C0VER: "Realities One Must Find Within" / Cathy Palmer / oil on canvas
2005 (Volume 17)
This year we expanded our annual fiction and poetry contest to include creative nonfiction and we were pleased with the response from so many fine essayists.
Susan Bloom Malus's winning essay, "The Hearing Test," is a wonderful essay that probes, at multiple levels, the ease with which individuals fail to "hear" each other, opting for silence when true communication is needed. The universal struggle to overcome these barriers is fleshed out in the relationships of a unique, yet typical, American family.
Our winning poem "Ceremony" by Damon McLaughlin, with its use of the human hand as a metaphor for the human condition, reminds us that we are all mysteriously bound to the earth, to the sky, and to each other. The poem's vivid imagery is itself ceremonial and amounts to an enactment of a ritual for brining rain and renewal of life.
Liese Sherwood-Fabre from Texas won our fiction contest. "Stranger in the Village" reminds us how our lives may be in the hands of people who come and go, moving on to destinations that call them powerfully away from us — and how, in their wake, we return to our lives but find a different order we are somehow compelled to live with.