The contest called for "chapbook-length works of poetry, short fictions or hybrids thereof." The other stipulation is that entrants had to be "in the early stages of their writing careers, having not published more than two full-length books."
Three things were highly intriguing to me about this contest. First, writers I admire, like Brenda Schmidt and Peter Midgley, had recently published with Kalamalka. So if I won, they'd be my pressmate...and I always like affiliating myself with good writers.
Second, the prize was named after John Lent, who has not only had a very interesting career but is also very generous to new writers. Including me, the few times we've met. So it would be an honour to publish with the press he founded and, specifically, under the aegis of a prize named after him.
Lastly, about a third of the poems I've written lately have been prose poems. And I sort of wanted to see if anyone else thought they worked...
Anyways, Kalamalka made the official announcement today. And I won. Which is lovely and probably more than I deserve. But still!
Here's the text of the announcement:
"Kalamalka Press is thrilled to announce the recipient of the first annual John Lent Poetry Prose Award.Speaking of which, I'd like to thank the members of my writing group - Alison Calder, Kerry Ryan and Jennifer Still - for their magnificent input on the poems this year.
This year’s winning manuscript, How to Make a Collage, comes from Winnipeg-based poet Ariel Gordon!
A total of thirty-six manuscripts found their way into the competition.
While the judges for this year’s award, Laisha Rosnau, Jake Kennedy and kevin mcpherson eckhoff, were exhilarated by the range of subjects and aesthetic risks undertaken by most of the entries, they agreed that the winning selection fearlessly wrestles the complexities of human relationships using emotionally dynamic lines and metaphors.
The judges would also like to note two strong honourable mentions: Documenting in the Brink by Kathleen Brown and Osteogenesis by Claire Caldwell, both of which demonstrate haunting/halting imagery and a profound attention to sound.
Ariel Gordon receives a $100 honorarium, while her poems will be published as a fine press chapbook by Kalamalka Press in the coming academic year.
A hearty thank you to all the writers who entered, and we hope to read you again next year!"
Thanks too to writer/visual Darryl Joel Berger, whose artworks inspired about half the poems. (He sends me artworks, I send him poems based on his artworks, he sends me new artworks based on the poems...)