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Quarantine Chapbook Contest Winner

Asher Marron

Winning title: We were alone together. I forget the rest.

Chosen for its outstanding extension of empathy, relevance, inclusion, and thoughtfulness. This work was a clear winner.

Asher Marron is a poet and educator based in the Bay Area. They are currently a William S. Dickey Scholar in the MFA program at San Francisco State University. Raised in Sacramento, Asher moved to Oakland to pursue their BA in history from Mills College. With a deep interest in the history of spirituality, Asher then pursued an MTS from the Franciscan School of Theology. When Asher is  not writing, they are teaching amazing high school students in Oakland.

After finding a community of writers at the Queer and Trans Open Mic,  hosted by Queer Spectrum Media, Asher dedicated themselves to poetry. Their interests in history, spirituality, and queer studies run through their writing. The aim of Asher’s poetry is to beatify queer bodies through the infusion of spiritual aesthetics. Writing queer people back into the spiritual narrative is essential work towards the reverence of queer bodies, especially queer bodies of color. They hope that their readers take away from their work that queer people are absolute magic. Asher’s first book, Unbind(ing), was released in 2018 and is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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Quarantine Chapbook Contest Finalists

Jonathan Endurance

Finalist title: HOUSE OF CAIN

Chosen for its powerful empathy, strong diction, and ability to evoke harrowing emotion. 

Jonathan Endurance holds a B.A in English and Literature. His unpublished poem won UNESCO Sponsored Prize for the 14th edition of Castello di Duino Poetry Competition, ITALY (2018). He was a finalist in the National Call for Poems about Peace and Conflict Transformation by Wick Poetry Center (Kent State University). He was also a semi-finalist in the Jack Grapes Poetry Prize (2020). His unpublished manuscript (House of Cain) also clinched the finalist spot in the Ramblr Quarantine Chapbook Contest (2020). His poems have appeared or forthcoming in Rattle Magazine, Into the Void (We Are Antifa Anthology), One, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Alegrarse, FIVE:2:ONE, The Cardiff Review, The Ellis Review, Brittle Paper and elsewhere. Say hello on Twitter @joepoet_

AE Hines

Finalist Title: The Last Men on Earth

Chosen for its craft, emotional intelligence, and careful consideration of what 2020 looks like compared to past crises. 

AE Hines is a poet who grew up in North Carolina and currently resides in Portland, Oregon. Winner of the 2020 Red Wheelbarrow prize, he is a recent Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, and was a finalist for the 2020 Sewanee Review Annual Poetry Contest and Montreal International Poetry Prize. His work is widely published in anthologies and literary journals such as Potomac Review, Atlanta Review, California Quarterly, I-70 Review and Hawaii Pacific Review. He is currently at work on his first full length manuscript. www.aehines.net

Darryl White

Finalist Title: Catch Virus: A Collection

Chosen for its pacing, eye opening metaphors, and incredible craft. 

Darryl White has a BA in Psychology from University California, Los Angeles, a MA in English from California State University, Northridge. He also possesses a MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.

His fiction has been published in the Northridge Review, Transfer Magazine, and the Write Launch. He is the 2019 Leo Litvak Fiction Award Winner for the short story titled Lonnie. He has a passion for speculative fiction and his work typically explores characters who, by class, race, or socioeconomic status are pushed to the fringe of their society. He also cannot survive without buffalo wings and margaritas.

Martin Hill Ortiz

Finalist Title: Summer Matters

Chosen for its brilliant craft and life-like emotional connections in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Martin Hill Ortiz, a native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, is a professor of Pharmacology at the Ponce Health Sciences University in Puerto Rico where he lives with his wife and son. A score of his short stories have appeared in print, anthologies and online journals. His sixty-page poem, Two Mistakes, won the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid poetry award. He was a finalist for the 2020 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize and appeared in this October’s Dodge Poetry Festival. He has authored four mystery thrillers, most recently A Predator’s Game (Rook’s Page Publishing). Along with his scientific background, he has worked in theater, having run a comedy troupe in South Florida. 

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