STEPHEN DUNN PRIZE IN POETRY WINNER:
by Alysia Nicole Harris
I stole a watermelon from your kitchen. I must have been about 18. I’m thinking of a black-eyed angel. Read more...
by Richard Garcia
You opened your eyes and considered the objects in the room. The cup and the pants-hanger on the table. Read more...
by Greg Kosmicki
One time when my mother was dying slowly but surely in the nursing home death creeping like bindweed over a field Read more...
Torch Song (Threaded Ghazal 2)
by Tanuja Mehrotra
I lose my place in the sound A splendid, fleeting trace in the sound Read more...
by Matthew P. Gallant
A dog whose bark mimics a beeper implies nothing to another dog whose voice moves like a fax machine. Read more...
by Alison Stone
True, the first time I went willingly. What girl could resist his leather pants Read more...
Rooftop Flying in Ahmedebad
by Terry Blackhawk
They call it kite fever, kite madness, gangs of kite looting children hoarding bright acid kites, darting through rows of kite kiosks, Read more...
Character Work: Family (for Uganda)
by Danez Smith
My mother(land) wants to abort me after I have learned to walk. Read more...
by Joy Priest
spent of fuel, they detach and fall away —Brian Ross, “Perigee” Read more...
NONFICTION WINNER: The Coverless Book
by Mary Collins
The service at the crematorium was, by design, a godless affair. Daniel’s slender body was consumed in an eco-friendly cardboard coffin to the accompaniment of Heaven 17’s Temptation, one of the few hits that had ever ignited in him the courage to dance. Read more...
NONFICTION RUNNER-UP: THE KNOTTY ONE: Obscurity and the Black Male Artist
by Elizabeth de Souza
Knotty-head is the ugliest piece of art that I own. Yet you would not be able to pry him out of my arms for any amount of money. Read more...
NONFICTION FINALIST: Before, After
by Beth Richards
The passing cars move the air in waves that push against the side of the car I am driving, making a soft whup whup as each one goes by. The car is a Buick, wide bodied, low to the ground, solid in a middle-aged sort of way. Read more...
NONFICTION FINALIST: At the Donkey Hotel
by Leslie Lawrence
Walk until the day becomes interesting. That’s the approach to slow travel that Rolf Potts suggests in his book called Vagabonding. It’s also my preferred approach—although I didn’t dare use it my first day in Fes. Read more...
FEATURED NONFICTION: AD IN / AD OUT
by Mimi Schwartz
I love being someone who charges the net for a midcourt slam and surprises with an ace now and then. Which is why a fact that I never mentioned at twenty, forty, or even sixty, is now my shibboleth: “I’m a tennis player!” People look me over and say, “Wow! You still play!” and I feel powerful in the world. Read more...
FEATURED NONFICTION: The Official Story
by Marianne Leone
The young girl crouches, listening to the men decide her fate. She is as still as a woodland creature, hidden among the goats in the barn that is attached to her whitewashed stone house on the outskirts of Sulmona, at the foot of the fearsome Apennines. Read more...
FEATURED NONFICTION: One Story, Two Narrators: Reflection’s Role In Writing and Teaching Personal Narratives
by Michael Steinberg
As an essayist/memoirist, teacher, and editor of a literary journal, I’ve read thousands of personal narratives, many of which were written with great clarity and precision. Read more...
FEATURED NONFICTION: Nature Writing and T.C. Boyle
by Dale Peterson
Every college freshman is warned against cribbing from the Internet, but I’ve done exactly that. I’ve gone to the cloud to get the standard definition of “nature writing.” Read more...
FICTION WINNER: My Mother’s Daughter
by Patricia Ann McNair
My mother was a toucher. She tapped her fingers on my wrist, and even though I was sixteen, not really a girl anymore, I loved it, the feel of her pink touch. Such small hands. You couldn’t help but notice. Read more...
FICTION RUNNER-UP: Mister Lucas’ Punishment
by Jim Meirose
Guts and glory too; at the trial in the box he said No, no, no. But, he lost. You stole that truckload of sombreros, Mister Lucas! cried the Judge. Read more...
FICTION FINALIST: The Fall
by Susan Muaddi Darraj
Hell, yes, it was a bad winter: first, Riham’s father gets sick with pneumonia. Two weeks at Greater Memorial, and they’re talking about putting him on a ventilator before he finally looked at a bowl of grey oatmeal and said, “I’m hungry.” Read more...
FICTION FINALIST: The Hat Salesman
by James Anderson
The Hat Salesman takes a breath before continuing. That’s when she says: “Look, you’ve got this whole Woody Allen thing going. Read more...
FICTION FINALIST: Winter Loon
by Susan Donovan Bernhard
A hawk banked in the gray daybreak, head hunched, eyes darting beneath a cross of wings. What could it see? Nothing scampered or skittered along the ice, nothing gamey or meaty worth a closer look, nothing with fight. Read more...
FEATURED FICTION: Shotgun Summer
by Liza Ketchum
They asked for a story about a “First.” First what: Kiss? Too embarrassing. Date? Forget it. Read more...
Welcome to our Summer/Fall AWARDS ISSUE! We are thrilled to announce our contest winners and finalists. For all submitters, many many thanks for your fine work, so fine that some of you who are not finalists here will be receiving requests from us to publish your work. Also soon we will be posting here a new feature: a list of Memorable Fiction and Nonfiction Contest Pieces.
For FICTION: The winner of the $1,000 prize is Patricia Ann McNair for her passionate, vivid story “My Mother’s Daughter.”
Runner-up is Jim Meirose for “Mister Lucas’ Punishment,” a premise piece that offers a microcosm of life. A must read!
The three fiction finalists are: Susan Muaddi Darraj for “The Fall,” a haunting tale of a family’s multi-ethnic identity. Susan is the winner of the AWP 2014 Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction.
James Anderson for his ironic, poignant “The Hat Salesman,” presenting a most unpredictable love affair.
Susan Bernhard for “Winter Loon,” a novel excerpt which takes us deep beneath the surface into the tragic life of a child.
In addition, not a contest entry, but FEATURED FICTION: Liza Ketchum’s young adult/adult adventure “Shotgun Summer.”
In NONFICTION, the winner of the $500 Prize, donated by Michael Steinberg, is Mary Collins for a lyrical, intense narrative of her tragically troubled brother.
Runner-up is Elizabeth de Souza for “The Knotty One.”
The nonfiction finalists are: Leslie Lawrence for “At the Donkey Hotel,”
an up-close view of a unique vet in Morocco.
Beth Richards for “Before, After,” a deeply moving depiction of a sister’s death.
Also, not contest entries but FEATURED NONFICTION:
Marianne Leone’s affecting “The Official Story.”
Mimi Schwartz’s ironic, “AD IN/AD OUT.”
Michael Steinberg’s piece on craft, “One Story, Two Narrators.”
And Dale Peterson’s critique, “Nature Writing and T.C. Boyle.”
And deep thanks to Karin Rosenthal for her nationally-known photographs.
Also thanks to our contest judges: In fiction, Brenda Prescott and Lee Hope; in nonfiction, Michelle Cacho Negrete and Richard Hoffman; and in poetry, Ben Berman and Jamaal May.
Poetry Editor’s Note
If we think of rhythm as the relationship between contrasting elements, then there is a wonderful rhythmic conversation playing throughout all the poems in this issue. Why do we say things that can break glass? Matthew Gallant asks in his poem Inscription, just as Richard Garcia’s piece offers us the destruction of light into painful shards. Meanwhile the form of Tanuja Mehrotra’s Torch Song, which threads so many snippets with the repeating lines of a ghazal, seems to speak to Alysia Harris’ poem, Crow’s Sugar—the winner of this year’s Stephen Dunn Prize—whose form offers us the dynamic tension between alternation and alteration. And it’s hard not to hear each of these poems as both another nod to impermanence, as Greg Kosmicki writes in his fine poem One Time, and a fair shake against it. It was a pleasure and privilege to read all the poems submitted to this year’s contest, and we hope you enjoy the conversation between the poems selected for this summer’s issue.
Ben Berman and Jamaal May
OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS: SolsticeLitBooks second eBook just published! The Message by Eugenio Volpe. A riveting tale of a veteran with PTSD. Order from Amazon today! Many thanks to co-editor for eBooks, Jenifer DeBellis.
And congrats to Mike Miner, his eBook “Everything She Knows” won an honorable mention in the 2014 Global eBook Awards!
Solsticelitmag will be moderating a panel at AWP15. Title: Making Diversity Happen. And we’ll be sharing a booth at the AWP Bookfair with Talking Writing. More to come.
Also, we thank our donors at our June annual bash and fundraiser! You will be listed soon on our donor’s page! Our first silent auction was a success! Many thanks to two restaurants in the Boston area: Sweet Basil and Not Your Average Joes for donating gift certificates. And to Laure-Anne Bosselaar Bill Betcher, Kathleen Aguero, Helen Elaine Lee, and many others for silent auction donations. And to Richard Hoffman and to Beacon Books, for donating so many copies of his stellar memoir, Love and Fury. Please get this provocative family saga of betrayal and reconciliation.
In these trying times, literature can reflect our innermost concerns. Read on. Lee Hope
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