lit Shark has been wonderful, because we announced our December-January Poem of the Month winners yesterday, and we’re back again today to announce the winners of our February Poem of the Month contest!

Submissions for the February contest were accepted throughout the month of January, and some of the work was clearly fueled by new beginnings and new boundaries being put into place as they explored love, identity, and connections between humans and the animals they share this world with.

For those of you who would like to submit to one of Lit Shark’s Poem of the Month contests, you still can! Submissions are considered on a rolling basis, and it’s always free to enter. Submit here up to five poems or ten pages of poetry. If you want to be considered for our current contest (March), please submit by Friday, March 1! Submissions will still be accepted after that date, but they’ll be considered for the April Poem of the Month Contest instead. 


Now, For the Honorable Mentions!

I read so many great poems during this round, and I accepted some for publication in Issue 5 of Lit Shark Magazine, coming in March 2024, but there was one that I HAD to nominate for an Honorable Mention:

Dustin Brown – “Prism”

Dustin does an incredible job in this poem of addressing the dualities inherent to the human condition, like being adventurous in one setting and quiet in another. This poem specifically tracks the dualities found in love, expression, openness, and vulnerability, as a person may at one time appear closed off while completely baring their hearts on a random Tuesday. It’s a uniquely vulnerable and lovely poem, and I hope you’d admire it as much as I do.


And the Winner Is…

I am so pleased to announce that the winner of Lit Shark Magazine’s February Poem of the Month contest is none other than Carol Edwards, who writes beautifully vulnerable, striking, ecopoetic, and imagistic poetry.

Her winning poem, “Still,” follows a blue heron as it enters a body of water, and the persona is at first taken by how the heron’s reflection appears in the water, but then they start to look at how the heron looks in the larger context of water meeting sky. How many of us tried as children to discern between water/land and sky; how many of us tried to see the true horizon? This poem tackles that in a beautifully elevated way, and the imagery is all at once striking, memorable, and deeply visceral. There’s both a dreamlike quality to it as well as a photographic one, and it’s haunting in the images it calls up. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Carol EdwardsAbout Carol Edwards:

Carol Edwards is a northern California native transplanted to southern Arizona.  She grew up reading fantasy and classic novels, climbing trees, and acquiring frequent grass stains.  She currently enjoys a coffee addiction and raising her (small) succulent army.  Her favorite shark is the whale shark.
Her poetry has been published in numerous publications, both online and print, including Space and TimePOETiCA REViEWThe Post Grad JournalThe Wild WordWritten Tales Magazine, and Lit Shark Magazine, and in anthologies from White Stag Publishing, Southern Arizona Press, Red Penguin Books, The Ravens Quoth Press, and Black Spot Books.  More of her work is forthcoming in Playlist of the Damned (Weird Little Worlds) and Mother Knows Best: Tales of Handmade Horror (Black Spot Books).
Her debut poetry collection, The World Eats Love, released April 25, 2023 from The Ravens Quoth Press.  You can follow her on Instagram @practicallypoetical, and on X/Twitter and Facebook @practicallypoet. Her website is

“Still” by Carol Edwards

Still by Carol Edwards

A blue heron steps into its reflection
two worlds meeting
golden reeds shiver
in purrs and hisses –

the mirror world
light overlaps in a million rings
clouds blurred to mist
that lifts to touch the heron’s wings.

The blue heron bends
to greet itself, meet
who it is now
who is not the same as yesterday,            yet

it and the purple shadow hills
always know they are themselves.

I bend to greet my face
in the mirror world
skin and hair and those freckles there
familiar as my heartbeat –

but skin-deeper, in that mysterious dark
hiding secrets and souls
lingers she I no longer know
the ring-rippled
ghost of who I used to be

waiting,                                             like me
for the mirror-water to finally still.



“Still” Broadside Created by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

For each contest, the winner will receive a unique digital broadside of their winning poem, and the one I created can be found below. Though the poem is about more than “just” the blue heron, I loved that imagery so much that I wanted to make it the star of the show. The soft greens, blues, and other natural colors came together perfectly to represent the natural, subtle quietness of the observed, living world around us.

Still by Carol Edwards

On the Lookout For the Next Winner!

Since February is a shorter month than the rest, we only have 8 days left in the month! If you’d like to be considered for our March Poem of the Month, please submit your poems for consideration as soon as possible! The absolute deadline is Friday, March 1st, 2024.

One winner will be selected, and they will receive $20, a unique digital broadside of their winning poem, mentions on our social media and our website, and a feature in our next issue of Lit Shark Magazine.

Honorable Mentions will also be considered, and they will receive a mention on our social media and website, and they will be featured in the next issue of Lit Shark Magazine.

Submitting to the Poem of the Month contest also counts as a general submission, so even if your work isn’t selected as a winner or honorable mention, your work may still be picked up for an upcoming issue! With it being free to enter, what do you have to lose?


Happy Writing and Happy Submitting, readers, writers, and shark fans!

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. You will not be charged extra, but a portion of your purchase will help support Lit Shark’s causes in inclusive and accessible literature and writing resources, as well as our growing movement in conversation education, rescue, and revitalization.

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Written By McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan (she/her/hers) lives and writes in Europe with her family (originally from the Midwest). In addition to being the Editor-in-Chief of Lit Shark Magazine and the Banned Book Review, she is a novelist, poet, and book reviewer. She received her MFA in Poetry from Western Michigan University and her BA in English/BS in Education from Indiana University South Bend, where she began her work in publishing. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, Young Ravens Review, The Birds We Piled Loosely, and Encore Magazine, among others; and her book reviews and essays have appeared in The Rumpus, Green Mountains Review, Memoir Mixtapes, The Life Collective, Her Journal, Motherly, and more. When not writing, she enjoys reading, appreciating nature, and spending time with her husband and three children.





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