Poetry Winners 2014

The 2014 CHR Poetry Contest has concluded.  We received poetry submissions from over 25 poets, with nearly 50 poems total!  While there were many creative, clever, worthy poems, we selected the following winners:

1. “Restless” by Emily Braverman

2. “Gran’ma’s Sestina” by Sophia Schlesinger

3. “Insatiable Ambition” by Maeve Ward


Honorable Mention:

“Ashes to Ashes” by Natasha Nachazel

“Confession Before Death” by Div Tosingilo

“Necklace” by Morgan Michalski

You’re Invited

On April 13th, the Iowa Youth Writing Program is hosting their 3rd Annual Poetry Pro-Am, and this year the City High Review is co-hosting. We invite you to participate in this unique event. Poets are invited to share their work published in the City High Review aloud at the Downtown Java House on Sunday 6-7pm. In addition, at 3pm there is a free workshop to help prepare for your performance.

Contributors of work other than poetry are invited as well. We encourage you all to come and help us celebrate the release of our new issue and poetry month.

Please check your calendar and drop us an email if you are interested and able to come.

There is free food.

Only The Good

An essay by Sy Butler, remembering a traumatic and tragic episode from elementary school.

The school bell sounded, causing the players to complain, “Man, why does recess always end right when the game is just getting good?”

We all trudged up the hill towards the back of the school, shoulders sagging, many bending over until their backs were near horizontal in an effort to make the climb easier after a heated match of soccer. The flights of stairs seemed twice as steep and three times as numerous, since all of us were so tired. Still feeling the excitement of the soccer game, I bounded up the stairs. By the time my friends and I reached the top we were all panting, and Marcus had a bead of sweat dripping down his temple. Continue reading

Kemonte Brown

Kemonte Brown: May’s Café

by Kemonte Brown

Coffee stains to coffee scent, linger on my clothes.

Comparing bitter sweet espresso blends to fruits,

conversations with customers about being a barista.


John Mayer playing in the background, college

students flock like birds. Tribal designs on her shirt,

splashes of paint on his pants. We serve Ice Cream

and Pastries. Talk about unique. Coffee is love.

Poetry Contest Winners!

"Christina's World" by Andrew Wyeth

Another April has come to a close, and with it, the Review’s poetry contest. This time around, though, we had a year of experience under our belt, not to mention many, many more poems to choose from. There were no clear standouts – we read many strong poems that spanned a variety of themes and styles.

The ones we chose showed impressive rhyming patterns, painted complex emotional portraits, were intense, and mostly seemed to capture one moment in time.

We have had to let more than a few well-composed, original, thoughtful poems go unnamed for now. They will not go unpublished, though! (More on that later.)

Without further ado:

Honorable mentions:


3. “A Sestina” by Matt Lee

2. “It’s 6:00pm on a Tuesday” by Nat Alder

1. “Smoke” by Max Friedman

1. “Untitled” by Sarah Burns

2012 in review

The WordPress.com folks prepared an impressive annual report for cityhighreview.com. Let us know what worked in our first year and what you’d like to see in 2013!

(We know – we’ve been on a long winter break. But we’re back! Expect posts every Thursday and Sunday.)

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,400 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report!

Poetry Bonanza: Part One

In this Poetry Bonanza we present five previously unpublished poems.

In this Poetry Bonanza we present five previously unpublished poems.

Here are some previously unpublished student poems. They cover a wide array of topics: heartbreak, money, depression, war, abstract philosophizing. We like all of them! Let us know which one is your favorite in the comments.

Untitled  by Kelly Edwards

Tiny blue lights ignite the sky
While the moon falls into place
We’ll sink like anchors out at sea
Waves wash over us like a thousand weights
Maybe one day we’ll find an escape into the sun
We could float out of this world
Into the next Galaxy
But, we’ve been here for years,
And I don’t know if we can escape
This place I’ve come to call home
The cold has become so comforting
My heart’s ice Continue reading

Fantasy: Orion’s Sword by Michael Henkhaus

Excerpt from "Orion's Sword" by Michael Henhaus

Excerpt from “Orion’s Sword” by Michael Henhaus

The following is a tiny snippet from a very, very long fantasy story that Michael Henkhaus has been working on for a very, very long time. More to come!

Gerth’s room was very large. It had a big bed by the wall, with a warm red blanket that covered the entire mattress. Gerth was always finding new ways of sleeping in it. Above his bed hung a large framed script. It read: “Fight the evil you wish not to become, and protect your loved ones from the troubles they wish not to obtain. Fear not, for fear is too great and evil a power for any man to ever possess.” Gerth lived by this sentence, and often quoted it to his friends. Continue reading

Music Links: Students Making Music Online

Here are some links to places where City High students are putting their awesome original music. If you make music, send us a link or some files and we’ll put it up!

Elena Foster: http://soundcloud.com/elena-foster

Emily Braverman: http://soundcloud.com/bravergirl07

Erin Danielson: http://soundcloud.com/erin-danielson2*

Kole Butler: http://soundcloud.com/city-high-review (it’s on our SoundCloud)

Continue reading