Wells College Press is very pleased to announce that the Winner of its 2017 Chapbook Contest is Annie Lighthart for her manuscript, Lantern. Her prize includes 20 copies of the letterpress-printed chapbook. She will also read at Wells College in Aurora, NY and receive a $500 honorarium plus room and board. In the tradition of the Wells College Press, her chapbook will be crafted obsessively, with hand-set title pages and hand-sewn bindings. It will be published in an edition of 150 signed and numbered copies.
This year’s finalists are:
Lyrebird Keeps the Peace by Kelli Allen
Creating a Chain Reacting by Declan Gould
The Hatchet and the Hammer by Caitlin Scarano
There were approximately 160 entries to this year’s competition, and, according to the judges, “There were a large number of excellent manuscripts, and the general level of the submissions was quite high.” Ultimately, Lantern stood out. One judge noted that these are “among the best poems I have read in a very long time. They’re quietly, consistently, always exactly right, and always moving.” Another judge described the poems as “surprising and vulnerable, but also wise.” We are thrilled to be publishing this outstanding collection of poems.
Annie Lighthart earned an MFA in Poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts and has taught at Boston College, with Mountain Writers and Soapstone, as a poet in the schools, and with community groups of all ages. Iron String, Annie’s first book of poetry, was published by Airlie Press in 2013. Her poetry has been read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac, chosen by Naomi Shihab Nye for inclusion in the Poems for Patience project at Galway University Hospitals in Ireland, and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her poem “The Hundred Names of Love” was included in the Poems in the Waiting Room series in New Zealand and placed in 7000+ hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, medical offices, and prisons. Annie currently teaches poetry workshops with Portland’s Mountain Writers, Soapstone, and through Road Scholar programs. Her poems have been translated into Portuguese, Spanish, and Chinese and have traveled farther than she has.