We are overjoyed to announce that the winner of our 2018 All-Genre Chapbook Contest has been chosen! We're very grateful to have read so many wonderful submissions this year, and to have the opportunity to publish work that continues encouraging feminist conversations of many sorts.
We would like to extend our congratulations to this year's winner, runners-up, finalists, and semi-finalists, as well as our sincere thanks to all who submitted work. Look for our winning chapbook in 2019!
Winner: Stephanie Cawley, A Wilderness (Poetry)
Erin Bertram, Gender/Genre (Lyric hybrid memoir)
Jen Soriano, Making the Tongue Dry (Lyric nonfiction)
Becca J.R. Lachman, What I say to this house (Poetry)
Jacob Oet, Pink Water (Poetry)
Donna Steiner, Lost and Found in Ocean County (Nonfiction)
Chelsea Voulgares, Grab the Sharpest Blade (Flash fiction)
Stacey Balkun, Breach (Poetry)
Christine Brooks, Small Packages (Nonfiction)
Rob Colgate, for finn (Poetry)
Minna Dubin, Position: Mom (The Fine Print) (Nonfiction)
Sandra Faulkner, Shotgun (Poetry)
Luiza Flynn-Goodlett, Twice Shy (Poetry)
Kay Gram, Holding On, Letting Go (Lyric Essay)
Leah Claire Kaminski, Differential diagnosis from the Santa Anas (Poetry)
Kitt Keller, Chondrichthyes (Poetry)
Sophia Kumin, Honey Crimes (Poetry)
Cat Leeches, I Wander the Earth, Hungry for Semen (Fiction/hybrid) Tiah Lindner Rapheal, Deep for the Keeping (Poetry)
Philip Metres, Returning to Jaffa (Hybrid/mixed media)
C. R. Resetarits, Collage Work (Nonfiction)
Charlene Ashley Taylor, The Metamorphosis of Narcissus (Poetry/memoir)
Judge Khadijah Queen on A Wilderness:
A Wilderness tells us a story about transformation, even as it transforms itself in the chaotic act of telling. Animal, human, flood, wind, trees, gold, stone, language, history—all accumulate in the speaker’s process of becoming: “I wanted to be myself, described, not some other form.” There is a desire to remake, to keep remaking: “To edit a seam until it opens.” I keep wanting to quote lines because the chapbook speaks so well for itself, a point of light that exists despite and amidst tenebrosity: “Under the threat of chaos I gleam like a single, wet seed.” A Wilderness writes in praise of resilience, in acute awareness of terror and disaster, and ranges from gravity to exuberance—ultimately full of the kind of wisdom we want from poetry, the kind that understands the impossibilities life demands and shows us infinite ways to acknowledge them, and keep going.
Judge Khadijah Queen on Gender/Genre:
Beautifully written prose chronicling the insistence of gender from within and without, but also the insistence of mind and heart, too, to make its own definitions—a defiant liminality that refuses, however fearfully or gently or defiantly, even that misnomer. The speaker in Gender-Genre makes of reality a new body of the real, one that proclaims a hard-fought beingness, despite the tired binary the larger world often aggressively insists we agree upon.
Judge Khadijah Queen on Making the Tongue Dry:
Making the Tongue Dry depicts the truth of how the pain of the body and the pain of history are constant, yet often denied to those who suffer it most. The intimacy and cruelty of violence on personal and international levels, the human cost for victim and perpetrator, for witnesses and instigators, bystanders—and within all of it a sense of powerlessness, how we live with the fact of it while trying to claim some integrity and maintain survival—deep complexities, sensitively captured.
Stephanie Cawley is a poet from southern New Jersey. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in West Branch, DIAGRAM, Weekly Gramma, the PEN Poetry Series, and Best New Poets, among other places. She has an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh and works teaching writing, usually to middle schoolers and college students.