Volume 12: 2013

Volume 12: 2013

Coverimage2013From experimental poetry that examines the intricacies of human interaction to essays and stories 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.

Contest Winners


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.


Judge 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.


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.



Sonya Huber


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 Review, Consequence Magazine, So to Speak, Carolina Quarterly Review, The 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 Review, The Best American Poetry, Ploughshares, and Poetry among other journals and anthologies. He teaches creative writing at Indiana University.

Read an interview with our judges.



First Prize Award

Shark: Lizzie Reinhard

Inventing a Language: Martha Clark Cummings

Three And A Half Paths To Happiness: Ben Hoffman


What We Set in Motion: Geffrey Davis

Runaway Slave Rests in the Brush at Dawn: Dawn Diez Willis

At the Funeral Home: Jacqueline Berger

Lead Guitarist Contemplates the Perfect Moment While Listening to Remain in Light, Side 2, After Six Weeks Abroad: Harold Whit Williams

Argument in the Parking Lot of Your Apartment Complex: Samantha Deal

August 18, 1981: Laura Read

Guardsmen: Jonathan Travelstead

Sea Stories: Derek Sugamosto

The Fortune Teller and the Man Who Killed Him: Derek Sugamosto

This is About Houses: Sara Peck

Yet in Flower and Not Cut Down: Sara Peck 


Grand Prize & First Prize Award

A Goldmine: Sarah Hollenbeck

Between Foreclosures: July 2009: S.J. Dunning

West Virginia Tunnel Vision: Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman


FEATURED ARTIST Gordon Skinner‘s work has been exhibited throughout galleries in Connecticut and NYC including the Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery in Stamford, Beechwood Arts in Westport, City Lights Gallery, the international Outsider Art Fair in NYC and solo exhibitions at the New Haven Public Library, Da Silva Gallery and Yale University’s Afro-American Cultural Center Gallery. In addition to being the subject of a short documentary on his art titled Stolen I.D., Fragmented, Colonized and Lost, his paintings have been in a fashion photo shoot with celebrity eyewear and fashion designers Coco and Breezy. Skinner’s artwork is also archived at Vanderbilt University for research and art history. View a documentary on Skinner here.


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