2017 Honeysuckle Chapbook Contest Results
We are unendingly proud to announce the winners and finalists of our first annual chapbook contest. We greatly thank judges Saeed Jones and Bhanu Kapil for the energy and time they devoted to carefully deliberating the twelve semifinalists. The winning chapbooks will be published in the Spring of 2018, alongside three other chapbooks from the 2017 contest.
chosen by Saeed Jones
WINNER | Bitter Map by Crystal Boson
"Bitter Map is a world pocked with the memory of trauma, place, and power. This voice knows prayer and pain and sweat and work and how to make do when god forgets your face: "crawdads in the carpet / means we ain’t gonna starve / go on an wait out the rain / we can’t move on out / what the devil moves in.” The devil is there in rain, in work, and in perhaps our very understanding of citizenship itself -- reminding us that perseverance is a path of disruption within the map of our oppressive United States."
-- Saeed Jones
Crystal Boson makes poems that look like her body: made of dark matter. They are short, dense and vicious. She is a Southern, specifically Texan writer, that can sometimes handle living in the Midwest.
She is a Cave Canem fellow, former academic and perpetual reader. She has published poems in Callaloo, Pank, The Black Bottom, Beechers, The Watershed Review, and Parcel and has two chapbooks: the queer texas prayerbook and the icarus series with Seven Kitchens Press. In 2014, she was awarded the Langston Hughes Creative Writing Award and her poem, Kansas up south, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015. She is currently working on her first full collection, bitter map. You can see her other writing and performances at: crystalboson.com.
Finalist | Oracle: a Cosmology by Destiny Hemphill*
chosen by Bhanu Kapil
winner | Dislocate by simone person
"I chose Dislocate for its figural imaginary: the many creatures, beached or washed up, diverted during the course of a long journey; an extreme mermaid who talks back to her ambivalent rescuer, who feeds her (nevertheless) tin after tin of sardines; entities called Unperson or Bunnyman. Dislocate is a work of abject longing, set in temperatures that don't easily regulate or normalize. What is normal?, the book seems to ask, as each story builds a vortex of fear and love from which its characters don't easily, or always, escape."
-- Bhanu Kapil
Simone Person grew up in small Michigan towns and Toledo, Ohio, and is a dual MFA/MA in Fiction and African American and African Diaspora Studies at Indiana University. Her work has appeared in Queen Mob’s Teahouse and Amazon’s Day One, among others, and has been anthologized in Crab Fat Magazine: Best of Year Three. She sporadically uses Twitter and Instagram at @princxporkchop.
Submissions for the 2018 Honeysuckle Chapbook Contest, judged by novelist Zinzi Clemmons and poet Danez Smith are open until March 1st 2018. We are also accepting queries for full-length poetry and short-story collections.
Thank you so much to everyone who sent us their work and stayed with us throughout this journey! We send you light & warmth.
*Offered publication in 2018