2021 Able Muse Write Prize: Contest Winners Announcement
Able Muse is pleased to announce the winners of the Write Prize for poetry & fiction (judged anonymously throughout by the Able Muse Contest Committee and the final judges, William Baer for fiction, and Jehanne Dubrow or poetry). The winning writer and the winning poet will each receive a $500 prize.
Write Prize (for Fiction), Final Judge: William Baer
FICTION WINNER: Amina Gautier - "We Ask Why"
Here is what William Baer has to say about Amina Gautier's winning story:
"'We Ask Why' is a deeply moving story that raises serious questions about personal identity and parentage. What does it mean to have a father you've never known? What does it mean to be sent off to a distant island in lieu of a child's excited expectations about magical places like Coney island, Rockaway Beach, and Astroland? Especially powerful is the mother's reflection about shades of 'blackness,' and how it might have damaged her marriage. Equally effective is her final line of uncertainly. 'We Ask Why' is an excellent and thought-provoking short story."
The winning story will be published in the Winter 2021/22 issue of Able Muse, print edition. (No other entry in the fiction category achieved selection for publication.)
FICTION HONORABLE MENTION:
• Phylis C. Dryden - "Pink Eggs and Spam"
• Amina Gautier - "You'll Go"
• Victoria Mac - "Shannon's Hair"
• Charlotte Pregnolato - "Moonless"
• Alan Sincic - "The Book Of Naps"
• Alan Sincic - "Not What You Think"
• Rob Wright - "Between Worlds"
* * * *
Write Prize (for Poetry), Final Judge: Jehanne Dubrow
POETRY WINNER: E. D. Watson - "Twelfth of May"
Here is what Jehanne Dubrow has to say about E. D. Watson's winning poem:
"The premise of 'The Twelfth of May' is simple: a speaker—who has just been mugged moments before—goes to an all-night diner to eat the 'first supper / of my second life.' What I so appreciate about this poem is its wryness, its gift for evoking landscape (New Orleans, a place of vivid celebration and loss), and the speaker's sudden hunger in the early aftermath of trauma (eggs! chocolate chip pancakes! sausage, bacon, and even beer!). In slender, elegant couplets, the poet explores that old theme of suffering, which as Auden once observed, 'takes place / While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along.' Here, the trauma is not 'a boy falling out of the sky' and into a Flemish painting, but an ordinary street crime in an American city. The other diners are indifferent to what the speaker has just endured and the waitress 'doesn't even raise an eyebrow.' It's a scene perfectly rendered in witty brushstrokes, balancing so beautifully humor and grief."
• Stephen Gibson - "Little Dancer Aged Fourteen"
• D. R. Goodman - "Wallet"
• Leona Sevick - "My Mother's Kitchen"
- The winning and finalists' poems will be published in the Winter 2021/22 issue of Able Muse, print edition.
POETRY HONORABLE MENTION:
• Paula Bonnell - "Black and White"
• Partridge Boswell - "The Breakup"
• Brian Brodeur - "Hard Water"
• Leona Sevick - "Filial"
• Natalie Staples - "She Looks Out over the Meadow"
• Marilyn L. Taylor - "One by One"
• Ryan Wilson - "Next Up"
Congratulations to our winner, finalists, and honorable mention: well done to all! And thank you to everyone who entered.
**NOTE: The results for the 2021 Able Muse Book Award will be announced soon.
Subscribe now to Able Muse to read the fine work of the contest winners and finalists in the forthcoming Winter 2021/22 issue.
Stay tuned for the announcements coming soon for the 2022 Able Muse contests.
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