Dogwood 2013 Contest Winners

Dogwood is pleased to announce the contest winners of the upcoming 2013 issue, which is available in print and via LitRagger.

Dogwood is an annual journal of poetry and prose sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and the English Department at Fairfield University. From August 1st-October 15th each year, the Dogwood staff collects works from both new and acclaimed writers across the country, and publishes a new issue every May. Dogwood is named for the area of Fairfield, CT, which is covered in flowering dogwood trees each spring.

From experimental poetry that examines the intricacies of human interaction, to essays that capture the beauty in seemingly mundane experiences of every day life, the 12th issue of Dogwood is rich with thought-provoking, original writing that is honest and profound. While the 2013 contest winners received their due praise, all the submissions in the current issue of Dogwood are impactful, stimulating, and bold.

2013 Dogwood Award Winners

We are so pleased to announce our $1000 prize winner for this issue:

Grand Prize and First Prize, Nonfiction: “A Goldmine” by Sarah Hollenbeck

Adriana Páramo writes: “‘A Goldmine’ is a powerful work of nonfiction. It does what good writing is supposed to do: it moves the reader, invites her to think, and challenges her world in a new way. ‘A Goldmine’ explores the notions of disability with depth and breadth through a calculated combination of honesty, vulnerability, straight forward language and raw subjectivity, all wrapped up in the gauzy fabric of the redeemable force of love. Let’s make some room for Sarah, a woman who writes about disability, not because she is disabled but because she is a writer.”

Sarah Hollenbeck is the former nonfiction editor of TriQuarterly and a recent graduate of Northwestern University’s MFA program. Her essays have been published in the CAF Review and In Our Words. She has also been selected to represent Northwestern in the 2013 Intro Journals Project hosted by AWP.

First Prize, Fiction: “Shark” by Lizzie Reinhard

Roxane Gay writes of “Shark”: “It’s smart and witty, and there is an intimacy to the ending I really admire.”

Lizzie Reinhard received her MFA from Columbia University. A native New Yorker, she currently lives in Battery Park with her dog, Ms. Lulu Pufnstuf. She is working on her first novel.

First Prize, Poetry: “What We Set In Motion” by Geffrey Davis

Adrian Matejka writes: “‘What We Set in Motion’ is an ambitious and rangy poem that manages to be both muscular and delicate thanks to its elegantly forthright narrative about childbirth. The approach to image and rhythm in the poem is reminiscent of James Wright. Like the best of Wright’s work, this poem’s uncompromising honesty and musical integrity combine to create imagery that constantly surprises. This poem is a bold poem, one that invites multiple readings and continues to gratify.”

Geffrey Davis holds an MFA from Penn State University, where he is also writing a doctoral dissertation on 20th- and 21st-century American poetics and teaches creative writing, composition, and literature courses.  His debut collection of poems, Revising the Storm, has been awarded the A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize and will be published by BOA Editions in April 2014. He is a Cave Canem Fellow and recipient of the Wabash Prize for Poetry and the Leonard Steinberg Memorial/Academy of American Poets Prize. He is also Co-Founder and Co-Editor of the online journal Toe Good Poetry. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in basalt, Crazyhorse, Mid-American Review, Sycamore Review, Wisconsin Review, and other journals.  He considers the Puget Sound area “home”—though though he’s been raised by much more of the Pacific Northwest, and now by central Pennsylvania as well.

Dogwood 2013 Judges

We were thrilled to have three judges whose writing pushes boundaries in their respective genres, and we’re grateful for the time they took to judge the contest. We appreciate all the effort of those who crafted submissions and submitted to the contest.

Fiction judge Roxane Gay’s work has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2012, NOON, American Short Fiction, West Branch, Oxford American, The Rumpus, and many others. She is a columnist for Salon, edits various publications, teaches, and lives in the Midwest.

Nonfiction judge Adriana Páramo is a cultural anthropologist and author of My Mother’s Funeral and Looking for Esperanza, winner of the 2011 Social Justice and Equality Award. Her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly ReviewConsequence MagazineSo to SpeakCarolina Quarterly ReviewThe Los Angeles Review, and others. She has worked for Voice of Witness, a book series focusing on contemporary social injustice.

Poetry judge Adrian Matejka is the author of The Devil’s Garden (Alice James Books, 2003), Mixology (Penguin, 2009), which was a winner of the 2008 National Poetry Series, and The Big Smoke (Penguin, forthcoming in 2013). He is the recipient of two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards and fellowships from Cave Canem and the Lannan Foundation. His work has appeared in American Poetry ReviewThe Best American PoetryPloughshares, and Poetry among other journals and anthologies. He teaches creative writing at Indiana University.

After a one-year hiatus from 2010-2011, Dogwood resumed publication and its annual contest with new editor Sonya Huber. In addition to being the editor of Dogwood, Sonya is an Assistant Professor at Fairfield University, where she teaches creative nonfiction, publishing, editing, and composition. To contact Sonya, e-mail, and for general Dogwood inquiries, e-mail

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