Thursday, July 31, 2014

Announcing the Quarter Finalists to the 2015 Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize

The size of our contest just keeps growing. For this, our fourth Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize, we have selected almost 200 quarter finalists.

In the next phase, we will narrow this field to about 30 semifinalists to be announced on August 31. Absolutely keep your simultaneous submissions active during this time, but do let us know if you are accepted elsewhere and need to withdraw. (Four poets got their chapbooks accepted by other publishing companies during the process. Congratulations!)

We will also be talking to our celebrity poet about the timing of judging the finalists, so we can have a rough idea of when we will have a winner this year. It's always fun to hold on to the secret of who our final judge will be. We've had some wonderful ones -- Jay Parini, Fred Marchant, and Dorothea Lasky.

Congratulations poets, and please, if we made an error in your title or name, or you would like us to go ahead and switch to your pseudonym, reply to the email you received when we confirmed your original submission to let us know.

And here they are!



500 Days ~ Iris Jamahl Dunkle
A Constant State of Falling ~ Meg Eden
A Wider Sky of Profound ~ Gina Marie Mammano
Ab.Sin.The ~ Melissa Holm
Aging with Attitude ~ Katharine Weeks Folkes
All of My Nothings ~ Ariel Triunfo
Along The Road ~ Paul Stansbury
American Bond ~ Nicole Parizeau
Anatomie of the World ~ Annie Dawid
Anticipation ~ Judith Kelly Quaempts
Apocalypse at the County Fair ~ Alyse Bensel
apostle songs ~ Carly Joy Miller
Appalachian Rhythm ~ Carolyn Faye Davis
Before Fire & Other Poems ~ Allie Marini Batts
Between the Lines ~ Hemant Bawankar
Boomerang Girl ~ Caitlin Johnson
Both Wave and Particle ~ Rafael S.W
Brick-woman ~ Andrew Koch
Cantos For Earth's Inhabitants ~ D.S. Martin
Children Born on the Wrong Side of the River ~ Sarah McCartt-Jackson
Citygrown ~ Karen Yuan
Clasp ~ Suzanne Richter
Concaves ~ Peter LaBerge
Dare ~ Savannah Thorne
Dark Hearts ~ Modester Okafor
Dead Skin and Salt Water ~ Amanda Silberling
Deniz ~ Shauna Barbosa
Diamond Life ~ Laura Taylor
Dinner for Two ~ Janet Cannon
dis-connect ~ Kellie Chouinard
Donating Organs in Boxes ~ David Walker
Eden Was Here ~ Shira Richman
Enveloped ~ Danielle Smith
Escaping the Nursing Home & Other Cleansings ~ Amanda Fuller
eve calling it a day ~ Steve LaVigne
Everything But the Sky ~ Meg Tuite/David Tomaloff
Everything's Better with Chocolate Chip Cookies ~ Samantha LeVan
Faces of a Woman ~ Sharon Shelton Hanson
Falling and Flying ~ Julia Hones
Family Values ~ Edward Timothy
flowers bloom in frost ~ James Carter
Footage ~ Elaine Zimmerman
For the Flowerless Graves ~ Jeremiah Walton
Forget-Me-Nots ~ Heather M. Browne
From Darkness To Light ~ Robert Saari
From dawn to sunset ~ Horia Pop
From His SIde ~ M. Rather, Jr.
Geography of Ghosts ~ Deborah Chava Singer
Goods and Services ~ Laryssa Wirstiuk
Hanging Tight Aboard the Stella Irene ~ Sandy Hiortdahl
Harvest Town ~ Allen M Weber
Hearing Inaudible Things ~ Martin Willitts Jr
Heart Beats ~ Sharon Goodier
Heart of Wisdom ~ Jacqueline Seewald
Hello, It's Your Mother ~ Laurie Kolp
heroin Vs The Almighty Percocet's ~ Bart
Hiccups Haunt Wilson Avenue ~ Marilyn Zelke-Windau
Honestly, ~ Shimmy St. Amore
How to Write Water ~ Amanda Linsmeier
How We Got the Knowledge ~ Carol Alexander
I Know Why the Caged Bird Screams ~ Michael Passafiume
i'm only here because she isn't ~ Kirsti Whalen
In the waiting light ~ Ranjani Neriya
Inelegant Proof ~ Scott C Stewart
Intermittent ~ Ateet Tuli
International Trapeze Act of Fire ~ Jen Karetnick
intoday ~ John Reinhart
Ironflowers ~ Mary Ann Malone
Islands where egrets wade ~ Monika John
It's in the Works! ~ Gail Eisenhart
Kalediscopic Female ~ Don Shook
Collecting Kernels - From the Orchard of my Imagination ~ E M Hector
Knocking on the Roman Walls Around the Ruins of My Heart ~ Telaina Eriksen
Letters in the Margins ~ Alina Stefanescu Coryell
Letters to my Daughter ~ Robert Perry Ivey
Letters to Sneha ~ Souradeep Roy
Letting go ~ Alicia Owen
Life, Death, And Everything In Between ~ Alannah Leary
Life, Truth, and Love ~ Elizabeth Jarah
Lightning, Glass, and Stone ~ Sarah Lilius
Love All the Weather ~ Suzanne Allen
Love and Sorrow ~ B.J. Buckley
Love Letters to Lu ~ Philippe Shils
love poems for various places, people, and things. ~ Katharine Gripp
Love, Transcription ~ Maureen Alsop
Loving the Pyromaniac ~ Louise Fabiani
Lucha ~ Marjorie Sadin
Lucky Tonight ~ Lee Patton
Luminesce ~ Joanna Gale
Mark of Woman ~ Cecilee Jayne Hilton
Military Sexual Trauma ~ Joe Henry Gonzales, Jr.
Mine to Tell (and other poems) ~ Will Reger
Misplaced Bookmarks ~ Winston Mayo
Mortar & Pestle ~ Tavia Grabas
My Father's Bargain ~ Jessica Cuello
My Husband is Praying, But the Ghosts Are Talking To Me ~ Melissa Knox
My Road Divides In Many Directions ~ Lezah Redle
Necessary Work ~ Nicole Rollender
Night Patrol and other Poems ~ Gary Beck
No Judgment ~ Sarah Karstaedt
No Roadmap, No Brakes ~ Madeleine Beckman
No Small Effort ~ Joseph Dorazio
Oasis Bridesmaids ~ E. Doyle-Gillespie
Observations ~ Daena Lee
Ode to the Stage Curtain: The First Native American on Broadway ~ Jennifer Grant
Of Sand and Shadows ~ Paula M. Rodriguez Gomez
On Being Human ~ Heather Awad
Orphanhood After 50 ~ Melvina Noel
Out of Mud ~ John Nimmo
PA ~ Peggy Trojan
Pains, Pleasure, Ecstasy And God's Everlasting ~ Clara Freeman
Pancake Kisses ~ Lydia Suarez
Paper Bridges ~ Karen Douglass
Past the Narrows ~ Mark Mansfield
Pastoral ~ Mark Jay Brewin, Jr.
Patched Collective ~ JW Mark
Patchwork ~ Stephanie Lee Evans
Pearl ~ Lawrence Kessenich
Peeling Back the Veil ~ Andrena Zawinski
Penumbra ~ Sharon Scholl
Planes and Trains and Automobiles ~ Anne Britting Oleson
Poem of the Month Club ~ Alex Stolis
Poetic Injustice ~ SANDRA W. BURCH
Precise as a Cloud ~ June Blumenson
Progress ~ Annette Armellino
Promises to the Dead ~ June Sylvester Saraceno
Recapitulation ~ Rohan Chhetri
Remarkable Shadows ~ Margaret Rozga
Requiem for a Doll ~ Ellie White
Romance Meets Darkness ~ Trishala Sanzgiri
Saltwater Under Brittle Sky ~ Lori DeSanti
Scavenger Hunt ~ Sara Backer
Seat of the Pants ~ Jack Peachum
Seeing Perception ~ Selena Flores
Sidewalk Stories ~ Francis DiClemente
Sipping Sweet Memories from a Cup of Childhood ~ Verna Cole Mitchell
Soul Thoughts ~ Celestial K.
Soulful Passions ~ Shyamal R Swamy
Souvenir ~ Trish Hopkinson
Stanhope ~ Bud R. Berkich
Stay ~ Melissa Jackson
Stirrings of the Soul: The Search for Meaning ~ Kara Spain
Strangers ~ Desiree Miller
Studies in Orange ~ Tom Holmes
Sundown Towns ~ Jacob Collum
Sunrise to Moonlight Pantoums ~ Joan Canby
Swans ~ Katie Berger
Sweet Bones ~ Pattie Flint
Take Wing ~ David Allen Sullivan
That Oragutan Can Sing The Blues ~ Alvaro Salinas Jr
The Atmospheric Mysteries of a Steaming Corpse ~ Kirsten Imani Kasai
The Aviary ~ Melanie Whithaus
The Blue of Touching ~ Gail Ghai
The Clever Dream of Man ~ Lynn Marie Houston
The Coming and The Going ~ Eva Garcia-Mayers
The Consolation of Roses ~ Judith Waller Carroll
The Distance We Become ~ Bob Putnam
The Edge of the Light ~ Peter Blueberry
The Girl with the Green Violin ~ Kirby Wright
The Inconstant Moon ~ Terri Watrous Berry
The Languages We Speak ~ Mary Buchinger
The Laughter of Grass ~ Beate Sigriddaughter
The Magic of A Child's Imagination ~ TreAnna Bradley
The Man Who Wasn't There ~ Jerrice J. Baptiste
The Memory Blossom ~ Rebecca Kaplan
the old man is snoring ~ DiTa Ondek
The Second Coming of Victoria ~ John Kaniecki
The Small Stays We Work ~ Diane Kendig
The Soup of My Ancestors ~ Tracey S. Rosenberg
The Trouble of the Sea Horse ~ Atar Hadari
The Unbroken Child ~ Nicole Matos
The Uncollected Poems of Draculae, Erstwhile Count of Wallachia ~ Gregg Murray
The Valley Gives Up Its Light First ~ Paul Weidknecht
The Wednesday Night Suppers ~ Evelyn Posamentier
The Wild Comrades' Re-education Committee ~ Lizzy Huitson
The Words Unsaid ~ Mayra Garibo
These the Last Verses ~ J. Simon Harris
This Is The Photo ~ Eva Schlesinger
Through My Wayfarers ~ E.P. Groves
Through The Shattered Glass ~ Kylee Hereid
Time To Walk The Talk ~ Ndaba Sibanda
Tiny Little Cracks ~ Dr. Carol Graham
Tricks of Light ~ Issa M. Lewis
Underneath My D.C. Memories ~ Betty Lipton
WakeBreatheMove ~ Christina M. Rau
War Stories ~ Paul David Adkins
We Drink Wine with Dinner ~ Cari Oleskewicz
Weird Char@cters ~ RJ Clarken
Werewolf Juggles the Moon ~ Steve Klepetar
What God in this Forest Dwells ~ Leland James
Whispering Sorrows ~ Fabiyas M V
Whole Burnt ~ Carine Topal
Whose Age Has Charms ~ Janet M. Powers
Wings Of Phoenix ~ Neha Rautela
Winter Verses for the Summer Soul ~ Avleen K Mokha


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Our third Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize is released! Splitting the Velvet Dark



Elaine Mott’s life work was almost never published. Between growing up in Brooklyn in the 40s, and battling depression and anxiety as a wife and mother, Mott penned exquisite verses that few people ever read until her son submitted her collected work to a contest.

Sharon Olds, winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, said of Mott’s work, “Her voice is genuine and immediate. We hear it with the sense she is right next to us, singing directly to us.”

This genuine voice earned her the medal for the Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize by publisher Casey Shay Press. Mott’s book, Splitting the Velvet Dark, will be released in conjunction with April’s National Poetry Month.

Mott occasionally submitted poems to magazines and anthologies and managed to place a few of them.

Dorothea Lasky, Poet and Professor of Columbia School of the Arts, judged this year’s finalists and lauded the collection as “a gift to us from Elaine Mott, who left behind a book to guide us through our days.”

Elaine Mott’s son Aaron Mott collected the poems and submitted them four years after her death. “Reading through her work to put together the twenty poems in this collection gave me a way to connect with her,” Aaron Mott said. “The poems were so evocative and revealed so much of her inner dialogue that it felt like having a deep conversation with her about her life.”

Mott was born in Brooklyn in 1946. She struggled with depression as she raised her son and daughter, a recurring theme in her poetry. She retired to the mountains of upstate New York with her husband of forty years until her death in 2009.

Perhaps most poignant of the previously unpublished works as we listen to a poet almost lost to time is in a verse from “Dragonflies and Green Rushes.”

It’s simpler to live this way, with my hands plunged in the warm dirt
spreading out the roots of strawberry plants
than to walk in circles around an empty room
crying out to someone who can’t hear me

Find it on: Amazon ~ BN