Neil Shepard Prize in Fiction
Judged by Molly Antopol
"The Forest" by Sharon White
Neil Shepard Prize in Nonfiction
Judged by Amy Fusselman
"They're Not Pretending Anymore" by Harry Leeds
Neil Shepard Prize in Poetry
Judged by Mike Young
"I Took to Walking Down the Middle of Highways to Avoid Getting Shot" and
"Pageantry Reigned Supreme at the 128th Veiled Prophet Ball" by Annie Christain
Read a the full list of finalists and winners here.
"Farewell the Beagle!" by Susan Richardson
"Time Awaits Her Arrival" by Susan Cowger
"The Secret Historian" by Elisabeth Murawski
Judge Laura Kasischke writes, "This was no easy task. The poetry submitted to the 20th National Poem Hunt Contest was remarkable. The range of styles and subject matters was vast, of course, but the mystery and loveliness of these many pieces remained consistent. Reading such a wealth of powerful poetry, I felt renewed in my hope for the craft. Any art form that calls so many sharp-eyed, witty, passionate minds to it can never die. In the end, I chose the poems that wouldn't leave me alone, the ones I found myself thinking about for days after reading them."
Fiction: "Messiah Complex," Michael Olin-Hitt [pictured]. Judge Bryan Hurt writes, "I was drawn into the story by Josh's kinetic voice and hooked by his spirited and smart digressions. The author carefully and subtly adds so many layers: there's sadness and loss but it's met with optimism and empathy.
Poetry: "Slow Motion Landscape," Sam Gilpin. Judge Victoria Chang writes, "here, grass is 'guillotines,' speech 'wrens us in its folding,' and sunsets 'thrum.' The language is fresh and new in this sequence poem, but even more interesting is the mind behind the poem--one that both thinks and sees abstractions and paradoxes that make the reader read and re-read, think and re-think, see and see again."
The winners' works will be included in the 2016 issue, available in June at the Prism Review website.
Open Minds Quarterly is a publication of "poetry and literature of mental health recovery." The winners of their annual BrainStorm Poetry Contest for mental health consumers is divided over two publications. The first, second, and third-place poems are published in the spring issue, with honorable mentions following in the fall issue. The Honorable Mentions are "The Rain King" by Thomas Leduc, "Ophelia" by Ruthie-Marie Beckwith, "Observational" by Katy Richey, and "The 4th Floor" by Katy Richey.
FIRST PLACE: Doug Cornett, “Maybelline in the Tower"
SECOND PLACE: Will Jones, “The Shed”
HONORABLE MENTION: Elizabeth Kaye Cook, “The Body in Silence”
See a full list of finalists here.
The Whiting Award Selection Committee says the collection is “always in service of a moral vision, a deep concern for who we are, who we have been.”
Copies of The Black Maria can be pre-ordered from BOA Editions LTD website.
[quotes from BOA Editions LTD website]
Those needing a pick-me-up in the middle of these dark winter months can find copies of Beautiful Zero at the Milkweed Editions website.
The collection explores moments of loss and yearning in its fifteen short stories that, according to contest judge Phong Nguyen, “have you by the throat [ . . . ].”
Readers can have a small peek inside The Loss of All Lost Things and order a copy at the SPD website.