Puerto del Sol Is Thrilled to Announce the Winners of the 2012 Fiction and Poetry Contests!
2012 Fiction Contest (Kevin McIlvoy, judge)
1st place: Derek Palacio, “A History of Civility”
2nd Place: Lauren Cobb, “The Blues Palace”
3rd place: Lyndsey Reese, “Conversion Disorder”
Kevin McIlvoy on “A History of Civility”
In this piercing, memorable story, set in a prison ward housing only gay men, the reader is invited to share in the impossible choices the protagonist must make. Sixto must crawl inward away from his fears, he must expose the fears of everyone around him: with each page of this story, the reader feels more intensely how Sixto has been given no choice but to bury himself alive. The psychological complexities of this richly mysterious work are extraordinary. I particularly admire the haunting portrayal of the prisoners as a group; they are described well in this passage (pg. 5): “It is difficult when you are old and queer. You remember the pain you’ve felt for loving other men, and you are charged, by your heart and your history, to gather the young soldiers of love into your arms.”
2012 Poetry Contest (Thomas Sayers Ellis, judge)
1st place: Megan Leonard, “The Truth is”
2nd Place: Ines Pujos, “Letters to a Foreign Country”
3rd place: Karen Terrey, “Reconstruction”
Thomas Sayers Ellis on “The Truth Is”
The speaker of the poem balances the creative tone of the mind with, what appears to be, the natural progression of speech and this gives the poem a vulnerability often alien in work dominated by the mind. This is also true of the structural integrity of the poem; it looks like and feels like, it is being shattered by its own weight, tension and flippant indifference. There is someone to feel sorry for in this poem and it isn’t the speaker. “The Truth Is” makes the reader one of those people.
Thank you to all the talented writers who participated this year and we apologize for the delay. Puerto del Sol is excited about the upcoming 2013 Contests, which will be underway shortly. Check the blog and website in the near future for further details.