KENT: The latest poetry publication of the Standing Rock Cultural ArtsRock in the River Literary Series has hit store shelves in Kent and online as the culmination of Standing Rock Cultural Arts' third-annual Open Poetry Chapbook Competition.
Poet Rick Marlatt is the winner of the contest and his winning manuscript, entitled "Desired Altitude," is the third title in the SRCA's Rock in the River Literary Series.
It is available locally at the North Water Street Gallery and Last Exit Books, also through online book retailers.
The Rock in the River Series is part of the center's literary arm and it functions with the mission to promote literary arts in Kent and the surrounding communities. The series started with the inaugural poetry chapbook contest in July 2010 and published its first book in February 2011.
It is currently edited by Tina Puckett, who enters the process after the judging panel evaluates all entries and narrows the field down to five finalists. From there, the remaining competitors are whittled down to the final two, who then move on to what is known as the contest's championship rounds.
"Our blinded judges narrowed to five entries in the semifinals stage before naming Carla Thompson and Rick Marlatt the finalists as they moved into the championship round. Ultimately, Rick Marlatt emerged as this year’s chapbook competition winner," the center said in a statement.
Marlatt actually had two of the five entries in the finals, as both of his submitted manuscripts made it through the first round of judging. Entrants are allowed to submit multiple entries. For his victory, Marlatt will receive a cash prize of $50, along with 25 chapbooks of his winning title. Each entrant and volunteer judge will also receive a complimentary copy of his winning book.
Marlatt's book will follow in the footsteps of 2010 winner Jeff Fearnside, who now resides in Oregon. Since the publication of his book through SRCA, Fearnside has written several other works and was nominated a third time for the prestigious Pushcart Prize. In 2012, he was also honored with an Andrews Forest Writers Residency, as well as the Peace Corps Writers 2011 Poetry Award for his SRCA-winning title, "Lake, and Other Poems of Love in a Foreign Land!"
The second winner of the contest, Michigan resident Kelly Fordon, has been named a semi-finalist for the James Jones First Novel Fellowship and a finalist for the Tuscany Prize, as well as for the Anam Cara Poetry Competition for Train. She is also a writer-in-residence for the Inside Out Literary Arts Project in Detroit.
The three-person volunteer judging panel for the contest consisted of: John Dorsey, Allen Michael Hines and Lynne Albert. The remaining funds from the contest after the publication of Marlatt's chapbook, along with proceeds from sales of the book, will be used to support the center's cultural arts events, including the Rock in the River Literary Series, and also to fund arts programming and arts scholarships for families and children in need.
Wild Goats Café, located on West Main Street, also provided financial support for the contest.