fiction, poetry & more

First Prize
$1,000 Award


by Anne Bower

White font bold on deep pink back cover
promises a
“smarter, more seamless and intuitively synchronized world”
and the mental me, that cartoon figure
runs screaming
out the door

NO               NO            NO

Love disjuncture, slippage, faults,
broken bridges, road blocks
Pause          Wait             Go still

Go dumbfounded, unsure
become someone who does not
“connect to your car, your home, and the cities in which we all live”

NO            NO             NO

No invisible electronics,
rather this body, wandering
stumbling, reaching, running

across hayfields, down local byways, gray clouds above
coyote and groundhog, crow and jay
seen now, now gone

memories, fantasies, scraps of songs
my own and others’ foibles,
jumbling my brain

wandering wherever my feet step and shift
land fertile or icy, trees leafy or bare
to each being or place, to ebb and drift
between any here and every there


Anne Bower is the author of two chapbooks: Poems for Tai Chi Players (Kattywompus Press) and The Space Between Us (Finishing Line Press). Her poems have been published in The Literary Nest, Light Journal, and other reviews, and for the past three years have been part of both PoemCity and PoemTown (Poetry Month events in Montpelier and Randolph, VT). Her earlier writing, during university teaching of American lit., included Recipes for Reading (University of Massachusetts Press), Reel Food (Routledge), and Introduction to African American Foodways (University of Illinois Press). Now she enjoys a rural lifestyle of gardening, hiking, and local volunteerism while also teaching tai chi and training instructors.

April 2018