2020 Gatewood Prize Announcement


Switchback Books is thrilled to announce the results of the 2020 Gatewood Prize. The winner is "when the signals come home" by Jordan E. Franklin, selected by judge Prageeta Sharma. Thank you to everyone who submitted manuscripts to this year’s contest. We are honored to read your work. Congratulations also to our finalists and semi-finalists, selected by the editors:

Finalists:

Marina Blitshteyn, "i take your voice” Isabel Sobral Campos, “How to Make Words of Rubble” Stella Corso, “Rat Year” Caroline Crew, “Bucolia" Mónica Gomery, “Our Next and Hybrid Selves” Diana Lee, “Dramedy” Alyssa Moore, “The Entertainment Issue” Emma Winsor Wood, “Preferred Internal Landscape” Semi-Finalists:

Danielle Blau, “peep” Ceridwen Hall, “Acoustic Shadows” Marielle Prince, “Will You Tell Me If You If You Will” Suzi Q. Smith, “A Gospel of Bones"

Judge Prageeta Sharma's remarks on "when the signals come home":

The first thing that greeted me was the song of the rain/against the hospital windows

The first thing that greeted me when I read this stunning collection was the power of polyphonic verse here, so many voices and ranges: poems about family narrated with indelible soundtracks, deep building emotion, and with added bonus tracks structuring the poignant and perceptual throughout. I simply adore how music and place are deeply entwined, and the dedications and references create such a fierce expanse of scope and pitch making these poems a veritable collection of engaged poetics. when the signals come home is full of potent signals, striking sonorous language, and resolute songs to accompany both addresses, dedications, and storytelling of longing, hope, and grief. We are immersed in popular music references from Prince to The Talking Heads in order to amplify the sonic detail and history of times in these poems. The deep ferocity in these poems is rich, particularly in how the speaker manages to address racial inequity, the strife of sickness and death, and the necessity of naming the racialized self in place, possession, poetry and in song. About the Author:

Jordan E. Franklin is a Black poet from Brooklyn, NY. An alumna of Brooklyn College, she earned her MFA from Stony Brook Southampton, where she served as a Turner Fellow. Her work has appeared in The Southampton Review, Breadcrumbs, easy paradise, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Frontier Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. Her first chapbook, boys in the electric age, is forthcoming from Tolsun Books in summer 2021.

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