In the National Federation of State Poetry Societies 2021 contests, Donna Isaac won the following awards: First Place in the Margo Award for "Avoidance"; First Place in the William Stafford Memorial Award for "Markings"; Second Place in the Winner's Circle Award for "Distant Lightning"; and Honorable Mentions in both the Jim Barton Memorial Award and the Poets' Work Award. To see all of the awarded work in print, go to Amazon and order the Encore Prize Poems 2021 anthology. It features 160 winning poems selected from more than 6,000 submissions from across the U.S., as well as Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain and India.

Donna's poem "Anticipatory Set" has been accepted for publishing by Shark Reef, Summer 2021 edition.

June 2021: A new selection of  "Poems of Hope and Reassurance" are being featured on The Poetry Walk at Green Island in Wadena, Minnesota.  The poets featured in June include Donna Isaac. Green Island is located at 850 Scheer Drive, Wadena, Minnesota. It is open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. 

The Ramsey Country Library published This was 2020 which is now available at the Minnesota Libraries Publishing Project. The ebook/print-on-demand publication will be available late June 2021. Donna's poem "Late October" is part of the publication.

Donna Isaac won the following awards from the Poetry Society of VA (2021 contests): First place in the Edgar Allan Poe contest with her poem "Letting Go"; 2nd place in the Carleton Drewery contest for "Picking Asparagus"; 2nd place in the Celie Moon contest for "Taco King"; and 3rd place in the Laura Day Boggs contest for "Frog Prince."

Donna Isaac's poem "Whither" was published in the journal Conestoga Zen (Order here).

Donna's poems "Palette," "Birds of Ireland," "Suburban Woodlands," and "All Raccoons," will be in Startled by Nature, Gabriel's Horn Press. Startled by NATURE 2020: new poetry in traditional forms - YouTube. The book is now available (Jan. 2021) in print. It will soon be available in ebook.

Donna's poem "Costumes" is scheduled for Midway Journal's Volume 15, Issue 2, which will go live on April 15, 2021. Please check Midway Journal.

Donna Isaac's poem, "Circle Dance, " has been chosen First Place in Category III of the Arizona State Poetry Society’s Annual Contest.

Donna's poems: "Watching On Golden Pond Again," "Flight," and "Easter," have been accepted for publication by Moving Images: Poetry Inspired by Cinema (Before Your Quiet Eyes Publishing) in book form late 2020.

Poetry Society of Indiana Fall Contest 2020 announced the following for poet Donna Isaac: The following poem won Reserve: "Photos on my Phone" in the Grace Potter Hearkins Award; the following poems won Honorable Mentions: "Rocketman" in the Premier Poet's Award, "2020" in the Life Worth Remembering Award; "Gems, Suburban Woodlands" in the Noble Poets' Award; and "Spring, 1964 in the Alda Johannes Memorial; and the following poems won First: "Wagons, Ho!" in the Love of Country Award; and "Rustic" in the PSI Memorial Award.

At the October 2020 League of MN Poets, Donna Isaac won the following awards for several of her poems:

1. Awards of Merit in The Moccasin Award for "Meditation"; in the Stone Gathering Award for "Big Shot"; and in the Florence Hynes Willette Memorial Award for " Out of Service"

2. Honorable Mentions in the Southern Minnesota Poets' Award for "The Waczieleski Girls"; and in the Writing Circles for Healing for "Canyon."

3. Third Place in the Steinography Award for "Visitation."

4. Second Place in the John and Helen Pappas Award for "Wheels."

5. First Place in the Board Games Award for "After Supper."

Donna's poem "Photography" was published by The Poeming Pigeon, the Pop Culture Issue (The Poetry Box, 2020).

"This Fitful Life" by Donna Isaac will be published by Pandemic Puzzle Poems by Blue Light Press, December 2020.

Donna's poem "Colosseum" is part of the Martin Lake Journal, vol. 3, 2020.
Dakota County Library Poetry Contest. Poets of all ages submitted original poems during the month of April. Haiku, free verse, odes and sonnets – no matter what their poetry style, all were celebrated at Dakota County Library's annual poetry contest. Donna Isaac receive 1st Place in the Adults: Ages 19 and Older category for her poem "Pandemic."

Donna's poem "Off" will be part of  the 2020 Minnesota Voices Poetry Collection.  It will also be available for viewing online or contact Wadena County Historical Society, 603 Jefferson Street N, Wadena, MN 56482, 218 631-9079.

Donna's poem,"Markings" will be published by Streetlight Magazine, May 2020.

Donna's poem "Tripartite Threat" will be published in an e-book,  "Art in the Time of Covid-19" (San-Fedele Press), late June 2020 publication date.

Donna Isaac's poem "Is this the zombie apocalypse everyone talks about?" will be published in Whistling Shade, Spring/Summer issue due out May 2020.

The Poetry Society of Va. announced the winners of their national poetry contest April 2020. Donna Isaac's poems won the following awards.

--1st place, Carleton Drewry Memorial Award for her poem "Rustica"
--2nd place, Brodie Herndon Memorial Award for her poem "Hero"

--Honorable Mention, Nancy Byrd Turner Memorial Award for her poem"Coitus Interruptus"

--1st place, Judah, Sarah, Grace, Tom Memorial Award for her poem"Helping Out"

--1st place, Miriam Rachimi Memorial Award for her poem "After Chores"

--3rd place, Ann Spencer Memorial Award for her poem "Meditation"

The 2020 contest anthology will come out in the fall, as The Poetry Virginia Review 2020.
Here are a few of the judges' comments about her work:

1) "Meditation pays homage big time to the Symbolists, and how can that ever be a terrible thing? I'm drawn to the quirk and the twist of expectation."

2) "Congratulations on your poem "Hero", which I am pleased to select as Second Place Winner in the Poetry Society of Virginia's Brodie Herndon Memorial contest, for poems on the topic of  Heroism. Excellent. The poem is... powerful,...memorable.  I loved it."

3) "After Chores" is moving in its restraint, and for its vivid thumbnails of a past shared by the speaker and the one they mourn. The turn from the scene of death to the surprising and unexpected recollection that finishes with "the earth moving below" is both potent and electric."

4.) "With muscular language, the first place poem, "Rustica," captures generational breadth and cultural identity with the crafted use of specific, memorable imagery, as well as thoughtful references that evoke the ancestors as well as the speaker with their strength, survival, and joys."

The Exposition Review will publish "12 movements: looking for love da, da, da" for publication in their upcoming "Act/Break" issue spring 2020

Wraparound South will publish "All Raccoons," "Pictures, and "Secret Sharers" by Donna Isaac in their spring 2020 edition.

Donna's poem "Story" was published by Earth Hymn: KYSO Flash Anthology 2019.

"The Play is Not the Thing," an essay about a failed field trip, was accepted for publication by Kappan and will be available in their March 2020 issue.

"Downtime" will be published in The Whitefish Review, 24th issue, "Awakenings," December 7, 2019.

Donna's work won the following awards at the League of Minnesota Fall Conference: 1. The Blizzard Writers' Award, first place for "The Art of Hearing"; 2. The Poets Potluck Award, award of merit for "Beach Drama"; 3. The Heartland Poets Award, second place for "Lunar Musings"; and 4. The Moccasin Award, award of merit for "Adrift."

The Very Edge Poetry Collection will publish "Entrepreneur Sans Wall," "Directions," and "Precious Land." The editors write that the poetry has a "fiercely gentle nature...just what we are looking for." This book will be published in the spring of 2020.

Tishman Review will publish the poem "Adrift."

"Memorial Day" will be published in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Military Experience & the Arts' on-line journal, As You Were. This poem honors Donna's uncle, Leon Pleasants, Air Force veteran.

North/South Blogspot has published two poems by Donna Isaac, "Precious," "Rustica" and "August Fruit."

Finishing Line Press will publish Donna's chapbook, Persistence of Vision, November 2019 and is now offering prepublication ordering (July-Nov.) by sending $13.99 plus shipping (check or money order made out to "Finishing Line Press") to
Finishing Line Press
Post Office Box 1626
Georgetown, KY 40324
Shipping is only $2.99 per copy, ($16.98 total). Or order online. Click and scroll to "Preorder Forthcoming Titles" or "Bookstore." You may search by title: Persistence of Vision. Credit card orders will be processed through PayPal. Preorder ships November 1, 2019.
Persistence of Vision centers on a love for movies featuring 32 original poems and cover photography by Laura Bittle.
FootfallsDonna Isaac's first full-length collection of poetry, Footfalls is now available through Pocahontas Press or through contacting Donna at for $20.00. These poems celebrate the people, places, music, and stories of her childhood Appalachian home.

"Encounter Near Aldie, Virginia," "Needle and Thread," and "Berry Is My Madeleine" have been accepted for inclusion in Is(sue) 7 of AvantAppal(achia), online edition.

Donna's poem "Encounter Near Aldie, Virginia" won first place in the New Voices category sponsored by the Poetry Society of Virginia.
Here are the judge's comments:
"The winning poem features striking phrasing and vivid imagery as it evokes a moment towards sunset when the poem's narrator not only has a surprise encounter with two deer who appear and then disappear into the trees, followed by a sighting of buzzards "circling something dying," but those experiences in the growing dusk lead to a moment of vision, when the distant Civil War past and people of that era--or beyond--seem to materialize from the shadows. After the sun finally sets and night comes on, there's a heavy rain whose sound "beats a cadence" that strikes the narrator as a kind of "martial music / rattling the night," evoking the sounds of drumbeats and gunfire, echoing the battles that occurred long ago near Aldie, Virginia. The poem is both subtle and powerful in its interweaving of mysteries that emerge from both the past and present."
In addition, for the other winner "Carmen Aponte," here are the judge's comments:
" 'Carmen Aponte' is such a personal poem, streaked with equal parts the pain of discovery, of growth, of the past. And yet it places you entirely in the moment, as though it's happening right now. The language is tender, and so pretty in spots that you almost gasp with pleasure at it: 'the color is Rachel, darkest shade"'...'don't they see my beauty? / so transformed I cannot see.' And the last two lines. 'but a wet tabby, a bleeding clown, / staining the basin with Rachel-colored tears.' This is mastery. Brilliant work."

Donna's poems "Offering," "Picking," and "Family Foods" are, as of May 13, 2019, posted on the Poetry Post at the Phalen Poetry Park in St. Paul.

Two poems: "August Morning" and "Making Do" will be published in the first annual Gabriel's Horn Anthology, Startled by Joy.

The Poetry Society of Virginia awarded First Place to "Carmen Aponte," Donna's poem about a friendship for the Bess Gresham Memorial Prize.
Wordrunner eChapbooks has published three poems: "Roasting Vegetables," "The Golden Ratio," and "Entrepreneur sans Wall" for April 2019.

The poem "Make Love, Not War" will be published by the University of Pennsylvania spring 2019 online issue of The Penn Review

The Poem "Grief" will be published by Goddard College's literary journal Clockhouse, Vol. 7.

"Trust" published in Upon Waking; 58 Voices Speak Out From the Shadows, poems by and for women who are victims of sexual abuse.

"The Good Girl" and "I Hear America" have been chosen for inclusion in a Walt Whitman celebration anthology.

"The Real Deal" is part of the Jim Webb Special Is(sue). Jim Webb aka Wiley Quixote, Kentucky poet and activist, passed away fall 2018,

The Saint Paul Almanac will publish "Church Ladies" in their upcoming issue, Volume 12.

Genre: Urban Arts will publish Donna' s poems ""Carrots" & "Teeth" in the next issue, #8. (announced February 2019)

"Story" has been accepted as a semi-finalist in The DavenTree writing challenge. Winners and finalists will be selected in a few weeks. (announced February 2019) KYSO Flash Literary Journal

Donna's poem "For Pete's Sake" has been published by Typishly, an online journal, December 18, 2018.

Donna's poem "Brokenness" will be published by Earth's Daughters, issue #92 with the theme "She Persisted."

Two poems, "Encounter Near Aldie, Virginia" and "Mist" by Donna Isaac were published in The Moccasin, The League of Minnesota Poets (2018).

The League of Minnesota Poets' Awards 2018 were recently announced at the annual conference in Hopkins, MN.
Donna earned the following recognition:

•First Honorable Mention in the Lost in Translation category for her poem "Learning Arabic."

•First Award of Merit in the South Minnesota Poets' Society category for her poem "After."
•First Honorable Mention in the Musica Award for her poem "The Day Rita Dove Danced for Me."
•Second Award of Merit in the Mississippi Valley Poets & Writers' category for her haiku "Over the Mountain."

Donna's poem "Transaction" is published in the Bacopa Literary Review 2018 (Writers' Alliance of Gainesville).

My poem "Truth/Time" has been published in issue 3 of Rascal, live for the fall 2018 issue.

The poem "Suggestions" will be published in Adanna's annual issue #8 with the print publication scheduled for late August or early September 2018.
Rascal Journal will publish "Truth/Time," in their upcoming summer 2018 issue.

"Transaction," a prose poem, will be published by Bacopa Literary Review. The print edition will be out in October 2018.

"Elementary School" will be published by Perfume River Poetry Review (Tourane Poetry Press) April 2018, celebrating the theme of childhood.

"September Sky" and "Our Daily Walk" published in In Plein Air--poems and drawings of the natural world by Poetic License Press

The following poems by Donna Isaac received recognition by the League of Minnesota Poets' Annual Awards, 2017: "Remedies" awarded by The Southeastern MN Poets' for first honorable mention; "Shapes and Shadows" awarded by the Lilian Osborne Memorial for third honorable mention; and "The Station off Heisey Avenue" awarded by the Janelle Hawkridge Memorial for second award of merit.

The Martin Lake Journal, 2017 will publish three of my poems: "Dark Death"; "Rise"; and "Constrictions."

"Ten" and "Vignette" are published in The Moccasin, Vol. LXXX, 2017, the poetry journal of the League of Minnesota Poets.

Shark Reef, an online journal, will publish "Constrictions" by Donna Isaac, Winter 2018 edition, posted by January 2018.

Crosswinds Poetry Journal will publish Donna Isaac's poem "Rise" in their Spring 2018 issue.

Crosswinds Poetry Journal, Vol. II, 2017 published two poems, "Tomatoes" and "Taking Heed". Portions of the proceeds go to food shelves and non-profit literacy groups. You can order a copy here.

"Dark Sky Spot" was published in the Martin Lake Poetry Anthology.
Purchasing the book benefits local food shelves.
The anthology can be found at various independent bookstores, e.g., Micawber's at 2338 Carter Ave., St. Paul. A plethora of fine Minnesota poets!

St. Paul Almanac published my poem "To Grandma Delores Suffering from Lewy Body Dementia" in their spring 2017 publication.
The book release party was April 6, 2017
Black Dog Cafe, 308 E. Prince St., St. Paul.

Shark Reef literary journal published my poem "The Great Escape" in their winter 2017 issue

If you go to this link you will read a poem I wrote. Hope you enjoy!

My poem "Summer Job" was published by Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel: Appalachia Under Thirty, vol. 19, 2016.
To purchase copies of the annually themed journal, go to or contact Donna via

The University of Missouri at Kansas City, BkMk Press,
recently announced the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry. My poetry manuscript was honored as a finalist for this award.

My poem "Venus, Later" won first place in the Dakota County Library's Adult Poetry Contest.
The winning works were published on this website: by June 18th, 2015.
Click on Poetry to read my poem and the other winning poems.

My poem "Visitors" was published in Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, Volume 18
the literary journal of the Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative at the beginning of June 2015.
Copies of the journal are $12.00 and can be purchased through

"I Want to Go Out" won honorable mention in the Bloomington City Poetry Contest.
"Wedding" was an acknowledged achievement.
Winners of the contest were honored at the Creekside Community Center in Bloomington
Aug. 16th, 2014 from 4:00-6:00 P.M.
Reception and readings
The poems was featured on beginning in Sept. 2014.

"The Candle of Memory" and "West Virginia: 12 Steps"
These poems were in the October edition of White Stag, a literary/arts magazine.
To purchase the book, go to

"Off"  Published on Sleet an on-line literary magazine  in the spring 2012 issue
Go to to read it.

"Springs" was published in The Highlands Voice distributed by West Virginia Highlands Conservancy.

"About Her Losing a Breast" Appears in the February 2012 online literary magazine, Hospital Drive, published by the University of Virginia Medical School. Go to to view this work dedicated to Donna's aunt, Janice Bageant.

Dakota County Poetry Anthology

dragonPerfect Dragonfly
DragonFly Press
stpaulalmanacSt. Paul Almanac 2011
"New Year"

hungerHunger and Thirst
"Thursday Dinner"
jukedJuked #7
"West Virginia: Steps"

Pisgah Review

Minnesota Arboretum Calendar 2010-2011
Sponsored by Writers Rising Up
My poems: "Ode to the Dragonflies" "Asking" "Turns"

Four of my poems were featured on Cracked Walnut's first audio cd, vol. 1, "Departures," found at
The poems are entitled: "How Precious Did That Grace Appear," "Facts," "Off My Feed," and "I Want to Go Out."
All of the poetry revolves around the theme of loss, leaving, and death.

My poem "Nativity: Four Years Later" was published in the Cancer Poetry Project book.
Go to for full information and to purchase the book.

My poetry capstone "Sustenance" received Outstanding Poetry Thesis 2007 from Hamline University.