The Skagit River Poetry Foundation has announced the winner of the Phyllis L. Ennes Poetry Contest, open to all Pacific Northwest poets, from Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia, Canada. The contest winner is Patrick Lane, an award-winning Canadian poet who brings a gritty background and an endless appreciation of beauty to his captivating verse. Recently named to the Order of Canada, he is a master of many literary forms, including essays, short stories, and novels. Lane will read his award-winning poems at this year’s Skagit River Poetry Festival, May 15-18, 2014, in La Conner, WA.

Runners-up in the contest are Tina Schumann and Jeannine Hall Gailey, who will also present at the festival. Judge for the contest was the esteemed poet Ellen Bass.

The contest honors the powerful Northwest arts advocate Ennes, who died earlier this year.

Who was Phyllis L. Ennes? Students at the Heart

Phyllis Luvera Ennes, longtime Anacortes resident, died on January 7. She was born to Paul and Mary Luvera of Anacortes in 1928. Ennes believed the arts are essential for a complete education, and she began and directed the Anacortes School District Cultural Education Program from 1974-1992. Additionally, she sat on numerous boards, including the Anacortes Public Library Foundation, Pop ‘n’ Art, the Anacortes Arts and Crafts Foundation, and the Washington Alliance for Arts Education.

A talented writer, she was a member of the Skagit Valley College Senior English class at the Anacortes Senior Center. She wrote poetry, prose, and short stories. As family historian, she collected and published family stories, a cookbook of her mother’s recipes and was nearing completion on her father’s memoir.

She was a parent, friend, teacher, scholar, facilitator, lifelong learner, and mentor. Her influence has been boundless.