2015 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Results

Publish date:

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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