Four AQ Writers Win Poetry Awards

Four AQ Writers Win Poetry Awards

Four Amsterdam Quarterly writers, Jennifer L. Freed, Bill Glose, Sigrun Susan Lane, and Bryan R. Monte, won major poetry awards in the second half of 2020 and the first half of 2021.

Jennifer L. Freed, (AQ20, 21, 22, 23, 29 & 31), won The Samuel Allen Washington Prize, judged by Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, from The New England Poetry Club, an annual award, for a long poem or poem-sequence. Her poem, ‘Cerebral Hemorrhage’, is based on the events surrounding her mother’s stroke in November 2018. The poem sequence is now part of a full-length manuscript which she completed last spring and which currently seeks a publisher.

Freed said she ‘was so happy I squealed and jumped up and down. However, there is a certain sadness, too, due to the poem’s content, and also because I couldn’t share the poem or my excitement with my parents. Unfortunately, relentless depression is a side effect of the brain damage caused by mother’s stroke.’

Bill Glose, (AQ28), won first place in the 2020 Main Street Rag Poetry Award. He received $1,000, publication of his manuscript, Postscript to War, and 250 copies of his book. He will also appear in a Main Street Rag interview in 2021.

Glose said he was ‘overjoyed when the editor, M. Scott Douglass, called to say he’d won the award. Many of the book’s poems had already been published in journals and several had won individual awards.’ The Main Street Rag Poetry Award has been given since 2002.

Sigrun Susan Lane, (AQ27 & 28), won the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for her chapbook Salt. The award is named for Josephine Miles, who was a University of California at Berkeley professor and a prominent poet, writer, critic and thinker. The awards were presented in a virtual ceremony.

Salt is about the sea life, the mollusks and echinoderms that live on the shore near Lane’s home. Lane said: ‘I have been beach combing since I was a child. The beach is my favourite place in the world.’ She also said her prize ‘came as a complete surprise’ and that she was ‘happy to be in such lofty company as Jericho Brown’, who also received a PEN Oakland prize.

Bryan R. Monte, AQ’s editor, shared second place in the 2021 Hippocrates Open Poetry and Medicine Prize competition for his poem ‘À l’Apollinaire?’ about the Spanish flu, AIDS, and Covid pandemics. Anna Bernard, Keki Daruwalla, Anna Jackson, and Neena Modi were the judges. The Hippocrates Poetry and Medicine Prizes have been given annually to medical professionals, medical students, and non-medical professional poets since 2010.

The ceremony, which also including the poets reading their winning poems, was also held virtually in May due to the ongoing pandemic. Monte’s portion of the reading can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N_gT0Tpnw8. He will receive £250 and publication in the 2021 Hippocrates Poetry Anthology. Monte commented, ‘The reading was very exciting, because we didn’t know which place we had won until the moderator, Donald Singer, called our names to read. Also, it included readers from around the world, some in time zones earlier in the day or even in the next day.’