May Winners of our Contests Announced, (and in case you missed it... )
All of this year's winners so far featured in past blogs and newsletters are listed below but we wanted to gather them here together to say congratulations all at once! Our current contests end the last of the month in either June, July, or August. Here are some of the monthly winners we've had so far. What an amazing year for sending in new work! Thank you for sharing with us!
Congrats to our May short story winning author of the month, Hal Hulan with their story, “The Loving Kindness of Pidgeon Feathers and Jazz Music.” Hal Hulan, a graduate student at Northern Michigan University where they are studying genre fiction and lit theory. They have an upcoming publication in Press Pause Press. When they aren't writing they enjoy exposing their students to diverse authors and yelling at video games.
Our winner of the May, Hope Poetry, Contest is AE Hines for his poem, “The Last Men on Earth.” AE is a poet living in Portland, Oregon. He is a recent Pushcart nominee and his work has appeared in numerous publications, including: Atlanta Review, California Quarterly, The Briar Cliff Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, I-70 Review, the Crosswinds Poetry Journal, SLAB, and Pinyon. www.aehines.net
The Last Men On Earth
Because the blooms come first and later the leaves, by the middle of spring you might not know the Magnolia flowers are dying. Bright pink blossoms dropping petal after petal, not just falling in the breeze, but falling apart, falling like a flutter of butterflies to settle on the damp ground. Some mornings, the sun breaks through the sky’s wool blanket and beckons us out to the terrace, and for hours we lounge there in just our boxers. The air still cool enough to pimple the flesh, raise the hair on our legs, but the sun so warm, we linger. Our fourth week hiding from the virus, and the blossoms all fallen. We sweep them up, place them like a sacrifice into giant paper bags, and leave them by the curb of our quiet street. We could be the last two men on earth: lovers, husbands this morning sipping coffee, adjusting face masks for our afternoon walk, then doing our best with stay-at-home haircuts. Today, you sat on the bathroom stool and stared into the mirror in horror, the electric clippers buzzing as I cupped your ear in my hand, raked my fingers through your hair, and wondered how long it would take to sweep up all these flowers falling over your shoulders, rising in tiny drifts from the cold tiled floor.
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Congratulations to our April poets. Gloria Heffernan is our April winning poet of the month for her submission to our Rainy Day Poetry prompt, "Stone on Stone." Our judges selected it for it's thought provoking, unique metaphor. "This is a poem I will remember," said one of the readers. Gloria writes, "My first full-length poetry collection, What the Gratitude List Said to the Bucket List, was published in 2019 by New York Quarterly Books. I have also written two chapbooks, Some of Our Parts (Finishing Line Press), and Hail to the Symptom, (Moonstone Press). In addition, my work has appeared in over sixty journals including Chautauqua Literary Journal, Stone Canoe, Columbia Review, Magma, and The Healing Muse. I teach at Le Moyne College and the Downtown Writers Center in Syracuse, New York."
Congratulations to one of our former Spotlight poets, Gary Beaumier, whose winning entry for our Love Poetry contest, "Night Forest," was selected in April to receive our 2020 Vision Award by our staff. Congratulations to Gary. His poem will be the title poem of the year; all our 2020 poetry winners will be printed in the collection titled "Night Forest" to be released in Spring 2021. A graduate of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in English Literature, he has been a long-time poet. His work has been a finalist for the Luminaire Award. Happy to be a finalist for Wingless Dreamers contest for the poem “The Complete History of Our First Kiss.” He is glad to have it reprinted with Flying Ketchup Press. Find his book of poetry "From My Family to Yours" published 2019 by Finishing Line Press and his second book to be released by early next year with Uncollected Press. Gary says, "I have been a teacher, a book store manager, and a gandy dancer (for one summer a long time ago). I used to build wooden sailboats, and I once taught poetry in a woman's prison. He says he is often found walking by Lake Michigan.
March Short Story Winner in our Sci-Fi Short Story Contest was Universe in a Bottle by Amrita Bhasin. She is passionate about creative writing. At eighteen years old, and a student at Menlo-Atherton High School in California, she entered our teen short story contest. A self-published author with her collection of short stories called, "The Golden Disk," she enjoys writing scienc
e fiction, dystopian and realistic fiction stories. Amrita also enjoys debate and filmmaking. Today you can find Amrita Bhasin, a freshman at UC Berkeley.
Congratulations to our winner of our March Button Poetry Contest, Diane Glancy with her poem, "The Game Event" selected by our judges because of its playful attitude with the metaphor of building both relationships and language. Diane is prof
essor emerita at Macalester College. Currently she teaches in the MFA low-residency program at Carlow University. Her 2019 books are It Was Over There by That Place, The Atlas Review Chapbook Series, and The Book of Bearings, Wipf & Stock. In 2020, Turtle Point Press published Island of the Innocent, a Consideration of the Book of Job. Among her awards are two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, an American Book Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas. Glancy lives in Shawnee Mission, Kansas and Gainesville, Texas. The rest is on her website: www.dianeglancy.com.
Congrats to the Winner of the February Love Poetry Contest, Deborah Rosch Eifert with her poem, Grimoire: Magical Love Glue. Deborah Rosch Eifert is a poet and clinical psychologist. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by the literary publication, Constellations. Her work has been published in The Gateway Review, Persephone’s Daughters, the 'Poets of Maine 2018' anthology, and the anthology “Exhuming Alexandria,” among others. She was a semifinalist in the 2018 Split Rock Review Chapbook Competition, and First Runner-up in the 2018 Esthetic Apostle Chapbook Contest. She received an Editor's Choice Award from *fws: journal
of literature & art* in 2019 and was named ‘Poet of the Month’ by Flying Ketchup Press in March 2020. Deborah lives and writes in Maine, where she obsesses about rocky shores and spraying surf, proper English tea, fairy tales and where to find a decent cannoli.
Congrats to our February Spotlight Poet Steven Sassmann. He is the author of nine books of poems and poetry. His most recent released Spring 2019 from Spartan Press. Published in many magazines and anthologies including Chiron Review, Men in the Company of Women, Wingposse Art, Sassmann has also written and performed a poetry series on High Plains Public Radio. Not content with formed or narrative poetry printed in journals, Steven created his own form of poetry with a nod to popular memes he saw circulating on social media. He decided that creating visual poetry as sharable images would be a great way to circulate more poetry in visual sound bites. Steven’s poetic venue became Facebook. In response to the rapid feedback of the multinational community on community poetry sites, his style evolved and became easily recognizable because of it's readable "glyphic" form.
January Contest Winner! Short Story Spotlight Author is Caroline Sidney with her dark fairytale retelling, Swan Song, based on Swan Lake, the ballet. Caroline is a native of southeastern Kentucky, where she lives with her husband, three cats, two dogs, and plants in various stages of dying. She enjoys irreverent cross-stitching, baking, and good storytelling in all forms. Find her at @carolineesidney on Twitter. Her poems, “Night Creatures,” “Traveling by Lightning,” and “Wind Chimes” were published in The Write Launch in January 2020.
Congrats to our First place winner of our short story contest for January is Fomka
by Katie Sakanai, a perfect rendering of an original folk tale. Katie is a musician who was born and raised in northeast Pennsylvania and the southern tier of New York. The only two radio stations that came in reliably were the oldies station and the country station, so her only connection to Kansas City before entering our contest was the famed Wilbert Harrison, she says. She is a musician and Russian Language enthusiast. She enjoy writing original folk tales and telling her daughters impromptu stories involving dragons, trolls, and fearless princesses. She says she "writes songs, short stories, and poetry full of nostalgia for her rural upbringing." Find her at @denver_city_music or on LinkedIn.
Our first-place winning poet for our January's Dark Poetry Contest was @JamesPhKotsybar Jim Kotsybar with his masterful haiku poem, “Matter of Perspective.” Jim has been called the bard of Mars because his haiku was chosen by NASA to orbit the planet-- and still does!