This competition has been a rollercoaster of emotion as I dove so deep into so many of your worlds. The most difficult emotion of course was choosing what work to send on to Kai for final consideration. Every single chap that was submitted was gorgeous and necessary in our world.
We are happy and excited to announce our winner and to also announce that we’ll be offering publication to our runner up as well.
2015 YCR Chapbook Contest Winner: A Clock of Human Bones by Matthew Borczon
2015 YCR Chapbook Contest Runnerup: unraveled by Elizabeth Vrenios
2015 YCR Chapbook Contest Honorable Mention: Wake Dreams by Joe Nicholas
From our Judge Kai Coggin:
“It was my absolute honor to be the final judge for Yellow Chair Review’s first chapbook contest. The competition was fierce and the ten finalists that came into my heart were super talented. I want to start by congratulating all ten of the finalists. You are AWESOME. You should all be very proud of the work that you have done. Keep writing. Keep submitting. Don’t see this as a rejection, but as a stepping stone to your book. You are all doing the beautiful work; the responsibility we have as poets to find the light in the darkness overtaking. I see that in all of you.
In the end, there were two voices that came into my heart and stayed, though. The voice of a mother, and the voice of a soldier. Two poets who have faced unimaginable suffering and endured, manifesting a fire of creativity and poetry with their memories and experiences. Two testaments to healing.
Runner Up: Elizabeth Vrenios, “unraveled”
I am so thankful to have read the work of the mother, Elizabeth Vrenios, author of “unraveled.” What a gripping and heart wrenching account of a mother’s loss of her beloved son. I was moved to tears with the beautiful language and softness of a mother reaching out into the abyss to find the only thing she never wanted to lose. I know December 21st is a special day of remembrance, and I hope that Elizabeth sees the full circle made in the Heavens.
Winner: Matthew Borczon, “A Clock of Human Bones”
What a POWERFUL and NECESSARY VOICE, the voice of the soldier back from war. I cannot say enough about the power and images left behind in my mind as I read “A Clock of Human Bones.” Matthew’s work portrays the broken voice of what our veterans feel everyday. His poems are sharp and deliver a punch in the gut, an M-16 of words that knock you over with realization. His work stood apart from the pack, I just knew… this is the one. This book will stay with me for a long time.
Thank you for your service and your story, Matthew. Congratulations.”