Tell it, Tampa!

April is National Poetry Month!

In honor of National Poetry Month, the Wordsmith of the city is throwing down a challenge to all you other wordsmiths and poets. Write a poem—Tell it!—about our fair city, Tampa, otherwise known as T-Town, the Big Guava, Gasparilla Queen, Home of the Bolts, Super Bowl Host-with-the-Most, —whatever you like to call her.  Learn how to submit your poem or spoken word video!  Deadline to submit is April 23rd, Shakespeare's birthday.


Haiku from Home

Last May we asked you to write a haiku or tanka about your experience staying safer at home. You answered the call and sent us some extraordinary poetry--over 460 haiku and tanka. While most of you sent only one piece, some of you sent in multiple haiku and some sent in multi-part haiku. You went for it! We even had submissions from the state and local Poets Laureate. You ranged in age from 6 to at least 79 (one of you told us her age). Your subjects spanned a wide range, too: masks, social distancing, loneliness, joy, nature, fear, shopping, reading, relaxing, family and Tampa herself. We enjoyed reading every haiku/tanka.

Thank you to everyone who participated.

Featured below are the haiku/tanka that spoke to us the loudest. We hope they speak to you, too. Enjoy, stay safe and keep writing!


Danielle Shepard

Stuart Schneiderman

Jen Karetnick

Scott Schroeder

Cari Oleskewicz

Rochelle A. Reback

Steve Sensenig

Alyssa Shimko

John Davis Jr.

Laura Estes-Swilley

Sushmita Pandey

Chris Gustafson

Chris Gustafson

Suzanne S. Austin-Hill

Hugo Bobea

Christine Cock

Heather Frankel


Ashley G.

Jenifer Neale

Lisa Shasteen

Anonymous 78 year old woman

Sonia Quinones

Sonia Quinones

Meaza Stewart-Morrison

Jeff Patterson

Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis

John Dicks

Katherine Warren

Mezaan Beljic

Laura S. Whittington

Laura S. Whittington

Randy Goggin

Kristina Porricolo

Margo Castellana

Geoff Williams

Geoff Williams

Stephen Lindow


Marian Seymour

Phyllis Gaines

Ginger Watters

Ginger Watters

Amanda Sieradzki

Amanda Sieradzki

Katya Sabaroff Taylor

Katya Sabaroff Taylor

Barbara J. Lima, 79 years young

Peter Meinke, Poet Laureate of Florida

Lester Albert

Randy Rosenthal

Eva Telesca

Mary Greenleaf

Carol Ann Moon

Janet Clayton

J. Kent

Earl Braggs

Felicia Russo

Linda Lee Sullivan

Linda Lee Sullivan

William Terrill, 11 years old

Nancy J. Meyer

Nancy J. Meyer

Steve Vickers

Ginger Watters

Mario Roberto Núñez, TampaNativesShow

James J. Gustafson

Natajah Diggs


Geoffrey Philp

Brian Carroll

Stephanie Kuczynski

Carole Mackey

Addie Corbett, 10 years old

Madison L., 6 years old, submitted by her mom

Barbra Nightingale

Denise Dispenza

Mercedes Skelton

Randy Andrews

Laura Black

Patrick Piper

Leah Clark and Molly Finger

Marian Hill

Lauri Criqui

Evelyn Ann Romano

Melissa Nye

Marlene Rubin

Elizabeth Corwin

Karen Lee

Gabriella Davis

Paige Eaton

Jenny Carey

Nell Abram

Ross Gottstein

Natasha Leslie

Edward Schmidt-Zorner

Judith Gorgone

Angela Masterson Jones

Angela Masterson Jones

Daisy Evans

Daisy Evans

Steve Otto

Terry Godbey

Nancy Shebeneck

Nancy Shebeneck

Joy Gaines-Friedler

Jill Henrich

Katie Montes

Lisa Geisness

Chuck Kikel

Francine Wolf

Sameer Guduru

Jay Talati

Miranda Olivera, 6th Grade, TCMS

John P. Griffith II, 6th Grade, TCMS

Jacob Wolf, 6th grade, TCMS

Jane Juran

Jane Juran

Jonathan Shipley

Lauren Michelle

Lauren Michelle

Christy Bailes

Pamela Mard

William D. Mitchell

Jim Wicker

Joan King

Jackie Chou

Terence Wolfe

Carole Bugge

Kate Sweeney

Kathryn Gertz

Claire H. Matturro

Lynda Waters

Lynda Waters

Dianne Blyler

Dianne Blyler

Dawn McMahon

Dawn McMahon

Cheryl A. Van Beek

Cheryl A. Van Beek

Cheryl A. Van Beek

Donna L. Decaul

Donna L. Decaul

Andrea McBride

Andrea McBride

Edith M. Freeman

Edith M. Freeman

Mary Ann Marshall

Cheryl Licata

Kristine Mannino

Mary Catherine (Mary Kay) Madden

Victoria Dym

Nancy Mashberg

Aditya Rao

Adagio Patricia Micaletti

Joanna Cheshire

Chantelle MacPhee

Ishaan M. Shah, 6th grade, Terrace Community Middle School

Amanda N. Butler, Poet Laureate of Oldsmar