Cover photo by William Betcher

Welcome to Solstice’s second annual Summer Awards Issue. Many many thanks to our judges, David Huddle for fiction and A. Van Jordan for poetry.

Thomas Benz’s “Casual Impostor,” winner of the $1,000 fiction award, is a story of ironic displacement. Benz brilliantly vacillates between reality and illusion. The fiction runner-up, Wesley Brown’s “Too Young for the Blues,” vividly portrays Harlem in the time of Ella Fitzgerald’s jazz innovations. Read also please our terrific fiction finalists, E.J. Anderson’s moving and sometimes surreal tale of estranged children. And Rochelle Spencer’s account of possibly deluded lovers in NYC. In nonfiction, the finalist, Tracy L. Strauss haunts us with a dentist drugging her into confronting a haunted past. And the Solstice Editor’s Choice goes to Christina McCarroll for her gutsy look at betrayal.

Andrew Nurkin, winner of the $500 poetry prize, impressed the judges with his lyricism and the depth of his insight. The runner-up, Katherine Durham Oldmixon, shows a range of tone and voice as well as rhythmic use of Spanish. And the Solstice Poetry Editor’s Choice, Jendi Reiter, writes with complex musical passion.

Also, we present one of our new poetry editors, Kathleen Aguero, a multi-faceted unpredictable writer of many collections. Please do leave comments on these pieces. The authors often respond. And please read the bios of these fine admirable writers. They are what make this magazine of diverse voices glow! Lee Hope