Chapbook Contest Winner 2023: Pen Pearson!

Congratulations to Pen Pearson! Judge Ryan Clark has selected One Wing Should Float by Pen Pearson as the winner of this year’s SDSPS chapbook contest. Of Pen’s manuscript, he wrote,”’ “One Wing Should Float” just has the sharpest language, the most consistent quality, and–importantly–the most moving impact on me as a reader.”

About winning the contest, Pen wrote:

“I am delighted and honored that One Wing Should Float has been selected by Ryan Clark as winner of SDSPS’s 2023 chapbook contest. My gratitude goes out to the SDSPS staff and members who not only make the annual contest possible but who do so many things to encourage poetry’s visibility and vitality in South Dakota.”

About the book itself, Pen wrote:

“The poems in the chapbook were drafted in the Notes app of my iPhone. They were largely inspired by my interests in birding, astronomy, and mysticism, the deaths of my father and a close friend, and the poetic influences of Theodore Roethke, Elizabeth Bishop, Wallace Stevens, Charlotte Mew, and, most indelibly, Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. If I had to state what the overall theme of One Wing Should Float is for me, I would say it’s the necessity of cultivating hope, not just for one’s own life, but for the planet and humanity’s future, despite the absurdities of everyday existence. But my wish is for readers to discover their own meanings, and, even more so, for readers to enjoy their individual encounters with the poems.”

If you’re a member of SDSPS, you’ll receive your copy with the fall edition of Pasque Petals. If you’re not a member, they’ll also be available for purchase on our website later this year. We can’t wait to read this year’s winning book 🙂

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