When the Cicadas Return









Pocket Series

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submission guidelines



*The Ronald Wardall Prize has been discontinued, but each year the editors will solicit a chapbook to be published as part of the Ronald Wardall Chapbook Series.
The 2010 Ronald Wardall Prize

3rd annual Ronald Wardall Poetry Chapbook Contest
Winner received publication by Rain Mountain Press

Jim Cory, No Brainer Variations

First Runner Up
Flower Conroy, For the Economy of Languagification

Second Runner Up

Patrick Moran, Harry Lime Variations: Poems for the Radio

Jean Hollander, Making Their Own Monuments
Kara Dorris, Untitled Film Still Museum
Ellen LaFleche, Workers' Rites
Misty Dyan Batson, Dear James, Does the Goldfish Miss Me?

Tina Egnoski, Exotic Tropicals
Jill McCabe Johnson, Animus Donandi
Dion Farquhar, Shift



The 2009 Ronald Wardall Prize

Penelope Scambly Schott, Under Taos Mountain

Runner Up
John Goode, Graduating from Eternity

Millicent Borges Accardi, Sinatra’s Lemons
Alan Catlin, Terror in Brooklyn
Kara Dorris, Elective Affinities
Wendy Hoffman, The Mauve Room
Ruth Moon Kempher, Gardening, on a Tilted Planet

Judith Hemschemeyer, Cul-de-sac
Jean Hollander, The Cold Sea
Judith Pacht, St. Louis Suite
Liz Robbins, Amy In/Flames
Becky Dennison Sakellariou, Sudden Space Between Bodies

Honorable Mentions
Lou Amyx, The Bracelet
E.K. Mortenson, Dreamer or the Dream
R.G. Thielen, Orphan Harvest
Stephanie Wang, Silent Liberation


The 2008 Ronald Wardall Prize

David Chorlton, The Lost River

Runner Up
Maryhelen Snyder, Drawn

E.R. Carlin, The Human Winter
Kara Dorris, Elective Affinities
Alan Elyshevitz, Frail Demons
Wendy Hoffman, Hechshur
Penelope Scambly-Schott, The Colloquy of Magpie and Tia

Paula Brancato, World of the Married Woman
Lois Marie Harrod, On the Nature of Inspiration on a Bad Day
Ellen LaFleche, With One Lung
Judith Pacht, User’s Guide
K. Alma Peterson, Light Metal Romance

Honorable Mentions
Juliet Cook, Mounting Sting
Ginger Knowlton, a whole swimming pool full of god
Ann Lauinger, St. Spider
Susanna Rich, The Drive Home
John Vick, Chaperons of a Lost Poet in America
Susan Yount, House on Fire


Ronald Wardall

The Amazon Valley spreads her sea
         green legs, cut and scarred
                        by the Amazon, Tapajos, Urubu
                                    Madeira, Negro, Solimoes, Japura.
But now the dark cave of the room is right
         though my absurd cold hangs on like a loose tooth,
                        and after three years I still keep the TV on
                                    in the next room.
The rain forest tears at the light as if it were raw meat,
         the sudden black sky’s quick lit by piranha
                        lightning, while the air crackles, spits,
                                    sparks, stares, a cat eyed night.
Pointed yellow tongues fifty miles long lick the white
         hot wings, Beelzebub in love, the rock-jerk-
                        snap of coupling
                                    sky and fire and smoking metal.
The closed door room quiet as a sleeping cat beneath
         the jellied sound of the TV, becomes theatre,
                        and though bones crack in the stillness,
                                    the broken hands wear gloves.

Ronald Wardall (1937-2006) lived not only as a poet, he was a farmer, desk clerk, carpenter, bridge builder, salesman, lighting technician, actor, agent for the Army Security Agency, travel agent, publicity agent, educator, fund raiser, administrator, union leader, lobbyist and editor. His publications include Poetry, Field, Swink, Mudfish, and Skidrow Penthouse, among others. His work was included in Random House’s Poems of New York. He was the recipient of the Slipstream Prize, the Dana Prize and a New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship. His Eyes of a Vertical Cut was published in 2001 by Slipstream Press. He left behind a library of four thousand books and four poetry collections in manuscript. Skidrow Penthouse included one of his chapbooks in their issue.