About the Kakalak Contest

In 2023, we’ll celebrate the 15th issue of
Kakalak Anthology of Poetry and Art
and third year under the umbrella of Moonshine Review Press
and Publisher Anne M. Kaylor.


My role with Kakalak goes back to the birth of the anthology in 2005, when Lisa and Richard asked me to participate in this new journal they wanted to publish—one dedicated to highlighting the poetry and art of the Carolinas. At the time, I had too much on my plate and had to decline. I did submit work to that first issue (for the first and last time) and found a home for one of my favorite poems, “The Rape of Foley Hall.”

Soon after, editors Lisa Zerkle, Richard Allen Taylor, and Beth Ann Cagle again approached me—about designing the issue. I accepted and have participated in nearly every issue since, as a designer and copy editor in 2006–2009, then again in 2013–2015, after Main Street Rag Publishing Company became the publisher.

In 2017, at the invitation of publisher Scott Douglass, I became a judge for the contest and editor for the anthology. I worked closely with Scott and the other editors, learning much about the behind-the-scenes of what it takes to produce Kakalak. So, when Scott decided to retire as the publisher in ’21, he asked if I’d like to continue the anthology—and I answered with a resounding “YES!” And here we are going on year number three, thanks to all of you!


For the Kakalak 2023 poetry and art contests, Kim Blum-Hyclak, David E. Poston, and Angelo Geter return as our team of co-judges and editors. A huge thank you to all three, who not only judge the art and poetry, but also organize and proof the book before publication.

As publisher, I handle communications with contestants; receiving, logging, and distributing contest entries; and designing, marketing, and distributing the issue. Since the overall design is impacted by choice of art, I act as fourth judge for the art contest.

We make every effort for our contest to be “blind”—meaning judges do not know contestants’ identities when choosing. That effort falls on me, as publisher, but it also falls on you, as those submitting, so please take care to remove your names from your poetry and from your art.

Still, we acknowledge judges may recognize individual works of poetry or art. When this occurs, a judge recuses her/himself while the other judges score and discuss the piece. In the rare instances when judges think they know the poet or artist but not the individual work submitted, they do participate in judging. This has proven to be the fairest approach because of the process:

  1. Each judge initially scores every submission after careful consideration.
  2. Judges meet and discuss scores and individual pieces in-depth.
  3. Selections are made only after judges arrive at a consensus.
  4. Judges often find, during the process, they don’t know for sure who the individual is.
  5. Judges revisit selections with further discussion to choose the winners.
  1. You’ll receive an email reply from me (Kakalak@carolina.rr.com) confirming your payment for submitting.
  2. Kakalak@carolina.rr.com will also acknowledge receipt of your submission email. Please note you should add this email address to your accepted emails list, so our emails don’t end up in your SPAM or not accepted.
  3. Typically, by the second week of July, everyone who submitted is notified regarding acceptance.
  4. The judges choose only one (1) piece from an artist and one (1) piece from a poet unless the artist or poet is an award winner. The contests are judged separately, so it is possible for an individual who submits to both contests to have both art and poetry included.
  5. All those included in the issue will receive a “galley proof”—that is, a proof of the entire inside of the issue as it will appear in print—after the design process is completed in late August.