Chapbook Contest 2012 Winner Announced

“Lifeless in appearance, sluggish / dazed spring approaches–” in the middle of William Carlos Williams’ “Spring and All.” This description suits early spring in Spokane pretty well, but not our department.
We’re more like the cover of Spring Peeps (photo from lots of lively fauna.
The English Department recently concluded our 2012 Chapbook Contest, judged by Danielle Cadena Deulen.
Matt Comi takes first place for his chapbook “If I Go Away Please Keep My Age a Secret.”
Deulen said of Comi’s work: “This compact and handsomely arranged poetry chapbook explores beauty and loss in equal measure.  Each subject this author explores is utterly precise in both its imagery and emotional impact.  Whether revealing the haunted memory of refinishing a table, or in the unexpected loveliness of a grandmother’s benign tumor, the voice of these poems waivers between lovesong and dirge, and celebrates the bright, dark, unavoidable transience of physicality.  A joy to read.”
Matt Comi said of Matt Comi: “My name is Matt. I study writing and art. I like to make things with my hands.
‘”If I Go Away Please Keep My Age a Secret” is a small collection of recent poems which were already close together. Lately, I have been preoccupied with the process of aging. Making this chapbook was primarily about that.”
Here’s a poem from Comi’s collection:
In Polaroids, Our Aunt Sleeps

beside a gull who squawks and suckles

dark juice from her half plum left

unfinished. Then picked up, it’s carried

to some other northern shoreline.


I don’t give a shit about pictures.


I want whatever is left of her fruit, 

scraped off the beak that tasted 

saccharine life from her plum’s 

thin and fusty breast.

Many thanks to Annie Stillar, Jacquelyn Wheeler, Script, to everyone who entered the contest, and to Danielle Cadena Deulen for serving as our first guest judge!

Danielle Cadena Deulen is a poet and essayist. Her collection of poems, Lovely Asunder, won the Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize and was published with the University of Arkansas Press in 2011. Her memoir, The Riots, published with University of Georgia Press in 2011, won the 2010 AWP Prize in Creative Nonfiction, was a finalist for the 2011 Grub Street National Book Prize in Nonfiction, and won the 2012 GLCA New Writers Award.  Formerly, she was a Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She received her MFA in Creative Writing from George Mason University and her PhD in English from the University of Utah.  She currently lives in Ohio where she is an assistant professor of poetry in the graduate creative writing program at the University of Cincinnati.

2 thoughts on “Chapbook Contest 2012 Winner Announced

  1. Pingback: Check Out Winning Chapbook By Matt Comi (’13) | Whitworth English

  2. Pingback: Check out Matt Comi’s Poster for the 2013 Sonnet Contest | Whitworth English

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