SRCA Open Poetry Chapbook Competition
Standing Rock Cultural Arts is proud to announce that Kelly
Fordon of Grosse Pointe, Michigan is the winner of our 2011
SRCA Open Poetry Chapbook Competition! Kelly’s winning manuscript
entitled On the Street Where We Live will be the second title
in our Rock in the River Literary Series and will be available
online and at the North Water Street Gallery beginning February
2012. Congratulations, Kelly!
We were very pleased to receive thirty-two entries of fine caliber from a number
of states again this year including Alaska, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana,
Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North
Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia. The entries
were intriguing, honest, funny, evocative, unique and quite eclectic and this
provided much for our judges to consider. In the end, five very different, well-crafted
entries moved into the semifinals round and then three finalists underwent grueling
debate at the hands of the judges before this year’s winner emerged. As
the winner, Kelly will receive $50 and 25 chapbooks of her winning title. Each
entrant and volunteer judge will also receive a complimentary copy of the winning
At the start of this competition, our winning author had just finished work on
her first novel. Prior to writing fiction and poetry, Kelly worked at the NPR
member station in Detroit and for National Geographic magazine. Her work has
appeared in The Kenyon Review (KRO), Flashquake, Red Wheelbarrow, The Windsor
Review, The Bear River Review, Voices in Wartime and various other journals.
Kelly has also received honors with a third place win in the Kathryn Handley
Prose Poem Contest and as a finalist in the 38th Annual Mississippi Valley Poetry
Contest. She is currently working towards her MFA in fiction writing at Queens
University and lives in Michigan with her husband and children. Her website is www.kellyfordon.com.
ABOUT OUR WINNING TITLE
Meet the Neighbors.
In Kelly Fordon’s haunting, real-to-life, darkly humorous collection, you
through a local cul-de-sac neighborhood filled with cupcake houses, white picket
and the sudden dead ends, glossy false appearances, and dark shadows that reside
the Street Where We Live.
You will recognize the neighbor that tells too much, the one who keeps the secrets
should never be kept, and that one who has it all perfectly together (as well
as the ones
who definitely do not, no matter how they might pretend). You'll even witness
at play—and at risk. Familiar life occurrences like marriage, lovelessness,
and loss will all make appearances, but often here, these evolutions occur in
unexpected and subtly emotional—sometimes darkly punchy—ways.
In one sleek volume, Fordon creates the neighborhood that you saw and instantly
to move into—as well as the one you fought like mad to escape and survive.
Welcome to the neighborhood...
Available as $10 PayPal pre-sale on this website (includes
Shipping & Handling) COMING SOON! / $8 new title launch sale (in gallery
only) during February 2012 / $7 member’s price (in gallery only) during
February 2012 *Proceeds benefit arts programming at Standing Rock Cultural Arts
including arts scholarships for families and children in need.
In addition, we’d like to invite you to visit the website of our first
winning author, Jeff Fearnside of Prescott, Arizona: http://www.jeff-fearnside.com/.
He has been up to some amazing things since his chapbook, Lake, and Other Poems
of Love in a Foreign Land, took the 2010 prize last year—like additional
publications and his second prestigious Pushcart Prize nomination! (Congratulations,
We at Standing Rock Cultural Arts and the Rock in the River Literary Series most
definitely invite, encourage, and welcome new and experienced talented authors
to enter future competitions. Each competition features different guest judges
allowing aesthetics and tastes to vary with each competition so that a variety
of chapbooks featuring eclectic styles and subjects can come to print. Details
of any upcoming competitions will be posted to our homepage www.standingrock.net (as
well as through Facebook for our Facebook followers at http://www.facebook.com/SRCAKent and
through Twitter for our Twitter followers at http://www.twitter.com/Kent_SRCA)
although entries are currently closed.
Last but certainly not least, we humbly and gratefully wish to thank our wonderful
and dedicated volunteer judges, Colleen Clayton and Gina Tabasso, for their gracious
charitable work on this competition, as well as all of those who support our
literary sector. Remaining funds from this competition (following publication
of the chapbook) and proceeds from sales of the chapbook will benefit our many
cultural arts events including the Rock in the River Literary Series, as well
as arts programming and arts scholarships for families and children in need.
Please check out the judges’ bios on our website and check out some of
their amazing work too!
Rock In the River Literary Series
The Standing Rock Cultural Arts Rock in the River Literary Series
is the new expansion on our literary sector with a mission to
promote literary arts in our general area and to promote local
and national poets with publication.
The series launched with the Premiere Standing Rock Open Poetry
Chapbook Competition in July 2010 and our first title, Lake
and Other Poems of Love in a Foreign Land by Jeff Fearnside
of Prescott, Arizona, is forthcoming in February 2011. The series
is currently edited by Tina Puckett.
$12 (which includes shipping & handling)
A lso available for $10 ($8 for SRCA Members) in the
North Water Street Gallery, 257 N Water St, downtown Kent
ABOUT OUR CURRENT TITLE
In Lake and Other Poems of Love in a Foreign Land, Jeff Fearnside
uses his delicately detailed, socially relevant, emotionally moving
poems and their rich imagery to lead us through the enlightening—sometimes
harrowing—travels of life in another land, where nearly
nothing is what has been known to the newcomer speaker.
Readers are led into a world where the speaker becomes foreigner,
the foreign becomes familiar, and all that has been familiar is
suddenly foreign when examined intimately through the eyes of
another culture. As Fearnside winds us through the unfamiliar
crumbling, crowded roads and vast empty waterways of his poems,
he introduces the reader to an incredible exploration of the senses,
an intimate knowledge of one country and culture, and calls subtle
attention to both our comforts and, in contrast, our innermost
In ten well-crafted, introspectively thoughtful, and emotionally
honest poems, we learn that we are all foreign and familiar in
the world and that it’s quite possible that our journey
in this world can result in two "foreigners" that form
one life, one breath, one bridge.
ABOUT OUR CURRENT WINNING AUTHOR
Jeff Fearnside lived and worked in Central Asia for four years,
first as a university instructor through the U.S. Peace Corps
and later as manager of the Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program
in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
His creative work has appeared in more than two dozen national
publications in the U.S., including poetry in Assisi, Blue Earth
Review, and The Los Angeles Review; nonfiction in The Sun, Etude,
and the anthology A Life Inspired: Tales of Peace Corps Service;
and fiction in Rosebud, Crab Orchard Review, and as Featured Winner
of the 2005 Flash Fiction Contest in Many Mountains Moving.
A selection from his short-story manuscript, Making Love While
Levitating Three Feet in the Air, was chosen a Grand Prize Winner
in the Santa Fe Writers Project 2005 Literary Awards Program,
while the entire manuscript was named a finalist (Top 7) in the
New Rivers Press 2009 MVP Competition. In addition, Fearnside’s
fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Other awards for his writing have included fellowships at both
the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky,
and the Mary Anderson Center for the Arts in Mount St. Francis,
Indiana. He currently lives with his Kazakhstani wife and two
cats in Prescott, Arizona, where he is at work on a novel set
in Central Asia.
His website is
ABOUT OUR MOST RECENT COMPETITION
This winning manuscript was entered into the Premiere SRCA Open
Poetry Chapbook Competition, held by Standing Rock Cultural Arts
in Kent, Ohio, July 1–September 30, 2010. Forty-eight entries
represented a number of states across the country, which ranged
as far west as the Washington-California borders, as far east
as Maine, as far north as Minnesota, and as far south as Arizona,
Texas, and Florida.
The manuscripts were submitted by a diverse array of authors
that included professors and writing instructors, college (including
MFA) students, poetry organization leaders, senior citizens, at
least one high school student, and numerous published poets. Entries
ran the gamut of socially important, touching, comic, experimental,
surreal, imaginative, slice of life/local color, and just about
everything in between.
ABOUT OUR MOST RECENT VOLUNTEER GUEST JUDGES AND EDITOR
Andrew Rihn (Guest Blind Judge) is the author of several slim
volumes of poetry, including the chapbooks The Rust Belt MRI (Pudding
House), America Plops and Fizzes (sunnyoutside press), and Foreclosure
Dogs (Winged City Press). Andrew was the 2008 First Place Stan
and Tom Wick Undergraduate Poetry Competition winner and runner-up
in the 2009 Working Peoples' Poetry Competition. He has run poetry
workshops at both Kent State University at Stark and a domestic
violence shelter. He can be found online at his blog Midwestern
T.M. Göttl (Guest Blind Judge) is a member of the Buffalo
ZEF creative community and serves as vice president of the Ohio
Poetry Association. Her work has appeared in Pudding Magazine,
Verse Wisconsin, Common Threads, The Hessler Street Fair Poetry
Anthology, Opium Press, The Poet’s Haven, Deep Cleveland,
The Mill, Waynessence, and others, as well as on 91.3 WAPS The
Summit and 89.7 WOSU radio, both in Ohio. Her first full-length
collection, Stretching the Window, was published in 2008. She
can be found online at www.buffalozef.net.
Tina Puckett (Editor and Judge*) is a student of the Northeast
Ohio MFA (NEOMFA) program with a concentration in Poetry. She
has appeared in Phoebe (SUNY), epitome, MUSE, The Listening Eye,
and Nexus amongst other publications and currently has a poem
exhibited in The Wick Poetry Center’s Speak Peace Traveling
Exhibition. Her most recent chapbook is Crushed Sunlight from
Spare Change Press. She previously served as Editor-In-Chief for
(then national) literary journal Canto at Kent State University
at Stark, where she also studied in numerous workshops with writer
*Tina tracked entries but remained as blind to entries as she
possibly could, separating herself from readings until weeks/months
after tracking entries. Our guest judges were 100% blind judges.
CURRENT UPDATES/CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS
At this time, Standing Rock Cultural Arts will only be publishing
competition-winning poetry chapbooks once annually with competitions
taking place July-September of each year. We look forward to trying
to feature various volunteer guest judges to offer diverse backgrounds
and stylistic tastes for each competition. Calls for submissions
will be posted on our website. No unsolicited submissions will
HOW ARE ENTRY FEES USED/WHY ARE THERE ENTRY FEES? &
OTHER MISCELLANEOUS INFO
The proceeds received from each competition’s entry fees
(currently $8 per submission) defray the expenses of our poetry
chapbook competitions and benefit our arts programming, which
includes recurring poetry readings and our goals for poetry enrichment.
The author of the winning chapbook receives a cash prize and copies
of the chapbook with rights for reprint, as well as author sales
at the author’s desire and expense with no fees or commission
due to SRCA. SRCA also retains rights to reprint and sell chapbooks
with no additional revenue to the author. All rights to the individual
poems revert to the author upon publication.
Thank you for your interest in and support of the Standing Rock
Cultural Arts Rock in the River Literary Series and our Open Poetry