Do a simple Google image search for "trophy" or "winning trophy" and watch all the white hands, the white men, appear on the screen. Yikes! Once again I am out of step with the larger world.
When Kelli Russell Agodon and I began Poets on the Coast 7 years ago, a "well meaning" male friend asked us why we were creating a retreat "only" for women. Were we against men? Perhaps someday we will live in a world where a Google search doesn't reflect back to us the racism and sexism of our culture. Perhaps I will live long enough to look back on implicit bias as a thing of the past. Wouldn't it be nice to think so.
But I digress! We are thrilled, absolutely thrilled to announce the winner of the Rich- Russell Fellowship for Poets on the Coast. Each year we provide a full ride for a deserving poet to join our retreat. In addition, we name Finalists and provide them with significant scholarships as well.
Our winner this year is poet and writer Stacey Balkun.
Stacey Balkun is the author of Eppur Si Muove, Jackalope-Girl Learns to Speak & Lost City Museum. Winner of the 2017 Women's National Book Association Poetry Prize, her work has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, The Rumpus, Muzzle, Bayou, and others. Balkun serves as the Chapbook Series Editor for Sundress Publications and holds an MFA from Fresno State.
Our finalists this year are Kristie McLean and Phylise Smith. To find out more about all three amazing women, please click here!
This is our 7th Poets on the Coast --- and every year I am beyond amazed by the generosity, creativity, and community that this group of women create. I can't wait!