Slate Roof Press


We have the honor to announce the selection of Leaf Town, by Amy Gordon, as the winner of our 2023 chapbook contest. Amy becomes the newest member of Slate Roof Press, and receives the $500 Elyse Wolf Prize and publication of her chapbook in an art-quality edition.

Linda Dove is our runner-up, for her manuscript, Sonnets to Rabbits, and receives a $100 prize.


  • Mark Jay Brewin, Jr., American Experiment

  • Michael Broek, The New World

  • Michael Colonnese, Beauty as a Secondary Consideration

  • LeAnne Hunt, Disaster in Thin Skin

  • Zoraida Pastor, Daughters of Darkness

  • Amanda Russell, Processing

  • Rhett Watts, Bird Hours


In Leaf Town, poet Amy Gordon gives lyric treatment to an extraordinary moment during the COVID pandemic when “Leaf by leaf, word by word, the children build a town.” In poems that beautifully render the humanity of these children, Gordon shows us the possibility of communion and the forces that emerge to threaten that precious impulse.

      (the sound of rustling leaves or wind in the trees)

Where there’s wind, you hear music,
and where there’s breath, the air fills
with earthy, educated, plural, possessive,
proper and common
nouns—stepping stones
that provide language,
a path to walk on,

and verbs—colorful and lithe—
that make things be,
that make things happen,
and all these and other parts
of speech are as distinct in form and shape
as the hickory, maple, ash, oak, and beech
leaves the wind sets to rustling in the trees
while the children chant:

I live here, and you live there,
and you can buy anything
in the Everything Store.

Listen to the wind, listen to the voices.
Leaf by leaf, word by word,
the children build a town.

Amy Gordon

Amy Gordon's poems have appeared in The Amsterdam Review, The Massachusetts Review, Pomegranate London, and other journals. She is the author of numerous books for children and young adults, and of two chapbooks, Deep Fahrenheit (Prolific Press) and The Yellow Room (Finishing Line Press). She has taught drama to middle school kids for most of her adult life and lives in Western Massachusetts.

For information about the Elyse Wolf Prize/Slate Roof Press Chapbook Award, click here.