07 October 2015

Such big news! The 2015 Fairy Tale Review Poetry Contest

Yesterday I missed one of the most important phone calls I've ever received. When I got back to my office after a short errand and listened to the message, I thought maybe the sinus pressure building up in my head this week was finally causing auditory hallucinations. One of my literary idols, the fantastic Kate Bernheimer, said she was calling to tell me on behalf of the Fairy Tale Review staff that my poem(s) "Forestry (parts 1-3)" had been chosen by Poetry Contest  judge Joyelle McSweeney as that year's winner. I'm still in a bit of shock today, but it's finally beginning to sink in. 

About a month ago, I had similar feelings when I received the e-mail notifying me that I was a finalist for the 2015 Fairy Tale Review Poetry Contest. Then, I was incredibly excited and surprised, but I was sure that that would be the end of this particular road. I truly never thought I'd win, no matter how much I wanted to. It's hard to articulate how much this specific honor means to me. I've kept this journal on a pedestal for about 7 years now, ever since I first learned that it existed. This is also the first time I have won a poetry contest, not to mention the first time I have ever been paid for my poetry. This convergence of important moments into one momentous event is slightly overwhelming and surreal. I am so tremendously grateful to Kate Bernheimer, Joyelle McSweeney, and all of the Fairy Tale Review family for this gift that certainly feels more like magical realism than reality. 

"Forestry (parts 1-3)" will be published in the forthcoming Ochre Issue, due out in March 2016. And here is the list of finalist poems and poets who also deserve a great deal of recognition: 
  • Gabrielle Bates, "Cinderella As Told By Grackles"
  • Sara Fetherolf, "Tough Bird"
  • Milo Gallagher, "Boy Seagull"
  • Laura Grothaus, "Pinocchio Revisited"
  • Chandler Lewis, "Driving to DuBois"
  • Lucien Darjeun Meadows, "Her Body an Aquarium"
  • Tania Pryputniewicz, "My Geppetto"
  • Rebecca Perea-Kane, "The Kunstkamera, St. Petersburg"
  • Broc Russell, "Excommunication" 

You can read the official press release announcing the contest results (including those for the Prose Contest, which I've neglected) here, which also includes some generous words from Joyelle McSweeney about "Forestry":
We meet our heroine in very unfortunate media res"soil-deep in bear trap"but which way will fortune tilt? Lusby's shivery sequence strews a trail of clattery syllables through fairy tale's shadiest, most iconic location.

Thank you for sharing in this amazingly good news with me. And I hope you will all keep an eye out for The Ochre Issue in the spring so we can share in the other pieces of fabulous new fabulism gathered there. Long live the fairy tale!


P.S.
Some other (slightly) smaller tidbits of news:
  • I also have two other poems forthcoming from North Dakota Quarterly, which were accepted a couple of weeks ago: my last remaining Silence of the Lambs poem ("Do you spook easily, Starling?") and another that pairs well with it ("Interlude (again)").



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