Announcing the winner of the Paper Nautilus Chapbook Contest

September 21, 2012

We are proud to announce the winner of our first Chapbook Contest, “The Rules of Night Migration,” written by Pamela Gross of Seattle, WA. Congratulations, Pamela! The contest was judged by Christine Beck, and here are some of her thoughts on this collection:

The Rules of Night Migration finds unexpected touchstones between the world of winged creatures and of humans. In the title poem, the author commands us to “Believe this” and proceeds to follow large migrations guided by stars and tides, funneling to a pair of Purple Finches: “One, shadow-streaked,/a secret. The other all blood-knot/all idiot song.” In language that startles and compels, the author moves deftly down the page to end lines that are as unexpected and fleeting as a hummingbird at the window.

Christine goes on to say that

Ultimately, the metaphor of birds meets human loss through death. In “Associated Wing,” the poet sees a flock of shorebirds like a double-edged blade, prompting her to think of how “the shapes of hunter/and of prey so resemble one another remember/how sure how swift the shadow/of your death advanced and how nimbly/in front of it my fear flew.” This collection leaves its print on the page in ways as graceful as flight. Its words linger to be read and re-read, as they slowly reveal and reveal.”

It is quite a stunning manuscript, and we’re thrilled to begin the process of publishing it, so it can be enjoyed by a wider audience.

Many thanks to Pamela, Christine, and especially to all who submitted – without your interested and support, this contest would not exist.

Paper Nautilus


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