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We are pleased to announce Austin Sanchez-Moran as the winner of our 4th Annual Chapbook Competition.

Final judge, Tyree Daye, selected his chapbook manuscript, Rhinocerotica along with runner up, Chris Slaughter’s manuscript, How to Hurt. Online ordering for both chapbooks is now available!

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Final Judge’s Comments:

“The poems in Rhinocerotica are inventive yet tender. In the end, I do not know if I am the rhino, and the poems want me to see my larger connection with the world—or, if the rhino is made human, so I, a human, will pay attention, and so I fail the earth once again. In these poems, the Rhino is an “I” and an “I” in a rhino’s body. Taking from Dorothea Lasky, these poems are “so close to a self (or the self)—and so far away from it at the same time—that the reader can’t help but see a real self in it.” These poems are full of magic and everydayness made brilliant by the rhino. I love the work the chapbook makes me do.”

 

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Editor’s Comments:

How to Hurt is skillful and clever and magical! Wrought with figurative language and lyrically engaging storytelling, the poems traverse the complexities of urban family life with anguish, humor, self-therapy, and more. How to Hurt is dense from beginning to end. It is inspiring.”

Featured Poem

Unearthed

For Tyshawn Bonito

The tweed blazer, shirt, and tie were laid out and pressed—
Your clothes set out on the bed that morning

for a job interview. Cufflinks on each sleeve, and shoes
on the floor near each pant leg. Shades down
with the window open. The night before

was one of the many times I avoided your call. I carry
around a blame that holds me apart: an alley cat left in the open—

You were so down. Your walk so hip, a sharp purposely played out of
key. All that’s left is me, grandma, and this house. It all seems to
matter more over an old hard feeling.

The day I found you anchored high on a belt, there was snow
on the windowsill, but it wasn’t cold—

I’m afraid to understand how close we are, holding in
the family’s unmarked ledges. Brother, it’s still hard to walk around
with this face, hands, and blood.

 

by Chris Slaughter
from his collection “How to Hurt

Chris Slaughter

Chris Slaughter graduated from Hunter College with a MFA in creative writing where he received a Shuster Award. He also obtained a MSED in students with disabilities from Brooklyn College, and a degree in English (concentration in creative writing) from Medgar Evers College. He has received fellowships from Cave Canem, North Country Institute for Writers of Color, and Brooklyn Poets. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, he dedicates himself to finding creative ways of teaching, being a dad, and exploring different avenues in writing. Chris is a 7th grade Gen Ed/Special education teacher in East New York, Brooklyn. He is working on his full manuscript titled Dig.