Ruminate Magazine is excited to share with you the winners of the 2017 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize. The winning piece was selected by our final judge, Shane McCrae.
FIRST PLACE: "Elizabeth Asks" by Maggie Bailey
Maggie Bailey has poems published or forthcoming in Tinderbox, Tar River, Rappahannock Review, and elsewhere. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. This Mother's Day, she received her MFA from the School of Letters program at Sewanee, the University of the South. During the year, she teaches high school English in Atlanta, Georgia, where she lives with her husband, toddler, baby, and puppy. She is currently completing a manuscript that considers the Visitation of Mary and Elizabeth, as told in the Book of Luke.
Shane McCrae writes:
"The first time I read “Elizabeth Asks,” I thought it was unfinished. Don’t get me wrong—its conclusion is striking, and opened up thinking in my mind, which is what I often, maybe always, look for poems to do. But the last line seems so plain, so stark, that I thought, “There has to be more.” And there is more, and the more is each person’s life as it is borne both from and by the poem’s last line forward. “Elizabeth Asks” unsettlingly makes apparent both how little power we have to affect the designs of others upon our lives, and how little prepared we are to wield great power over the lives of others when we discover we have it. The feeling you get that it’s unfinished is how you know it’s true."
SECOND PLACE: "Bookend Quote from Bro. Yao" by Amanda Hawkins
Amanda Hawkins holds a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Regent College in Vancouver, B.C. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Tin House, The Missouri Review’s Poem of the Week, Orion, Flyway, and Watershed Review. She lives with her beloved and two children in Northern California, where she teaches English at William Jessup University and leads a writer’s workshop titled “Religious Casualties: Writing into the Wound.”
HONORABLE MENTION: "All These Months Since Your Diagnosis" by Emily Ransdell
Emily Ransdell divides her time between Camas, Washington, and the Oregon coast. Her work has appeared in The Cortland Review, Tar River Poetry, Prime Number, and elsewhere. In 2016, she was a finalist for the Rattle Poetry Prize.
Janine Certo, “The Whip-O-Whirl”
Jake Crist, “Observing a Girl Stepping over Worms”
Dante Di Stefano, “Reading Langston Hughes to Our Unborn Child”
Jehanne Dubrow, "Exit Report"
Charity Gingerich, "Watching Smoke Signals in late autumn, with fog and cowboys"
Mason Henderson, “In The Hall of The Great North American Mammal”
Berwyn Moore, "Planting"
Samuel Piccone, “Desert Pass”
Emily Ransdell, “Seasonal Work”
Kerri Snell, "I Carry it with Me"
Jennifer Stewart Fueston, “Trying to Conceive”
John Sibley Williams, “Dear Jonah”
Mark Wagenaar, “Southern Tongues Coda (Precision Dying)”
Thank you to all of you who entered the poetry prize!
Ruminate Magazine hosts an annual contest for short fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and visual art. You can read more about our writing contests and art contest here.
Want to read the winning poems? Subscribe and you'll receive the poetry prize issue this coming winter!
Comments will be approved before showing up. We don't allow comments that are disrespectful or personally attack our blog writers.