Winner for The Claudia Emerson Poetry Chapbook Award!


Claudia Claudia Emerson

We’re so very thrilled to announce that poet M.L. Brown has been chosen as the winner of The Claudia Emerson Poetry Chapbook Award, for her chapbook titled Drought.

Contest judge Sandra Beasley, author of Count the Waves and I Was the Jukebox, offers this citation for her selection of Drought:

“Containers crack, / no longer hold—” opens “Lamentation,” one of the key moments in M.L. Brown’s stunning Drought. What kind of containers? “[P]ickle jars, row boat, / mother’s arms.” These poems dance between absence and presence, erasure and invocation. I cannot call them elegies, because they’re brimming with the bright particulars of a life in motion. But just as a bee’s death can be embedded in its sting, ache often hides within ecstasy.

This publication celebrates the legacy of Claudia Emerson (1957–2014), a beloved Virginia poet and mentor to many. Emerson believed in poetry’s ability to parse…

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