2012 Press 53 Open Awards Finalists & Winners
Judged by Tom Lombardo
First Prize: Dominique T. Locke of Castlewood, VA for “Quiet”; “Bedtime Story”; “The Goodbye Child”
Judge's comment: “Simply put, this poet has presented three wonderful poems of great insight and clarity. She examines loss through three distinct episodes along her path to recovery, sharpening focus and deepening the reader’s emotional experience skillfully with metaphor and other figurative language. Each poem unfolds from imagery to revelations of hidden truths of this life—and possibly the next.”
Second Prize: Peg Bresnahan of Cedar Mountain, NC for “A Khmer's Scarf of One Thousand Functions”; “At the Cemetery in Green Bay”; “At the Sunny Ridge Retirement Center”
Honorable Mention: David Cazden of Lexington, KY for “Portrait of Time as an Old Woman”; “Storm”; “In the Shadow of Flight 5191”
Ronald Dzerigian of Los Angeles, CA for "They are Carrying me into Earth"; "Church"; "Morning"
Kathleen Giugliano of Westwood, MS for "On Running into an Ex-Lover"; "Cubism"; "Closure"
Dominique T. Locke of Castlewood, VA for "The Second Afternoon of Your Visit"; "Stories I Tell"; "Night Poem"
Ellaraine Lockie of Sunnyvale, CA for "Waiting for Midnight"; "An American Haibun"; "Ashes"
Gerardo Mena of Columbia, MO for "So I was a Coffin"; "Painting the War Blue"; "The Spent"
Michael Rattee of Tuscon, AZ for "Circus Furniture"; "Dry Spell"; "Driving to Work"
Rachel Smith of Pittsburgh, PA for "he stood, a pilar of charcoal"; "untethered by the sea"; "he never had to say"
Judged by Meg Pokrass
First Prize: Art Taylor of Burke, VA for “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”
Judge's comment: “‘The Art of French Cooking’ is inventive, playful, bittersweet and surprising. It offers the reader a huge three-course meal in just a few unforgettable bites—pulling us in with a short, sly recipe of humor blended with pain and self-loathing whisked with bacon-lust, the end of trust, and more than a pinch of love gone sour and deadly.”
Second Prize: Nahal Jamir of Tallahassee, FL for “Foundling”
Honorable Mention: Amanda Pauley of Elliston, VA for “Snapshot”
Katie Cortese of Tallahassee, FL for “History, Revised”
Gianna Jacobson of St. Louis, MO for “Compound Fracture”
Alexander Lumans of Boulder, CO for “The Dictionary of Your Fears”
Arthur Powers of Raleigh, NC for “Famine”
Jane Shlensky of Bahama, NC for “Dogs, Work”
Linda Wastila of Baltimore, MD for “The Abridged Biography of an American Sniper”
Judged by Clifford Garstang
First Prize: Kathryn Lovatt of Camden, SC for “How to Euthanize a Fish”
Judge's comment: “Everything about this story—the title, the controlling metaphor, the setting, the dialogue—is fresh and fun, and yet the story manages to delve into the universal mysteries of relationships and what is knowable.”
Second Prize: Alison Morse of Minneapolis, MN for “The Truth About ‘The Lead Plates at the Romm Press’: A Lecture by Abraham Sutzkever”
Honorable Mention: Gary Powell of Cornelius, NC for “Super Nova”
Susannah Cecil of Clemmons, NC for “Their Crazy”
Gregg Cusick of Durham, NC for “Ghosts of Doubt”
Tom Mock of Moncure, NC for “Moon Song”
Arthur Powers of Raleigh, NC for “The Bridge”
Russell Reece of Bethel, DE for “At the Marshfield Dam”
Michael Twist of Boring, OR for “Out on a Limb”
Marion de Booy Wentzien of Saratoga, CA for “The Art of Disappearing”
Judged by Tracy Crow
First Prize: Leslie Tucker of Landrum, SC for “Lies That Bind”
Judge's comment: “From the opening paragraph, ‘Lies That Bind’ seduces with sensory and sensual language. I knew immediately this essay would be a contender, and later, despite reading a number of excellent entries, this essay continued to resonate because of its attention to language and its haunting themes about identity and self-preservation. In ‘Lies That Bind,’ the writer so artfully weaves her narrative with her mother’s that readers are rewarded with a provocative, even voyeuristic, glimpse at an extremely dark and complicated relationship built years and years on lies.”
Second Prize: Sandell Morse of York, ME for “The Groves”
Honorable Mention: Hannah Karena Jones of Langhorne, PA for “What to Expect While Grieving Your Father”
Sandy Barnett-Ebner of Danville, CA for “The Clothes I Was Wearing”
Betty Jo Goddard of Anchor Point, AK for “Schism”
Judith Hertog of Norwich, VT for “The Red and the Black”
Beverly Jackson of Naples, FL for “Swan Song”
Suzanne Kamata of Tokumei, Japan for “Lilia's World”
Daniel B. Meltzer of New York, NY for “Witchcraft”
Judged by Robin Miura
First Prize: Stephanie DeGhett of Potsdam, NY for Hazzard's
Judge's comment: “From its first paragraph, Hazzard’s plunges us into the mind and emotions of its protagonist, Frankie, and we go along on her adventure of seeking change and respite from her everyday life by moving to a small island off the coast of Maine where she plans to hone her skills as a glass bead artist. The author treats us to vibrant imagery of the coast, the village, the shells, the light, the ocean, and the color-laden beads of Frankie’s craft—all set against the complex relationships among and between the residents of this isolated town. Here Frankie begins the work of sorting out what she should jettison from her own complicated past and what she should retain and create for herself going forward. This is a masterfully told story of self-discovery and self-reliance.”
Honorable Mention: Nicole Louise Reid of Newburgh, IN for A Purposeful Violence
Laurie Blauner of Seattle, WA for Earl
M.A. Tuohy of Buford, GA for Double Nickel Jackpot
Steve Yates of Flowood, MS for Sandy and Wayne