Ends on September 23, 2019

This is a free contest to celebrate a new poetry form invented by Press 53 poetry editor Christopher Forrest and editor in chief Kevin Morgan Watson: the Prime 53 poem.

This Summer Challenge runs the entire summer, from June 21 through September 23. Submissions close at midnight Eastern time on September 23.

The challenge is to write a Prime 53 poem, and our top three poems, judged by Chris and Kevin, will be published in Issue 163 of Prime Number Magazine on October 1, 2019. 

Three winners will receive a free paperback book of their choice from Press 53 or one free seminar at the High Road Festival of Poetry and Short Fiction, March 28, 2020, in Winston-Salem, NC.

Your poem must adhere to the following rules:

· Total syllable count of 53

· Eleven total lines 

· First three stanzas are three lines each with a 7 / 5 / 3 syllable count 

· Final stanza must be two lines with a 5 / 3 syllable count, for a total syllable count of 53

· Rhyme scheme (slant/soft rhymes are fine) aba cdc efe gg

The total line count is a prime number (11), the syllable count in each line in first three stanzas is a prime number (7 / 5/ 3), and the syllable count in each line of the last two-line stanza is a prime number (5 / 3), making the poem’s total syllable count a prime number (53).

Prime 53 Poem Sample

Road trips, beaches, one-wish 

trips, backdrops for your 

reading lists. 


Why not, too, write poetry? 

Count your syllables: 

fifty-three. 


Pens and pads, your tools to pack. 

Leave ideas there, bring 

poems back. 


You will feel better,

and smarter.


Three winners will be announced via Submittable, and on the Prime Number Magazine Facebook page, Twitter page, and to our subscribers (get your free subscription at https://www.press53.com/subscribe).

Enter now for your chance to be one of the first to publish a Prime 53 poem!

By entering this competition, the author grants Press 53/Prime Number Magazine First Serial Rights to publish their Prime 53 poem in Issue 163 of Prime Number Magazine. All rights revert back to author upon publication on October 1.