Slate Roof Press

2019 Broadside Award and Glass Prize

SRP is pleased to announce the winners of our Broadside Award and Glass Prize, "Psalm 55.21" by Jendi Reiter and "Ararat" by Armen Davoudian. Read more about our winners and see their winning poems here.

Jendi Reiter of Northampton, MA, won our Franklin and Hampshire county competition, and Armen Davoudian of Palo Alto, CA, won the nationwide contest. Both winners receive the $250 Glass Prize, and Slate Roof Press will publish their poem in a limited-edition letterpress broadside. Hear Armen read his poem here.

Honorable mentions for the Franklin and Hampshire county competition:
Janet Bowdan, "Northampton, February"
Rebecca Hart Olander, "Vermont"

Honorable mentions for the nationwide competition:
CM Downes, "Eastern Cliff: Two Tang Poets Travel to the River"
Armen Davoudian, "Kayak"
Lazarus Trubman, "Awakening"

We at Slate Roof thank everyone who participated for their considerable time, work, and heart in preparing and submitting their poetry. The selection process was long and difficult; we received many excellent poems representing a broad spectrum of poetic styles and concerns. Each one was read by all of us. Our selection process was completely blind.


Ararat

When I left home I thought I was the raven
sounding the future for echoes of my voice.
Sunlight tore and stitched back sea and heaven,
and daily I renewed my prodigal choice.
Never, never. I turned my own name over
above the raving ocean, content to watch
my shadow and my image almost touch
once every day, forever and forever.

But when did I swap feathers with the dove,
coughing up splinters from the olive branch
I’ll never carry back? The shattered conch
of Noah’s ark was dug up from its grave,
but this is where I live now. Coo. Caw.
My house is made of straw.


psalm 55.21

her speech is softer than butter,
but war is in her heart.


Lord, you have clothed the goose with bed-feathers
    and given her the neck of a snake,
        a yellow snake's eye and bite.

To the cow you have given silence
    and a weight to block the wind,
       the weight of a mother who falls asleep on her child.

In the gristled heart of the chicken, war;
    war in the dance of the sparrow
       defending her bowl of dust.

Men are like roses wearing all their weapons in daylight,
    ruddy heads bowed a single night after cutting.

You made the man simple as a bullet;
    he always breaks in by the same door.

Like winter he is seen a long way off;
    like the volcano he can be avoided

By the woman who can take a season without fire,
    who has plucked the breast of the goose
       and sealed the barn against sparrows.

She has locked them out to freeze,
    she sifts the grain through her bent fingers

Like the light tumbled hair of a girl,
    a girl like a soft plum reddened by summer.

Lord, to the yew berry and the checkered snake,
    to frog and foxglove you have given poison,

A bitter taste to the butterfly
    and the green sprawl of the rhubarb,

But to the woman only a tongue,
    like a cat licking her newborn into breathing,
       like a cat rasping the meat from a bone.

About the winning authors:

Jendi ReiterJendi Reiter is the author of the novel Two Natures (Saddle Road Press, 2016), the short story collection An Incomplete List of My Wishes (Sunshot Press, 2018), and four poetry books and chapbooks, most recently Bullies in Love (Little Red Tree, 2015). Awards include a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship for Poetry, the New Letters Prize for Fiction, the Wag's Revue Poetry Prize, the Bayou Magazine Editor's Prize in Fiction, and two awards from the Poetry Society of America. Two Natures won the Rainbow Award for Best Gay Contemporary Fiction and was a finalist for the Book Excellence Awards and the Lascaux Prize for Fiction. Reiter is the editor of WinningWriters.com, an online resource site with contests and markets for creative writers. Visit JendiReiter.com.

Armen Davoudian
Armen Davoudian's poems and translations from Persian have appeared or are forthcoming in AGNI, Narrative, The Sewanee Review, The Yale Review and elsewhere. His work has been supported by scholarships from Bread Loaf, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Millay Colony. He grew up in Isfahan, Iran, holds an MFA from Johns Hopkins University, and is currently pursuing a PhD in English at Stanford University.










The Elyse Wolf Prize for a chapbook of poetry returns in 2020!

Look for our announcement in March 2020!

Winners of the Slate Roof Press Poetry Chapbook Contest/Elyse Wolf Prize are awarded publication and $500. We produce beautiful books with letterpress covers by an award-winning bookmaker, using high-quality papers. Elyse Wolf Prize winners become active members of the press, making a three-year commitment, gaining valuable experience in publishing, and participating in the tasks of running the press. Based in Greenfield, Mass., Slate Roof is a member-run, not-for-profit collaborative which has published art-quality chapbooks since 2004.

MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS

As a collaborative, we are dedicated to publishing the best work and involving poets in the publishing process. Chapbook contest/Elyse Wolf prize winners agree to a three-year work commitment, averaging 8-10 hours/month, including a monthly business meeting in Greenfield, Mass. The winners work with members toward publication and marketing of his/her work, as well as the work of others in the collective. Members receive feedback on drafts and final manuscript, as well as suggestions regarding editing.

Fifteen Years of Poetry

Slate Roof members are involved in all aspects of publishing. Typical member tasks include reviewing manuscripts, managing consignment accounts, assembling books, editing and design, accounting, promotion, and readings, which are essential to book sales. The chapbooks are designed by the poets and our printer; we pay careful attention to typography, paper choice, binding, and cover art. Our current print run is 350 copies; of that, 25 copies are given to the author, and 50 are retained by Slate Roof for promotional purposes. Poets retain copyright. All profits return to the press.

ABOUT ELYSE WOLF

Elyse Wolf is a signature member and five-year Merit Award recipient of the Colored Pencil Society of America. She received a B.A. in Art from UMass Amherst and went to the Art Students League in New York for two years on a Ford Foundation Scholarship where she studied with Morris Kantor and Theodoros Stamos. After moving to Washington, D.C., she took classes at the Corcoran Museum School Open Program with William Christenberry and Brockie Stevenson.

Her Artwork has appeared in numerous shows, including the Susan K. Black Blossom Two-Year Museum Traveling show, the John Pence Gallery in San Francisco, the Salmagundi Club and The National Arts Club in New York City, the Corcoran Museum Biennial, numerous CPSA International shows, The Art League in Alexandria, VA, The Troika Gallery in Easton, MD.

Her work has also appeared in these books: Blossom II Art of Flowers, The CPSA Signature Showcase, The Best of Colored Pencil, 2 volumes; as well as American Artist Magazine and The Artist’s Magazine.

Elyse is a member of the Jackson Art Center in Washington, D.C. and the Torpedo Factory Art Association in Alexandria, VA; and she is a Signature/Merit Member of the Colored Pencil Society of America. www.elysewolf.com