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  • NYS Writers Institute

Pride Poem Contest Winner: Ennis Rook Bashe

The Troy Architectural Program (Tap, Inc.) and the New York State Writers Institute are proud to announce the winner of the Pride Poetry Contest: Ennis Rook Bashe.

Bashe’s poem will be mounted on the south wall of TAP, Inc.’s building at 210 River Street, Troy, NY in celebration of Collar City Pride in July. A reading of the poem will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, July 14, during the Troy Pride Festival (noon to 5 p.m.) at Troy’s Riverfront Park.

Ennis Rook Bashe (photo at left) is a two-time Elgin Award Nominee, Rhysling Award finalist, Lesfic Bard Award-winning poet and romance novelist whose work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Cricket, and Liminality Magazine. Their recent chapbook, “Beautiful Malady” (from Interstellar Flight Press) includes work nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

K. Dymek was awarded second place and Elizabeth Clapp third place. All three writers will present their work at the reading on July 14th.

 K. Dymek “…is a gender-fluid creature living in Massachusetts.” K! has had their work read on Poetry a la Carte, and published in Slamchop, Meat for Tea, and two iterations of "Could You Please Pass the Poem," an experimental anthology compiled by Huimin Wan. They have also performed at the 2016 Greenfield Poetry Festival, the 2017 Salem Arts Festival, Easthampton’s 2018 ZineFest and at "Outside the Box," an event sponsored by the Northampton Community Arts Trust.

A recent transplant to the Capital Region, Elizabeth Clapp graduated last year with a degree in architecture and is getting back into her roots of fiction and poetry.

The 2024 Queer Poetry Prize, founded by TAP, Inc. and co-sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute, was developed to recognize the unique accomplishments of writers in the transgender, queer, and non-binary communities.

This contest was developed and organized by Nancy Klepsch, local poet, and Shawn McCann, local musician and employee of TAP, Inc., a private non-profit community design and place-making center, providing design and planning services to property owners of all income levels, neighborhood groups, and other non-profit organizations wishing to improve their homes, buildings and neighborhoods.

“One part of TAP's mission is to support and promote efforts to sustain a diverse community, so the Pride Poetry Contest is one natural way for us to voice that this obviously includes support for all walks of life, genders and sexual orientations as well. This happens to be my personal inclination, but I also became involved with the project to help support the arts (especially to help get some prize money in artist's hands thanks to the NYS Writers Institute!), to work with Nancy, to have fun installing the poem on TAP's wall, and to hear/see some awesome new poetry. Thank you to everyone that participated!” – Shawn McCann, Tap, Inc.

For more of Bashe’s poetry, visit


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