These winning stories are all so good, in different ways, and I can tell the writers put a lot of work, love, talent and craft into them. Judging is subjective but I wish it wasn’t. The difference between a winner and a non-winner was sometimes slight. I know that when the editors or judges of contests I’ve entered say “there were so many excellent entries, it was hard to choose,” that they aren’t just saying that to be nice. I feel very much the same.
Here are the winners: Concession Girl byDiana Spechler Handling This by Susan Rodgers The Last Love Song of Johnny Mascerone by Gordon Brown
Four additional authors worthy of Honorable Mention: Damon Macias Moreno, Alan Sincic, Nancy Quinn & Julie Gard.
Since 1995, InsideOut Literary Arts has helped nearly 60,000 of Detroit’s youth build their literary and academic skills through creative writing. Widely recognized as one of the nation’s premiere writers-in-the-schools programs, InsideOut has earned many accolades, from a feature on PBS News Hour to a performance on the stage of the Kennedy Center.
In each quarterly issue of 3rd Wednesday we partner with InsideOut to feature a number of poems produced by participating students. Here are five from our summer issue, on sale now in print at Amazon.com and which can be enjoyed free in PDF format at our website.
3rd Wednesday’s poem of the week from the summer issue. David Chorlton, a frequent contributor the 3W said, “These are strange times, and sending these messages-as-poems out from home seems a way of breaking out of social distancing. These poems have spent some time in isolation themselves, but they stood out on my revisiting unpublished work as having a silence or atmospheric note that echoes where we are in March of 2020.”
Jane Blanchard’s newest poetry collection After Before has a steady rhythm page to page, moving from short to long form and back again, signaling a fearless passing of time and seasons. A youngster is roused to “soar into the sky” without fear of death in “Take Flight, My Child.” A mother breastfeeds fearlessly in “Sustenance” as an aging beachgoer frolics shamelessly in his Speedo in “Out and About at Dawn.” Blanchard’s words illuminate the journey of anyone panning life’s moments for gold while courageously facing down “fools and facts and fears and such.” —Lori Cameron, editor, The Penwood Review
Where to begin? Nearly every poem has at least one passage that deserves quoting. Even the short, untitled verses between poems offer food for thought or bring a smile. This is a large and delightful collection, technically skillful, varied in subject, sharp in observation, and fun to read. After Before is the best collection I have read in a long time. —Jack Hart, editor, Ship of Fools
The comforting metaphors and well-modulated rhythms in Jane Blanchard’s After Before are like eavesdropping on the secrets best friends whisper to one another—or the confessions of a long marriage where terseness and gentle humor are always appreciated. You’ll be glad you listened in. —Jerry Bradley, poetry editor, Concho River Review
3rd Wednesday’s poem of the week is from the summer issue, now avialable in print from Amazon.com or you can download the free digital issue at our website. Rob Haight is the author of Emergences and Spinner Falls (Inland Seas) and Feeding Wild Birds.
3rd Wednesday’s poem of the week by Scott Dalgamo appears in our summer issue. We’re accepting submissions for the fall issue now, including entries in our annual flash fiction contest. Copies of print issues of the magazine can be purchaced at Amazon.