2018 Peach Gold in Poetry

WITH GUEST JUDGE

MORGAN PARKER

Morgan Parker is the author of There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé and Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night. Her work has been featured in the The New Yorker, Paris Review, The New York Times, The Nation, Buzzfeed, and elsewhere. Parker is the recipient of a 2017 NEA Literature Fellowship and a Pushcart Prize. She is the creator and host of Reparations, Live! at the Ace Hotel. She co-curates the Poets With Attitude (PWA) reading series and is the co-founder of The Other Black Girl Collective. She lives in Los Angeles.

PHOTO: RACHEL ELIZA GRIFFITHS

Winners

GOLD: KELLY X

SILVER: SASHA DEBEVEC-McKENNEY

BRONZE: SARA MAE

Shortlist

COLETTE ARRAND

GION DAVIS

HUSSAIN AHMED

INAM KANG

KELLY X

NATALIE WEE

SARA MAE

SASHA DEBEVEC-McKENNEY

Longlist

ANN WARD

COLETTE ARRAND

EMILY O'NEILL

GION DAVIS

HUSSAIN AHMED

INAM KANG

KELLY X

KEVIN BERTOLERO

LIZ BOWEN

MEGHANN BOLTZ

MILES A.M. COLLINS-SIBLEY

NATALIE WEE

S. ERIN BATISTE

SARA MAE

SASHA DEBEVEC-McKENNEY

TALIN TAHAJIAN

Gold

"SAINT ANN'S"

by KELLY X

What I love about this poem is it's full, exciting, vernacular, exploratory, meandering, and strange. In fact, at first I wasn't sure what to make of it. But I'm excited about this poet's potential, and I respect this poem's playful ambition. What won me over was the way dissonant themes blurred and overlapped, as in: "I should beg God for forgiveness to get to heaven / so I can ask my dead dad his preexisting conditions;" the humor of "God’s on that Milky Way extra twee shit, of course" against the strange language of lines like "I’m both wretch and Jupiter-ruled" and "you awake to a neon / sign outside of the gate that says 'WE BUY GOLD.'"

-MORGAN PARKER

 

Silver

"FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN BACHELORETTE, 2017"

by SASHA DEBEVEC-McKENNEY

Because obviously. Because I am a sucker for reality show poems and anything concerning black women and desirability. And because of lines like "I can pretend to love anyone for the right reasons."

-MORGAN PARKER

 

I love the expert handling of language, playful word and syntax choices -- the poem is so controlled and sharp. Just some delicious lines throughout.

-MORGAN PARKER