ArLiJo Poetry Award Winner

Gival Press is pleased to announce that Ms. Lalita Noronha of Baltimore, Maryland has won the ArLiJo Award for her poem titled Bar Talk.

Lalita Noronha received a cash prize of $100.00, a certificate, and her poem will be posted on and the Gival Press website. The ArLiJo Poetry Award was made possible by the collaboration between Gival Press and Arlington Arts Center.

Winner of the 2011 ArLiJo Poetry Award
Bar Talk
by Lalita Noronha of Baltimore, Maryland.

Bar Talk

On bar stools,
two dirty martinis between us,
two plump, pierced olives bear witness
to mundane words—
your family trip to some island, my kids in college,
your teaching career, my award winning book—
words running into piano ripples
and tinkling talk.

The bartender rims glasses in sea salt,
pours margaritas, floats lime wedges on the rocks.
I can tell you remember
forty years later that I loved margaritas.
Still we speak of ordinary things—
anything but timing,
how fate flew you to America,
left me behind in India.

You drain your glass, leave the olives behind,
pay the bill, walk me to my car.
We say goodbye with barely a kiss.
But when I turn the car key,
you lean into my window, wordless,
look at me, away, and back again,
not saying what you could have said.
“Will you write about us?” you ask.

Copyright © 2011 by Lalita Noronha.

Lalita Noronha, born in India, is a scientist, writer, poet, and fiction editor for The Baltimore Review. She has been published in over seventy journals and anthologies, and she has won The Maryland Literary Arts Award twice and the National League of American Pen Women awards among others. She has been featured on WYPR, The Signal. The short story collection titled Where Monsoons Cry is her latest publication.

Killer by Nature
by Patricia Garfinkel of Arlington, Virginia.

My One-Tree Cherry Orchard
by Elisavietta Ritchie of Washington, DC.

Travels with Roger’s Ashes
by Bonnie J. Morris of Washington, DC.

The End and the Beginning
by Joseph Baldi Acosta of Rockville, Maryland.

Clifford Bernier and John Gosslee who read the entries anonymously, served as the final judges.