We are very pleased to announce the winners of our fourth annual ProForma Contest!
- First Place: Sara Ryan’s “Search for”
- Runners Up: Christine Adams’ “Fourteen Adaptations of the Female Ceratioid” and Farnaz Fatemi’s “Sister Tongue”
See below for more about our winners and for what judge Emilia Phillips had to say about our winner:
First Place and winner of $1200: Sara Ryan’s “Search for”
Sara Ryan received her MFA from Northern Michigan University where she was an associate poetry editor for Passages North. Her work has been published in or is forthcoming from Pleiades, DIAGRAM, The Rumpus, Yemassee, Booth, Prairie Schooner, Hunger Mountain and others. She is the author of the chapbook, Never Leave the Foot of an Animal Unskinned (Porkbelly Press). This fall, she will begin pursuing her PhD at Texas Tech University.
Judge Emilia Phillips had this to say about Sara Ryan’s “Search for”: “‘Search For’ cannot be experienced only as a text that conveys information; its materiality—and even, paradoxically, its gestures of immateriality—are crucial to a reader’s engagement with the text. Exploring her fraught relationships with her family, most notably her mother, the speaker here combines short fragments—maybe prose poems, maybe micro-essays—with minimalist but rough-torn book illustrations and crumpled print-outs of anaphoric, autofill Google search suggestions: ‘forget what / forget what i said / forget what you know / forget what you look like / forget what hurt you.’ Upending our rote expectations for genre and form, ‘Search For’ resonates through its hybridity, challenging the tangibility of the body and a place as well as the intangibility of memory, the selves one once was. In the final section, the speaker says, ‘if things work out, maybe i’ll forget you too.’ And yet, this is one of the most unforgettable works I have ever read.”
Runner-Up: Christine Adams’ “Fourteen Adaptations of the Female Ceratioid”
Christine Grace Adams is a PhD student in creative nonfiction at Ohio University. She holds an MFA poetry from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she served as the Fred Chappell fellow and poetry editor of the Greensboro Review. Her work can be found in Best New Poets 2014, Best New Poets 2016,and Passages North, among others. She calls the great state of Virginia home.
Runner-Up: Farnaz Fatemi’s “Sister Tongue”
Farnaz Fatemi’s poetry and prose appears or is forthcoming in Tupelo Quarterly, Catamaran Literary Reader, Crab Orchard Review, Delaware Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She has been awarded residencies from PLAYA, Marble House Project, Vermont Studio Center, and I-Park Foundation, and honored by the International Literary Awards (Center for Women Writers), Poets on the Verge (Litquake SF), Best of the Net Nonfiction, and Pushcart. She taught Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz, from 1997-2018. More at farnazfatemi.com.
Congratulations also to this year’s finalists and semi-finalists!
Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach
Matty Layne Glasgow
The three winners will be published in Grist’s Issue Twelve in February 2019. To pre-order Issue Twelve, head over to our Submittable page.