2015 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Results

The 2015 November PAD (Poem-A-Day) Chapbook Challenge results are in, and I’m excited to share the winner–as well as a few finalists.

Around 100 chapbook manuscripts were entered, and I loved reading them all. However, the number of quality entries made it difficult to pick finalists–let alone a winner! But here we are.


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It was tough to pick a winner, but pick a winner I did: Loose Thought Caught on a Curious String, by De Jackson.

Congratulations, De!

Here are a few poems from Loose Thought Caught on a Curious String:

“Artifacts of Wayward Maps,” by De Jackson

This morning I woke with a strange
song pinned between my teeth,
tasting of ember
and ash.

I tried
to push it back,
but it stung my withered tongue,
laughed deep as night and escaped.


“A Storytelling of Crows,” by De Jackson

Give us murder.
Give us ebony gatherings,
and feathered rage. Give us
intelligent brains, black
dead eyes that say we just
don’t care. Give us wings
to spread and days and days
and days to dread the next
cold thing. Give us claws
and caws and some bright
cause for which to sing.


“April, and Everything After,” by De Jackson

Spring flung itself on her like a song,
a remembering, a salvaged piece of sea
glass spun right round to scattered sand.

She’s gotta hand it to the moon, broken
open too soon, shattered all pretty crescent
loose into that inky sky. Orion’s got a way

with words tonight, unbelted truth blown
through pinpricked promise, burned out
wishes spent on silence. Yesterday, she

might have listened to his whisper-wanded
flow. But today she’s got a long long way
to go, and no fading comet to follow.


“dear loose thought caught on a curious string,” by De Jackson

i waited too long
to crochet you
into my skin,

and now you’ve been
by all this blue.


Again, congratulations, De!

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, here are my Top 5 chapbooks, including the winner:

  1. Loose Thought Caught on a Curious String, by De Jackson
  2. New as Another Morning, by Taylor Graham
  3. Remix, Rematch, by Barb Peters
  4. River, by Natasa Bozic Grojic
  5. The Morality of Altitude, by Jane Shlensky

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 2016 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). Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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33 thoughts on “2015 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Results

  1. BDP

    Congratulations, De! You are very deserving, with a unique and engaging style of poetry. Love the title of your collection! Also, I’d like to give thanks to everyone on Poetic Asides: through your poetry, you’ve inspired me to continue writing and improve my craft. I admire so many poets on this website and am honored to be in the top 5 group. And Robert, my thanks to you for this blog: I appreciate the time it must take to host it, and assure you that the time is well spent. I discovered this site 3 or so years ago—I’ve been grateful ever since, as I’m sure other poets are as well. Let’s keep on poeming!

    –Barb Peters

  2. lsteadly

    Congratulations, De! Your poems are a treat to the soul, and I too would love to be able to hold them in my hands! Congrats to all the finalists too, and participants! What an amazing group of people here – thank you, ALL of you, for sharing your work and comments. You make this community the wonderful place that it is.

  3. Hannah

    Super BIG congratulations, De!! I’m so proud of you and I’m with Marie…I’d love a copy!!

    Congratulations to the mentioned top five as well…really amazing work everyone!

    So glad to be part of such an inspiring community.

    :)’s to all!

  4. PKP

    Good Grief! Forgive the lateness of my congratulations. Let me add my praises to the already formed chorus. De … it is a given that you are wonderfully talented – your gift shimmers among us …(insert a long string of beautiful mermaid metaphors here….) …. the excerpts from this collection..are quite simply and literally breath-taking… You may have a lump in your throat at this delicious and deserved recognition – the lump in my throat is from the brilliant exquisiteness of these poems. I am shouting this news (clearing the lump of course) from the highest peak on The Street… and yes…as so many others have encouraged get thyself swimming and these poems between covers and into our waiting hands. All my love and delight for you….

    Heartiest congratulations to finalists : all poets gifted with mystic-magic of lyric… Hooray to …

    New as Another Morning, by Taylor Graham
    Remix, Rematch, by Barb Peters
    River, by Natasa Bozic Grojic
    The Morality of Altitude, by Jane Shlensky

  5. Sarah Metzler

    Glad to see that you were the chosen winner for this challenge, especially because I love your writing and was confused when your poems from the April PAD made the top ten but did not wiggle their way between the pages of the book the way they wiggled their way into our imaginations…so congratulations! This is an honor well-earned.

  6. Nurit Israeli

    Congratulations, De — thumbs up! you do magic with words and that magic captivates. Congratulations to the 5 winners and all those who successfully completed this challenge.

  7. Marie Elena

    Congratulations to the top 5. And oh my goodness my De, my De!! I’m assuming this will be printed and made available for purchase, and I can finally hold your work in my hand. Please please?

    Truly I’ve read nobody more brilliant with words, more enjoyable to read. So happy for this recognition for you! Write on, De!

  8. seingraham

    Congratulations, De! Sample poems show it’s a well-deserved win … no surprise there. Congrats to the other top 4 as well – Taylor, Barb, Natasa, and Jane … and Robert – kudos to you! You did yeoman’s work to get this wrapped up so quickly.

  9. De Jackson

    I am struck speechless. I’ll be back with more proper gratitude, when I can remove the giant lump from my throat. Thank you all, so much. And thank you, Robert, for this honor, and for all you do in the poetry world.

  10. Jane Shlensky

    What a wonderful title and these samples made me hungry for the whole batch. Congrats, De. Well deserved. And congrats to the others in the top 5 too. I’m pleased as punch to have made it into that group. Thanks, Robert!


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