Forget the Olympics--judging a literary contest is the true test of strength, endurance, and speed. You must be able to carry home pounds and pounds of five-page stories and handle the intellectual weight of a 12-line poem. You must be willing able to sit for hours on end in search of a winner. And you must be able to complete your task in the brief period between the contest deadline and the fall Imprints supplement.
Four hearty souls made the City Paper team this year. Joyce Brown, CP's poetry editor, single-handedly did battle with the villanelles, formal constructions, and free verse submitted for the third annual poetry contest. Robin Green-Cary, unabashed bookworm and co-owner of Sibanye Inc., an Afrocentric lifestyle boutique in Northwest Baltimore; Eleanor Lewis, a Baltimore poet and publicist; and Eileen Murphy, CP books editor, faced down the short-story entries and emerged victorious.
All hyperbole aside, the true winners are featured here. You can hear them read their prize-winning stories and poems at the Baltimore Book Festival Sept. 23. Or just picture them standing in formation as the national anthem plays.
POETRY HONORABLE MENTION:
Martha Gatewood for "Chrome Balls" and Garcia Jackson Jr. for "Turn the City Lights On (Father and Son)." The honorable-mention entries will appear in future editions of Bones, CP's periodic poetry feature.