Winners from December 3, 2010

1st Place: Sweet Potato by Caroline Bybee
Few writers can afford to be lax with structure to achieve something greater. Sacrificing structure runs the risk of confusing the reader, upsetting the editor, or just falling flat. However, in Sweet Potato, another treasure from Bybee, we see an artful, willful, conscientious bending of rules that succeeds. Bybee is not rebelling against tight and tidy sentences or proper grammar--she's exploiting it to her own ends. And we love it.
Download and read Sweet Potato.
2nd Place: Red Confessions by Keayva Mitchell
What Mitchell does so successfully in Red Confessions is capture the perfect rhythm. Short, staccato phrasing leads to brief intrusions of prose poetry--and all of it, each and every line break--works together brilliantly. Were we editors teaching a course on line breaks, we could hardly do better than to show our students Mitchell's Red Confessions. We think fellow poets will devour this little delight, and come back for seconds.
Download and read Red Confessions.
3rd Place: Closet by Hanna C. Mathiot
Mathiot makes her first appearance with SHYW with Closet, a long-line, rhyming poem. While both of those conventions lend strength to the poem, it's the content that takes center stage. Thoughtful and turned inward, the speak of the poem address universal questions without crossing the thin line into trite, empty pondering. Poetry readers will appreciate Mathiot's self-restraint here, not to mention her delicate balancing of the unknown--heightened by the frequent use of rhetorical questions--with those answers we all know and share.
Download and read Closet.

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A Pilot's Guide to Washington

This book is a guidebook for private aviators in Washington State, or folks visiting the State. Washington State is among the most beautiful and diverse states in the Union. There are flat and dry desserts, stunning basalt formations, towering mountains, rolling grass hills, thick rain forests, island archipelagos, and lakes and rivers and straits and sounds. Well, one sound. And we have roughly a billion airports to visit. (I'm exaggerating slightly.) It would be shame to be a pilot living in or visiting Washington State and not deeply partake of the richness of this opportunity.

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