Wining Poem – Spirit Animal by Gary Beaumier
1st Runner Up – Not an Ode to a Bucket Hat by Sophia Falco
2nd Runner Up – The Body by Joseph William Estlack
Runner Up – Fruit Cup by Sophia Falco
Runner Up – Gentle Geese by Sophia Falco
Runner Up – A Church in The Landscape of Thought by Gary Beaumier
Honorable Mention – she flutters… by Mia Perez
Honorable Mention – Window by Claire Miranda Roberts
Honorable Mention – Cancun by Olga Gonzalez Latapi
Honorable Mention – Deja Vu by Veronica Maria Carnero
These poems will all appear in The Raw Art Review WINTER 2023 Journal.
Donovan Hufnagle has assembled a careful poetic ethnography of tattooed bodies and the stories that they tell. Just as the tattoo inscribes meaning on the body, this book elegantly reveals the stories that only the body can tell. It is a book that connects tattoo adorned bodies to a profound human truth: we are each other’s mirrors, and the artful inscriptions of our bodies connect us to each other in ways that transcend political and social divides. This is an urgent book that does what only the best poetry can do; it opens spaces for conversation, connection, and healing.
—Kristin Prevallet, author of “I, Afterlife: Essay in Mourning Time”.
Raw Flesh Flash – The Incomplete, Unfinished Documenting of
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“Sophia Falco’s poems are luminous, rich paths of acceptance. Generous in their attention to detail, they are transformative in their celebrations of the local, the neighbor, the details that make each person unique.”
—Juliana Spahr, author of This Connection of Everyone with Lungs
CHRONICLES OF COSMIC CHAOS IN THE FOURTH DIMENSION by Sophia Falco
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“Dean Gessie’s scintillating goat song reveals a poet and writer at the height of his powers. Defying genre and canon, Gessie shapeshifts, skin shucks and shimmies in this masterfully crafted, explosively seditious, viscerally engaging magnum opus of satire. Equal parts alchemy, threnody and rebel gospel, goat song is a potent protest song to human, animal and planetary suffering. Threaded through with finely honed lyric, motif, imagery and metaphor, not a word is spare. This collection sings throughout with razor’s edge wit and supremely slick syntax.”
— Anne Casey, poet and writer, winner of multiple international awards, including first prize in the American Writers Review Contest 2021 and winner of the 2021 iWoman Global Award in the field of literature.
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“In Alight, Rachael Peckham looks with clear eyes directly at the grief, loss, and haunting questions surrounding the plane crash that killed her grandfather and two uncles before she was born. She handles her volatile material tenderly, yet matter-of-factly. Through a collage of prose poems, witness testimonials, excerpts of letters, conversations, vignettes, scenes from her own flying lesson, and the white space
between it all, the story shifts and builds like fast-moving clouds in the summer sky. I am in awe of the mind that constructed this book. And yet, overwhelmingly, as I read Alight, I felt it–in my chest, in my lungs, in my eyes as they stung, and I blinked away tears. With keen perception and curiosity informed by the ache of reflected grief that inhabited her childhood, Peckham gently guides the reader into the wreckage and
back out again.”
~ Kathleen McGookey, author of Instructions for My Imposter:
Alight: Flights of Prose
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“Rubino amazes with big love and a historian’s knowledge of all things athletic.” — Dee Allen
With fire and wisdom, poignancy and tenderness, Robert Eugene Rubino’s poetry in “DOUGLAS KNOCKS OUT TYSON” explores legends and underdogs on big stages and in living rooms, on an expressway and over a checkerboard at a nursing home. Rubino’s superb craft, narrative strokes and smooth style have created a powerful collection of poems that illuminate, explore, and touch the heart.
— Guy Biederman, author of Nova Nights (Nomadic Press, 2021)
DOUGLAS KNOCKS OUT TYSON by Robert Eugene Rubino
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With A Bleeding in Black Leather, John Pietaro takes urban poetry and fiction on a throbbing roller-coaster ride through latent modernism, self-exploration, jagged rhythmic cadences and the raw sounds of music and words. All the while reveling in New York centricity. Here’s a collection conceived in Selby’s Brooklyn in the bare light of the blue hour.
“In 2020, I described John Pietaro’s The Mercer Stands Burning as a love poem to the muse and to NYC itself. One foot out of the pandemic, A Bleeding in Black Leather is part punk rock dirge, part jazz symphony, paying homage to the lost and to the living treasures. Sonny stands at the bridge and Selby’s Brooklyn “surrounds Manhattan like a fallen idol.” The last lines are, I hope, a segue to the next installment: ‘So smeared, the rainbows of ink…saturation to the vivid’.”
-PUMA PERL, rock-n-roll poet of the Lower East Side, resident poet of Chelsea Community News, she leads the band Puma Perl & Friends. Puma’s latest publication is Birthdays Before and After.
A Bleeding in Black Leather by John Pietaro
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A Review of Eye of the Spiral by James Grabill (UnCollected Press, 2022)
James Grabill’s Eye of The Spiral is clearly part of the “Eco-poetics” movement. What makes it unique can be seen in its title and the spiral (created by Grabill) on the front cover, i.e. the rich ambiguity of how its poems reach out to the environment and simultaneously reach inward to embody the neuro-linguistic pathways of human awareness. Each poem in the book enacts astonishing insights into the limitless interactions between human beings and their environments and at the same time provides perceptual paradigms needed for survival as well as acts of joyful liberation in the discovery of knowledge.
Perhaps what Grabill is doing in this book, i.e. creating a biological surrealism, can be illustrated by focusing on “In the Glow of the River.” It begins in a speculative mood: “Maybe we’ve seen ourselves overhead/in the night sky streaking unexpectedly.” That is a trigger image that initiates an unfurling and cumulative expansion of the speaker’s felt-thought. The opening of the poem is like the subject or noun of a sentence; the rest of the poem shifts from nominative to its opening predicate, “meteor showers over the insect prairies” to “the plotted Mandelbrot number series” which when seen as an animated sequence becomes “the opening eye of a spiral” like the human mind which is also like the pupil of the human eye which has evolved to allow varying amounts of light to enter. The subtext of this poem is an enactment of a theory that asteroids and comets may have seeded the earth with the chemical elements that undergird the creation of life, yet all this exists in a meditative moment in which the “glow of the river” is the reflective surface (the human mind) upon which this entire drama unfolds.
The rhythms of Eye of The Spiral are often that of dithyrambic goat-songs which propel the lines with a wonderful energy that wave-like pass through oceans of images that actively present the processes that create the foundations of life and the provenance of sustainability which arises out of loving our planet as we love ourselves. In effect, this book becomes the Gospel of Nature.
Eye of The Spiral by James Grabill
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