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Able Muse 2015 Winners

Able Muse is pleased to announce the winners of the Write Prize for poetry & fiction. The winning writer and the winning poet will each receive a $500 prize.

Write Prize for Fiction
Final Judge: Eugenia Kim
Winner: Andrea Witzke Slot – “After Reading the News Story of a Woman Who Attempted to Carry Her Dead Baby onto an Airplane”

Here is what Eugenia Kim has to say about Andrea Witzke Slot’s winning story: The first line of this story presents a character, setting and situation with a rare and satisfying command of storytelling. Using perfect details balanced against rapid pacing, the voice of this writing has an air of stern and simple elegance, and reveals how the narrator’s experience of a newspaper story becomes a parallel challenge to her own ambivalence about motherhood and love. In the way that great stories open larger questions, within its brief timeframe this story questions culture and society, and how we are so quick and sure to judge the tragedies of others, yet with less capacity to examine the perils in our own judgments.

Honorable Mention
James Cooper – “Strangers on a Cliff”
Albert Liau – “With the Clarity of Hindsight”

Scott Sharpe – “Dance Among the Dogwoods”

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Write Prize for Poetry
Final Judge: H.L. Hix
Winner: Elise Hempel – “Cathedral Peppersauce”

Here is what H.L. Hix has to say about Elise Hempel’s winning poem: The formal qualities of “Cathedral Peppersauce” are elegant: slant rhymes throughout, until the final couplet clicks the poem closed with a perfect rhyme. Even more elegant, though, is the poem’s way of grasping the beauty of its subject, by looking simultaneously at the bottle and through it into history, from which it recuperates, through sympathy and particularity, a life lost long ago.

Elise Hempel – “Jockey”
Jeanne Wagner – “On Watching a Cascade Commercial”

Jim Bartruff – “Meditation on the Wake of the Winslow Ferry”
Midge Goldberg – “On Learning the Harvest Moon Is an Optical Illusion”
Trish Lindsey Jaggers – “Jaybirds Feeding on Robins”
Miriam O’Neal – “Bottle Journal ? Meditation on Transformation”
Gabriel Spera – “Blessed”
Marty Steyer – “The King of Lightning”
M.K. Sukach – “About an Alligator”

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