Poetry and Prose from the Center for Writers
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* WINNER, FICTION
Girlish by BOB BARTHOLOMEW
She was trailer trash, wore high tops, had a mullet, snapped her gum. Her glasses were the kind poor people wear, with large retro frames and smeared lenses—the type you'd find in a drugstore. I never wanted to be seen in public with her, but was willing to date her clandestinely.
* HONORABLE MENTION, FICTION
The King of the Mojave by DANIEL J. PINNEY
I live in an Airstream trailer in the desert outside of Barstow, down a dirt track that snakes off from Interstate 40 into the scrub. I’ve got my own low-slung mesquite tree (for shade), and a jerry-rigged connection to a nearby power line (for lights), and thanks to my disability and the patriotic feelings of my neighbors, I get a good deal from a local merchant for topping off the water tanks every week, and disposing of the waste.
Gun Juggling by MICAH HICKS
This is the Waffle House where the jugglers live. Through the grease-smeared door, the cashier tumbling receipts and rolls of change above the register. Pancakes, eggs, sausages making tight orbits in the air over the kitchen.
His Wife’s Feet by ALEX MORRIS
Bloodied scraps of toilet paper like rose petals lay crumpled in the sink. He blotted at the gash at his hairline with a clean wad from the roll sitting on the dusty toilet tank. They didn’t have a proper first-aid kit.
A Sailor’s Journal by JENNIFER ROBERTSON
Asserted by a Simple Pin by MELANIE SMITH TODD
This black dog keeps hanging around my apartment. I don’t know anything about dogs, but I think it’s a mutt. It’s a male; I can see that much right away because his tail curves up over his back, revealing an empty flap of skin where his testicles used to be.
The Wanderers by COURTNEY WATSON
It wasn't that it didn't look enough like a cave: the entrance gaped open like a long, black throat that could lead to anywhere, stalactites poked through the ceiling, and water rushed beside or behind or beneath them—Cara couldn't tell where the noise was coming from—slicking the prehistoric walls and chilling the balmy South Bimini air. National Geographic couldn't have done it better. The problem was the trash.
* WINNER, NON-FICTION
Dreamscapes, Night Terrors, and the Never-Ending Road to Stillness by ALLISON THARP
In sixth grade, I murdered my father.
Remembrance by DANIEL J. PINNEY
I light candles. It’s what I do. I’ve never been particularly godly, and while a number of my dear, dear friends are witchy folk, I can’t seem to bring myself to fully embrace their divergent theocracy any more than I can the more established and doctrinaire ones—you know, the kinds of faiths that construct buildings.
* WINNER, POETRY
(Larrea Tridentata) by ANDREA SPOFFORD
* HONORABLE MENTION, POETRY
Diagramming by CLAUDIA SMITH
* HONORABLE MENTION, POETRY
That the Air Spun Soft and Hurrican Warm by LESLIE SINGLETON
by GARRETT ASHLEY
The Brief Tale of a Civilization
by ALLEN BERRY
Before the End
by FAE DREMOCK
by MATTHEW GERMENIS
American Tune or, the Immigrant's Song
Inferno, Purgatorio, and Brighton Beach
by LAURA GOLDSTEIN
Dreams are for Children
Crossing the Midline
The Blonde from New York
A Tight Space in Dominos
by RANDY GONZALES
Three Disassembled Sonnets
by EVAN HARRISON
by HEATHER HOLMES
Be My Dog
by DUSTIN KEYS
by COREY LATTA
A Vision Wanderer
On Your Birth
by TANJA NATHANAEL
On the Road to Dachau
by S.T. POWELL
The Doctor's Wife
by ANDREA SPOFFORD
(Placer County, CA)
(Larrea Tridentata) * Poetry Winner
Daisy and Violet Hilton--San Antonia's Grown Together Girls!
Big Baby Bunny--An Aside
Concerning Daisy and Violet Hilton
by LESLIE SINGLETON
After Your Death, I Remember You As You Really Were
At the Burial
One: Number Thirty-One, After Pollock
That the Air Spun Soft and Hurrican Warm * Poetry Honorable Mention
Under the Rose
For T: Casey County, 1999
by CLAUDIA SMITH
Diagramming * Poetry Honorable Mention
by JEFFREY TUCKER
by MARJORIE TURNER
The Love Song Revisited