Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Flip Kelly 2009 Winners

Dear Readers;

2009 marked the second year for the Flip Kelly Poetry Prize at Amsterdam Press. Many people have expressed that 2009 was a "bad year" and there is a general spirit of hopefulness that 2010 (twenty-ten!) will be better. Our 2009 was full of just as many rough spots as the next guy, but we suffered them rightly, and came out better for it. We tightened up our editorial staff. We became overwhelmed. We fell behind when our editor had a terrible car accident. We are still behind, but we are catching up. Our books, our writers, and Plain Spoke received some great reviews and recognition. We learned a bit about time management and accounting and all those things that make a small press sink or swim, and we’re still swimming.

Now we’re getting ready to release the rest of the books that should have been published at the end of 2009. Keep an eye out for them in our Etsy shop ( ) .

While that news is exciting (especially for the authors of those books, who have been incredibly patient throughout the publishing process and the multiple delays we experienced last year), we do have some other news to share with you all:

Our judge, Jim Danger Coppoc, has given us the names of the 2009 Flip Kelly Poetry Prize winners. Here is a little bit about him:

Jim Coppoc makes his living through some murky but evolving balance of poetry, pedagogy, playwriting and performance. He teaches in the Department of English and the American Indian Studies Program at Iowa State University, and in the low-residency MFA in Writing program at Chatham University. Current and forthcoming books include Blood, Sex & Prayer (Fractal Edge Press); Bearing the Pall (One Small Bird Press); Reliquary (Fractal Edge Press); Manhattan Beatitude, 1997 (One Small Bird Press); Tribal Ways of Knowing and Being: a Pedagogy Reader (Mammoth Publications); Second Run, Volume I (Second Run Press); and Council Fires: a Digital Sourcebook for American Indian Studies (National Social Science Press).

The winning chapbook for the Flip Kelly Poetry Prize 2009 is:

"Beyond the Pale" by Rebecca van Laer.

She Liked to Pack Herself into Boxes
from "Beyond the Pale" by Rebecca van Laer

Think of pill cataloguers:
Monday through Sunday cylinders,
but on a grand scale.

Alphabetically organized holidays,
banners and lawn decorations that matched
the porch cushions. Cosmetics
labeled by decade and proper use:
evening, day, intense. The garden

at the left, well groomed English,
the one in the back with color-coded produce,
iris marching out across the lawn,
weeds composted weekly.

It helped her keep track: the six pairs
of reading glasses in one of four
wicker baskets, formal dinnerware
never chipped, Home Decorator’s
starred articles at her fingertips.

—But lids bulged above folded wool skirts,
weather fought with the lawn furniture.
The jam-packed Sunday through
Monday couldn’t hold. Black

hair dye bin went empty for months
on end, roots grayed, red white
and blue ribbons stayed
on the mailbox through September.

The attic filled up with remnants:
discount biscotti, shoes
too large, months
late birthday cards tucked in the folds
of once used lace tablecloths.

She receives an honorarium of $150, and her book will be published in the Gob Pile Chapbook Series. The second and third place winners will also receive an offer of publication.

Second Place: "Women and Other Hostages" by Laura McCullough
Third Place: "The Oldest Stone in the World" by Tom Holmes

Mr. Coppoc also recognized the following manuscripts as finalists:

Ken Chau–"26 Strawberries for Mr. Promise"
Jonathan Harrington–"Lift up the Stone"
Andrew Rihn–"The Roads of Suburbia"
Jeanine Stevens–"What the World Provides"
Corey Mesler–"Home"
Jane Ellen Glasser–"On the Corner of Yesterday"
Kenneth Pobo–"Open Cages"

Every poet who entered the contest will receive a year’s subscription to Plain Spoke, the literary magazine at Amsterdam Press.

Our sincere thanks to everyone who supports our literary endeavors,

Cindy M. Kelly and the Editorial Staff at Amsterdam Press

Questions, concerns, and comments can be directed to