We are so happy to finally be able to share the name, and the work, of the winner of our 2016 GLCL Sonnet Contest! As you might remember, entrants to our contest, held in conjunction with the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, were invited to submit a sonnet in Shakespearian form: 14 lines, iambic pentameter, and an ABAB CDCD EFEF GG rhyming scheme.
The winning sonnet, chosen by our contest judge Keith Taylor, was used in the creation of an artistic broadside, hand-printed by the folks at Kalamazoo Book Arts Center. The winning poet is awarded 25 copies of the broadside to distribute to friends, family, and fans.
Without further ado, we present the winning sonnet, The Runner, by Jean L. Kreiling. Contest judge, Keith Taylor, had this to say about the winning sonnet: "I love the balance of this poem, the way the beginning comes back at the end, but in a very large way. That allows the poet to actually reach toward a hard word like “sublime” and get there. This poem felt like a complete homage. This was the poem that stayed most vivid in my mind."
Jean L. Kreiling’s first collection of poems, The Truth in Dissonance (Kelsay Books), was published in 2014. Her work has appeared widely in print and online journals, including American Arts Quarterly, Angle, The Evansville Review, Measure, and Mezzo Cammin, and in several anthologies. Kreiling is a past winner of the String Poet Prize and the Able Muse Write Prize, and she has been a finalist for the Frost Farm Prize, the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, and the Richard Wilbur Poetry Award.
We'd like of offer a huge thank you to Kalamazoo Book Arts Center. They are a dedicated, engaged, and enormously talented group. We hope you love their broadside of Jean's winning sonnet as much as we do. Of note, KBAC will be offering copies of Jean's broadside for sale in their store.
We'd also like to say thank you to our contest judge, Keith Taylor. He is one of our favorite people, and we can't say enough about his work, his support, and his generosity. Keith coordinates the undergraduate program in creative writing at the University of Michigan, directs the Bear River Writer's Conference, and is the poetry editor for Michigan Quarterly Review. His fifteenth collection, Fidelities, was published in 2015 by Alice Greene & Co. His next book, Acolyte in the Bird-while, will be published by Wayne State University Press in 2017. His work has appeared in such publications as Story, The Los Angeles Times, Alternative Press, The Southern Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Notre Dame Review, The Iowa Review, Witness, Chicago Tribune, and Hanging Loose. Other recent books are Marginalia for a Natural History (published by Black Lawrence Press), and Ghost Writers, a collection of ghost stories co-edited with Laura Kasischke (published byWayne State University Press). You can find Keith's work for purchase at our online store and at the GLCL Writers' Hub.
As part of our ongoing series called Writers Squared, in which two authors, familiar with one another's work (and usually good friends), come to the Writers' Hub for an evening of craft conversation and readings of each other's work, we were recently privileged to host the exquisite Caitlin Horrocks and exuberant Matthew Gavin Frank. Matthew started the program with an explorative and wildly heart-rendered introduction to Caitlin and her work, then went on to read a few of her stories, one from This Is Not Your City, some newer. Matthew's reading drew out a particularly whimsical and joyous tone from her writing, a playful yet grave curiosity. Whether considering the 70 sentences that Duolingo.com believes I will need to know in Spanish in a story aptly titled as such, or trying to solve an existential crisis within the realm of The Oregon Trail (referring here to the old computer game), Caitlin's writing is deft in understanding the human struggle for belonging and in what it means to feel beautiful. After Matthew's reading of Caitlin's stories, Caitlin read from Matthew's new book Mad Feast: An Ecstatic Tour Through America's Food, choosing to present the essay "Arkansas: The Ecstasy of the Beaver Tail." Caitlin's reading highlighted Matthew's advanced palate, awareness of place, and flourishing imagination. Her reading engaged with Matthew's sense of excitement for food, language, and culture. Both authors demonstrated a great understanding of each other's writing in the craft conversation that followed. One thing was clear: both write the type of story they want to read. This was made known a couple times throughout the event, the importance of appreciating the process and, what's harder, letting oneself, as a creator, enjoy the outcome. Caitlin and Matthew are remarkable in their brimming passion for the art form. We are grateful for such visionaries in our community and in this grand tradition.
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