2011 NONFICTION WINNERS
Michelle Cacho-Negrete's "Stealing" from Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices
Sarah Einstein's "Self Portrait in Apologies" from Fringe Magazine
The day I decided to again steal food I instituted three simple
rules: Steal only essentials, only from big chains, never brag.
Sari Fordham's "Ugandan Psalm" from Cerise Press
I'm sorry for telling you I was a virgin that night in the
back of your car. In your parents' basement. In my dorm room. As
you may have guessed years ago, I wasn't.
Manda Frederick's "Relative Effort" from White Whale Review
It is a bright day, and then it isn't. A canopy of leaves mutes
the sun and though it is the dry season, the air is cool and damp. The
ground holds its own moisture and gives off a loamy scent of
here and home that I will carry with me like a puzzle
piece. It is the smell of crushed leaves, lemon grass, pods, and earth
and something else.
Carrie Murphy's "Somewhere Your Father Is Shaking His Head" from Bluestem Quarterly *
I go to help her because the veterinarian had told my sister:
You'll know it's parvo if the dogs are vomiting blood and
it smells like death. I go to help her because there is blood, and
because it smells like death. I go because if she can't get the
virus out of the puppies, maybe she can, at least, get it out of her
Joel Peckham's "Flight" from Referential Magazine
This is your birth control, three months worth, and a
pack of hairthings. You are feeling the increasing need to wear your
hair higher and higher on top of your head—the heat oppressive,
the curls abundant.
Michael Royce's "Mississippi Freedom Summer in Eight Vignettes" from Fringe Magazine
I have read how Tibetan monks, having carried the dead to the
green valleys on a mountainside will strip a body of flesh, cut skin
and muscle to fragments; then praying, take hammer to bone, crushing
the last bits to powder. In the evening, these are left on the valley
floor, offerings for gathering vultures. So in time, body and spirit,
piece by shattered piece will rise on the wind.
I was 18 and on my way to volunteer with the Student Nonviolent
Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the second Mississippi Freedom Summer
in 1965. Was I scared? Yes, certainly; but also excited at the
prospect of adventure, of acting on principle and the belief that my
actions might make a difference.
* Selected by T.A. Noonan as our 2011 Editor's Choice