SHP Announces This Year's Chapbook Contest Winner!
A Disturbance in the Air by Michele Poulos
This year’s winning chapbook manuscript is Michele Poulos's A Disturbance in the Air. The mysterious poems in this collection take us from Greece to New Orleans, and places in between. Despite the changing landscape, each poem addresses themes of suffering, ecstasy, and transcendence with a crystalline sensuality. In “The Golden Age of Herbalists,” Poulos concludes, “in his hands a garden, an herbal / he would pen against sickness, soreness, wounds, / the formulas behind the labyrinth of green / unfolding before him.” Reveling in the quantum world of past, present, and future, the chapbook’s stunning last poem, “The White Rabbit,” ends by returning to the beginning, “Let me take you back through the fields, / you who never turned from me, / who held violets in your mouth.”
Michele Poulos’s poems and fiction have been published or are forthcoming in Best New Poets 2012, The Southern Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Vol. IV: Louisiana, Crab Orchard Review, The Hollins Critic, Copper Nickel, Sycamore Review, and other journals. Her essays and book reviews have been published in Blackbird and Stone Canoe.
The 2012 SHP Chapbook finalist manuscripts are:
Girls, Birds, by Audrey Henderson
If They Have Ears to Hear, by Terry Lucas
A Whole Set of Words Not to Use Around Children, by Karen Skolfield
The Graveyard Shifts, by Brandon Whiting
Poems from New Publications by
Slapering Hol Press Poets
Ezra Pound's Seven Lakes
By Jianqing Zheng
a mooring sampan rocking
on the lake
a lantern shimmers
under the reedy cover
of the sampan
on the lakeline
a pink semicircle swells
measures of light waves
tune of a bamboo flute
the evening clouds
into gray isles
a mountain temple
the sound of bells
far and near
a mast appears
goring red sunset, then
fades in dense reeds
fishermen go home
to wine and snore with their wives—
sundown; to rest
a yellow wine flag
flaps in the pink afterglow
a man reels away
a flask in his hand
mountain road floating
a few candles
in the fishing village
the eyes of night
out of reeds fishermen
come back to fish
fish and shrimp
twitch and leap in nets
laughter at San Yin
tonight the moon
is lanterns everywhere
on the lake
Jianqing Zheng published in 2011 two books, The Other World of Richard Wright: Perspectives on His Haiku (University Press of Mississippi) and In a Global Context: Essays of International Symposium on African American Literature (Central China Normal University Press, co-editor), and one book chapter, “Richard Wright’s Haiku, Japanese Poetics, and Classical Chinese Poetry,” in Cross-Cultural Visions in African American Literature: West Meets East (Palgrave Macmillan). He was also an invited writer for the 2011 Eudora Welty Writers' Symposium.
By Susana H. Case
I think of my mother and father, the early years, the well-read manual positioned next to their bed.
Here’s how it starts—they’re on their way to the Canadian border, the Thousand Islands, its shoals and rocks.
They are eloping, despite my father’s financial distress, her father’s disapproval. They are aiming to achieve marital bliss, its vicissitudes. My mother wears a hat of bird plumage over cascading hair; the short, fluffy brown speckled feathers spill onto her brow. Her clothes are important to her. Not to my father, chain-smoking unfiltered cigarettes, his teeth already staining yellow.
Neither has much more than a passing sense of how this works, though my father has recently been to war. My mother puts one hand on his shoulder, the other on the door of the green Buick sedan on which he owes too much; they are worried they don’t know enough.
The first night, the stress of the unknown will paint a rash on my father’s chest. For now, the sky is the clear blue of his eyes.
(from Manual of Practical Sexual Advice)
Susana H. Case, professor at the New York Institute of Technology, has recent work in many journals, including Hawai’i Pacific Review, Portland Review, Potomac Review and Saranac Review. She is the author of the chapbooks The Scottish Café (Slapering Hol Press), Anthropologist In Ohio (Main Street Rag Publishing Company), The Cost Of Heat (Pecan Grove Press), and Manual of Practical Sexual Advice (Kattywompus Press). An English-Polish reprint of The Scottish Café, Kawiarnia Szkocka, was published by Opole University Press in Poland. Her book, Salem In Séance (WordTech Editions) will be released in 2013. Please visit her online at: http://iris.nyit.edu/~shcase/.
Congratulations to Meredith Trede, Slapering Hol Press Advisory Committee member for winning the James Nicholson Political Poetry Prize (adult section). The judge was Joshua Mehigan. Please read more on the Pelham Library website, http://www.pelhamlibrary.org/nicholson-winner. About his selection of Ms. Trede’s winning entry, Mehigan said: “Commentary is a smart, surprising poem whose concision and plainspokenness conceal a sharp critique not only of political commentary but also, implicitly, of policy, politics, and political dialogue, in general...."
The Hudson Valley Writers' Center staff is:
Jo Ann Clark- Executive Director
Ryan J. Conatti - Slapering Hol Press Managing Editor/Assistant to the Director/Office Manager
Nicole Testa - Administrator
Let us know what you think! Feel free to contact us with any comments, questions, or suggestions!
The Hudson Valley Writers' Center is located in the Philipse Manor Railroad Station in Sleepy Hollow, New York. Follow the Metro North signs to the station from Route 9, near Historic Hudson Valley's Philipsburg Manor. For more information, call us at (914) 332-5953 or visit our website, www.writerscenter.org. Our programs and events are made possible, in part, by grants from the Bydale Foundation, the David G. Taft Foundation, Maslin Foundation, Eileen Fisher Foundation, the Thendara Foundation, and the William E. Robinson Foundation; with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts; and by the Basic Program Support Grant from ArtsWestchester with funds from Westchester County Government.
The Hudson Valley Writers' Center, Inc. (HVWC) is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1988 with a mission to advance the art and craft of writing by encouraging writers and readers at all levels to participate in and enjoy the literary arts. HVWC is a not-for-profit, IRC section 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions in excess of value received are deductible for Federal Income Tax purposes