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Fischer Poetry Prize ($1000):
Carlos Andrés Gómez is a Colombian American poet and the author of “Hijito,” selected by Eduardo C. Corral as the winner of the 2018 Broken River Prize. Winner of the 2018 Atlanta Review International Poetry Prize, 2018 Sequestrum Editor’s Reprint Award in Poetry, 2015 Lucille Clifton Poetry Prize, and a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in the North American Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Yale Review, BuzzFeed Reader, Rattle, CHORUS: A Literary Mixtape (Simon & Schuster, 2012), and elsewhere. For more, please visit: CarlosLive.com
Five Finalist Prizes ($200 each):
Tokyo Rose by Kurt Luchs of Kalamazoo (MI)
Kurt Luchs has poems published in Into the Void, Right Hand Pointing, and The Sun Magazine, and won the 2017 Bermuda Triangle Poetry Prize. He founded the literary humor site TheBigJewel.com, and has written humor for the New Yorker, the Onion and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, as well as writing comedy for television and radio. In 2017 Sagging Meniscus Press published his humor collection, It’s Funny Until Someone Loses an Eye (Then It’s Really Funny). His poetry chapbook, One of These Things Is Not Like the Other, was just issued. More of his work, both poetry and humor, is at kurtluchs.com.
Happiness by John Macker of Santa Fe (NM)
John Macker is the author of nine books of poetry. Most recently, The Blues Drink Your Dreams Away, Selected Poems: 1983-2018. He has contributed essays on poets and poetry to Malpais Review, Cultural Weekly and others, and edited the Desert Shovel Review. He has won the Colorado Arts (Tombstone) award for poetry and Mad Blood Magazine’s inaugural poetry award.
Sunday Dinner by Rev. Donald Marbury of Rockville (MD)
A 1971 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a BA degree with honors in English, Marbury also is a cum laude graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary, having earned a Masters degree in Divinity. After 18 years, Rev. Donald Marbury retired in 2018 as an adjunct professor of reading, writing and English at Montgomery College, although he continues as an adjunct professor in the Howard University School of Communications. After 27 years in public broadcasting, retiring in 1997 from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the parent company of PBS as its Vice President of Television, he is currently the Senior Pastor of Ebenezer AME Church in Hagerstown (MD). Marbury is a nationally known poet and writer, who is published in many anthologies, has been featured in many television and radio broadcasts, and is constantly performing his work. His latest book of poetry is entitled My People, My People, My God and was published by Kharis Publishing House in October, 2018.
A Compassionate Judge at the Veteran’s Court by Phyllis Klein of Palo Alto (CA)
Phyllis Klein writes, lives, and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Crosswinds Poetry Journal, Chiron Review, Portside, Sweet: a Literary Confection, 3Elements, The Poetry Hotel and forthcoming in I-70. She is a finalist in the Carolyn Forche Humanitarian Poetry Contest and was nominated for a Pushcart prize in 2018. She believes in artistic dialogue as an intimate relationship-building process that fosters healing on many levels.
Critical Thinking by Susan Browne of Oakland (CA)
Susan Browne’s poetry has appeared in Ploughshares, The Sun, Subtropics, The Southern Review, Linebreak, Superstition Review, The American Journal of Poetry, and 180 More Extraordinary Poems for Every Day. Her first book, Buddha’s Dogs, (Four Way Books), was awarded the Intro Prize. Her second book, Zephyr (Steel Toe Books) won the Editor’s Prize. She teaches at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California. www.susanbrownepoems.com
Cantor Award ($500):
The Poet’s Broken Heart by Renee Podunovich of Dolores (CO)
Renee Podunovich is a licensed professional counselor and freelance writer. She lives in southwest Colorado. She has two chapbooks of poems: “Let the Scaffolding Collapse” (Finishing Line Press, 2012) and “If There Is a Center No One Knows Where It Begins” (Art Juice Press in 2008). Renee believes that poetry is a language that encourages us to transcend our constricted sense of self and connect to our essential nature within and the spirit of the world around us. Poetry can both express the inner life and bring deeper insight into the mundane. Renee facilitates poetry Well Writing: Wordcraft for Discovery, Wholeness & Connection workshops that are designed to use creative writing as a tool for centering, reflecting and for personal growth. Her workshops combine therapeutic journaling techniques such as free writing, poetry, art journaling and collage along with guided imagery, exploratory prompts and technical cues designed to offer an opportunity to heal, grow and have fun writing. www.ReneePodunovich.com or www.ReneePodunovich.blogspot.com.
Oración del Sueño Americano (Prayer of the American Dream) by Greg Bell of Los Angeles (CA)
Greg Bell has been writing poetry all his life as a matter of necessity. During his professional life as actor and director-producer, he authored two award-winning plays ‘Alms for Oblivion’ and ‘Polestar.’ It took a recent critical illness to rouse him from a wheelchair to publish a poetry collection, ‘Looking for Will: My Bardic Quest with Shakespeare’ (Ion Drive Publishing, 2015). ‘ He now facilitates the Green Poets Workshop at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Venice (CA). Says he “We are the witnesses, the Jiminy Crickets, the agents of change, and we have a deal of work to do! ”
Un Incendio Difícil de Traducir by Jonathan Greenhause of Jersey City (NJ)
Jonathan Greenhause was the winner of both Aesthetica Magazine’s 2018 Creative Writing Award in Poetry and the 2017 Ledbury Poetry Competition, first runner-up in the 2018 Julia Darling Memorial Poetry Prize, a recipient of 2nd Prize in Cannon Poets’ 2018 Sonnet or Not Poetry Prize, and a recipient of 3rd Prize in both the Cornwall Contemporary Poetry Festival’s 2018 Competition and The Plough Poetry Prize 2017. His poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Columbia Poetry Review, Moon City Review, New Ohio Review, Redactions, and Salamander, among others. He lives in Jersey City with his wife and two sons.
The Dolphins at Big Sur by Albert Flynn DeSilver of Woodacre (CA)
Albert Flynn DeSilver is an American poet, memoirist, novelist, speaker, and workshop leader. Albert served as Marin County California’s very first Poet Laureate from 2008-2010. He is the author of several books of poems including Letters to Early Street, and his work has appeared in more than 100 literary journals worldwide Albert is also the author of the memoir Beamish Boy, which was named a “Best Book of 2012” by Kirkus Reviews. His recent nonfiction book, Writing as a Path to Awakening: A Year to Becoming an Excellent Writer and Living an Awakened Life—based on his popular writing workshops by the same name—was published by Sounds True in 2017.
Finding Solace by Devreaux Baker of Mendocino (CA)
Devreaux Baker’s awards include the 2017 Joe Gouveia Outermost National Poetry Prize, the 2014 Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Prize from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, the 2012 Hawaii Council on Humanities International Poetry Prize, the 2011 PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Poetry Award, and the 2010 Women’s Global Leadership Poetry Prize. She is a Fellow at the MacDowell Colony, the Hawthornden Castle and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. Her published books of poetry include Hungry Ghosts, Light at the Edge, Beyond the Circumstance of Sight, Red Willow People, and out of the bones of earth. She lives on the Mendocino Coast in Northern California.
Grandpa Frankie’s Notes by Robert J. Hejna of Ann Arbor (MI)
I was born in the Chicago area 1951. I hold degrees in Psychology and Social Work. I received a Hopwood Award for a manuscript titled, A FEAST FOR THE EARTH in 1978 from U of Mich. My poetry has appeared in Penwood Review, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Bardic Echoes, and others. I live in Michigan where I practice Holistic Psychotherapy.
Brother on the Bridge by Deborah Kay Kelly of Boulder (CO)
A fourth-generation Minneapolitan, poetry was my first love, but it was not until recent years that I returned it to the center of my life. Now, I live in Boulder, Colorado and attend workshops. In January of 2019 Wundor Editions (London) awarded my poem, “Mississippi/Minnesota”, second place in its contest for innovative poetry. Two poems, “Gulf Coast” and Dry Lands New Mexico” will be published in a 2019, Alternating Current, anthology on climate change. “Drama” appears in the December 2017 Issue of Stone Coast Review, and “The Gamete” in the Spring 2018 Issue of Fourth River Review. Other poems have been published in Fungi Magazine, Step Away Journal, and the local press on Colorado’s Western Slope. I am working on two manuscripts now, a collection and this chapbook.
Chato at the End of the Pier by Gwylym Cano of Edgewater (CO)
Gwylym Cano loves to read and is occasionally moved by the audacity to write. He teaches at Colorado Academy (filmmaking!) and has evolved two very special Humanities classes as well (Xicanx Studies and Aztecs). A few poems are published in Latinx anthologies Red, Hot Salsa and Voices in First Person. He also writes short stories and produces his own plays and movies.