Many thanks to our excellent first round readers: Chaun Ballard, Tara Ballard, Kate Gaskin, Amy Sawyer, Jamaica Baldwin, Janine Certo, Michael Dechane, and Saba Kermati.
First Place: "Nocturne in Black Mother, Op.2" by Denise Miller
Denise is a poet and mixed media artist whose poetry has been published in the Offing, African American Review and Blackberry: A Magazine. They were named the 2015 Willow Books Emerging Poet, an AROHO Waves Discussion Fellowship awardee, a finalist for the Barbara Deming Money for Women Fund, and a Hedgebrook Fellow. Their work titled, Core, was released by Willow Books in 2015 and has since been nominated for a 2016 American Book Award and a 2016 Pushcart Prize. Miller has been named a 2016 William Randolph Hearst Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society. Their chapbook, Ligatures was published in 2016 by Rattle Press. Most recently, they won the 2020 Sexton Prize for Poetry, they have been awarded a 2020 Storyknife Residency, and have also been awarded a 2020 Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing Fellowship. Their pronouns are they/them. More of their work can be found at www.denisemiller.studio.
Hope Wabuke writes, "'Nocturne in Black Mother Op. 2' is an exquisitely executed poem with rich imagery in addition to strong formal and craft elements. It has depth of meaning, depth of language, crystalline forms and rhythms, and a strong volta. The imagery is stunning. There is the ghost of the duplex form running throughout, which is also compelling. The poem steps into an important conversation about violence against Black lives and the precariousness of Black life, about a parent's love and anxiety about a child's safety; indeed, about the precariousness of all life that is both specific and universal. The work done in this poem heralds the coming of a striking voice in contemporary poetry."
Second place: “after the holidays at home” by Maria Zoccola
Hope Wabuke said: "'after the holidays at home' is a wonderfully executed poem that is both narrative and imagistic. It does not falter anywhere. It reckons with ideas about family and discomfort, with the question of whether to stay or leave. This poem is deceptively quiet, but upon sitting with this poem one sees that it is full of deep eddies of meaning that mirror the central image of the river layered throughout the text."
Honorable mention: “Cupboard Idyll” by Robyn Groth
Hope Wabuke said: "'Cupboard Idyll' is a surprising and beautiful poem that does lovely things with language—the use of repetition and the playful sonic landscape of this poem are two elements of the poem that showcase the precise ear for the musicality of language that speak to Groth’s poetic talent. Indeed, 'Cupboard Idyll' is reminiscent of the best of Gertrude Stein."
Bethany Bowman "One Day We'll Be Fossils"
Richard Osler "God of the Imagination"
Paul Corrigan "How Ravenous the Wolf"
Lara O'Conner "How to Worry"
Sarah Key "Ways of Grieving"
Susan O'Dell Underwood "God as First Grey Pubic Hair"
Chris Talbott, "i send my eyes"
Joanne Durham "Sunrise Sonnet for My Son"
Merie Kirby, "hoarfrost"
Heather Jessen, "May Day"
Laurie Vaughen, "Billie Holiday on the Radio"
Stephanie Niu, "Call it Miraculous"
Ruminate is thrilled to share with you the winners of the 2021 Broadside Poetry Prize! The winning pieces were selected by our final judge, Hope Wabuke, and will appear in our spring 2022 issue which releases mid-June! You can subscribe now to receive Issue 62.
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