The editors of Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built & Natural Environments are delighted to announce the winners of our 3rd Annual Contests in Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction:
Judged by Suzanne Frischkorn, who writes:
“[when I died they found a nest of snakes in my intestines, their backs]” and “Somewhere beyond the curve of the earth, there is a ceremonial bamboo boat” disarmed me with their terrible beauty. These poems appealed to me initially by sound, then by language, and finally with meaning. While the first may appear more abstract than the second both of these poems have many layers. Delving into a difficult poem and finding that the effort opens its secret compartments—and here the compartments are all fastened by spring hinge—is extremely rewarding. That there is beauty in the terrible ruin caused by marine debris, that there is usefulness in decay after death—those snakeskin boots!—is something that may cross our minds when cultivating soil, but not often when contemplating the death of “everything that ties its shoes”. The surprises in these devastating poems make the reader think, and then think again. Like the ghost images that linger in the second poem, these poems linger within the reader. It takes a deft hand to create art that works on multiple levels. I look forward to reading more of the poet’s work.