2012 Contest Winners

From our Poetry Editor, John Fenlon Hogan:

Gale Marie Thompson’s poem, “Sigourney Weaver” was selected by Eileen Myles as the winner of Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art’s 2012 Poetry Contest. “I have so much optimism / that when I look around me I squint. / All I want is for someone to let me love them, all of them,” she writes. Thompson lives in Northampton, MA. Her first collection, Soldier On, is forthcoming from Tupelo Press. She has work in the Denver Quarterly, Bateau, Salt Hill, Volt, and elsewhere. She is assistant editor at jubilat.


From our Nonfiction Editor, Tara Fitzgerald:

Anne Fadiman, the award-winning writer, essayist, editor and author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, served as judge for the Journal’s 2012 nonfiction contest, and selected a raw and compelling essay by Lucas Mann as this year’s winner. “Fat Man: A Day in Calories” addresses fatness, food and family with equal measures of self-deprecating humor and stomach-churning intensity. “The fat male characters are around you still. Falstaff, Costanza, Homer Simpson, late Orson Welles roles, all of them — giggling, slapping their stomachs and reminding you that they, you, are not heroes.” Mann is completing his MFA in nonfiction at the University of Iowa and his first book, tentatively titled Class A, is forthcoming from Knopf in early 2013.


From our Fiction Editor, Zinzi Clemmons:

Joselyn Takacs’ “A Form of Waiting” was selected as the 2012 winner in fiction by judge Dinaw Mengestu. The haunting story follows Allison, a newly-married musician living in rural Georgia on the day her house is invaded by two mysterious strangers. Each moment of this story is charged with danger, dread and surprising thoughtfulness, as she waits for the two men to decide her fate. In the pivotal scene, the narrative reflects on her life in the unfamiliar countryside and realizes, “her new life is just a form of waiting.” Takacs is pursuing her MFA at John Hopkins University, and will soon see her first major publication in Narrative Magazine. We’re honored to feature a story by this talented writer at the beginning of what appears to be a promising career.

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