We are rich with beauty this month. Potent words. Transcendent images. Connections with talent and vision as promising as the newly blooming forsythia. Intersections of hearts and hopes, grief and joy, faith and loss. We received contest submissions from many gifted writers poets and artists. Decision making was challenging because of the high caliber of the gems submitted. To everyone who submitted we say “Thank you!”. Keep writing, drawing, painting, rhyming and being the creative souls you are because your skills are obvious and your works tingle.
Our First Place Prose winner is Emily Harris Adams for “The Ruins of Tintagle”. She offers an excruciatingly intimate vignette of the intersections of hope, dreams, loss, love, urgency, craving and grief. Emily conveys so much in her uncluttered prose and the precision of the details she includes – washed lettuce, a thrift store couch, the protective plastic of a book cover. We feel the cold of her husband’s skin when he comes in from the brisk outdoors. We feel the immediacy of the seismic shift brought on as they confront her news and their anguish.
Our prose Honorable Mention goes to Jenn Lee Smith’s piece “Name Calling.” It is a haunting personal story of the intersections of culture, cruelty, persistence and courage. As a member of a Taiwanese immigrant family, Jenn shows how she and her family “pioneer” their way into the new, confusing life in the version of Zion they find in Carbon County Utah in the 1990’s. Her sketch is vivid, and her wisdom is clear.
The First Place Poetry winner is Lorraine Jeffrey for her poem “Juniper Daughter”. Lorraine’s vivid imagery describes her trip with her Goshute foster daughter from the high desert to see the ocean for the first time. Her voice is fresh and her perspective sensitive and profound.
One poetry Honorable Mention winner is Faith Kershisnik for her elegant poem “Before”. Exploring the complex intersection of present and future, of mortality and eternal life, Faith introduces us to an Eve who possesses a gloriously holy prescience.
The other poetry Honorable Mention winner is Anne Thomas for her poem “On Bornholm.” In this gorgeous poem that almost carries the scent of Baltic pine with it, Anne connects with her heritage in line after evocative line. Because I share Scandinavian heritage, this poem particularly resonates with me.
The First Place Visual Arts winner is Lisa Jensen for her breathtaking oil painting “She had a long way to go but at least the scenery was nice.” This layered and ethereal image creates a deep, expansive landscape with a sky of vast grandeur. The humor of its title is a delightful bonus.
The Visual Arts Honorable Mention belongs to Abigail Muldowney for her black and white photograph entitled “God’s Generosity.” Abby’s sensitive eye captures the sensual majesty of flowers and showcases their beauty as a bouquet from (or perhaps to?) God the great Creator.
And, as the last month of our Winter Quarter concludes, we have the privilege of publishing for the first time our Featured Poet Susan Elizabeth Howe’s lush poem “First Predicament.” Never has Eve’s choice in the garden been so evocatively described! We are also proud to conclude this season with more fresh and appealing artwork by our Featured Artist, Brooke Smart.
You are in for an embarrassment of riches this month! Heartfelt thanks to all of our contributors!
Linda Hoffman Kimball
Table of Contents:
First Predicament by Susan Elizabeth Howe, Featured Writer
The Ruins of Tintagel by Emily Harris Adams, Winner
Name Calling by Jenn Lee Smith, Honorable Mention
Juniper Daughter by Lorraine Jeffery, Winner
Before by Faith Kershisnik, Honorable Mention
On Bornholm by Anne Thomas, Honorable Mention
“She had miles to go but at least the scenery was nice” by Lisa Jensen, winner
“God’s Generosity” by Abigail Muldowny, Honorable Mention