As described by contest judge Oliver de la Paz: “The poems in Jessica Poli’s remarkable chapbook, Glassland, are little dioramas. Behind the glass enclosure are heartbeats fraught with all the wonder and despair of loves and losses that have outgrown their housing. A door melts behind a person leaving. The barns are ‘half-eaten/in the dark.’ Somewhere, the ‘lighting/ connects to the machine.’ The poems in Glassland give a sense of the fragility of aquarium glass, and yet the foundations, the flesh, bear up the heavy weight of our humanity.”
Many congratulations to Jessica as well as to two finalists—Iris Dunkle and Michelle Peñaloza— who were also honored by Oliver as runners-up.
We would also like to thank and congratulate the other contest semi-finalists, and to send our appreciation out to all contest entrants. In addition to the winner and finalists, the semi-finalists were: Clare Banks, Roy Bentley, Jackson Burgess, Linda Dove, Brad Efford, Sherine Gilmour, Piotr Gwiazda, Alec Hershman, Leah Huizar, Leonard Kress, Kelly McQuain, Megan McShea, Jessica Pierce, Leah Silvieus, Valerie Wallace, Barrett Warner, and Harold Williams.
Thanks again to all, and much appreciation to Oliver for judging the contest. We’re very much looking forward to working with InkPress Baltimore to publish the winning entry!