The 2014 November PAD (Poem-A-Day) Chapbook Challenge results are in, and I can’t wait to share the winner. I always shoot for Groundhog Day to make the big announcement, but I don’t always hit that mark. The only reason I’m a day off this time around is that the competition was so fierce.
A little more than 100 chapbook manuscripts were entered, and many of them would’ve been in the running as a finalist in previous years. It made for great reading, but it also made for great anxiety in figuring out finalists–let alone a winner!
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It was tough to pick a winner, but pick a winner I did: A Good Passion, by Barbara Young.
Here are a few poems from A Good Passion:
“About the Language and Inevitable Death,” by Barbara Young
Once upon a time
and this is before you
or I or your mother or
the dry disappearing women
who live under bridges
were born, words –some
words– had different meanings
Night, for instance.
And Alone. Alone, alone
could fill all the space between all the yellow cities
on the map with
hollow, a hollow more empty than the echo
of the emptiest of moved from homes, dust
where the dresser was, a penny, half a toothpick.
But we use ancestors’ words
to name the things we know. And call the yellow
night sky black. And say he died
and went to hell.
“Jericho Road,” by Barbara Young
Blind Bartimaus, they called him
before the miracle.
What was he, to himself, after?
I lost weight once.
Never in my own mind, though.
Gained back more.
And never became that person,
revised, either. Tell me
Blind man, about the aftermath
of your miracle.
“XX,” by Barbara Young
so sweet I
Again, congratulations, Barbara!
But wait! There’s more!
I have, of course, picked a few other chapbooks to recognize as well. While I could list more than a dozen that gave A Good Passion a run for its money, here are the Top 5 chapbooks, including the winner:
- A Good Passion, by Barbara Young
- A Nest of Shadormas, by William Preston
- The Staircase Before You, by Jess(i)e Marino
- Lives Other Than Our Own, by James Von Hendy
- 1991 Winter, by Marilyn Braendeholm
Congratulations to all the finalists! And to everyone who entered!
I often receive notes of success from poets who’ve entered these challenges and found success with their poems–both individually and as collections–elsewhere. I expect great things from the poems and collections submitted this year!
And remember: the 2015 April PAD Challenge is just around the corner!
Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market, Writer’s Market, and Guide to Self-Publishing, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.
He enjoyed the 2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, and he is looking forward to the 2015 April PAD Challenge!
Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.