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"[Gillespie's collection is] the best match for the Stillhouse Press's mission to publish strong voices that
recognize cultural and social issues with a contemporary perspective.  The use of repetition throughout is
interesting — especially in the poem 'whose rocking?' which really uses the repetition to blur the character
lines between Martha Wayles and Sally Hemings."
 - Kyle Dargan


Part history, part lyrical dramatization, The Ghosts of Monticello captures the lives of slaves who lived and worked on Thomas Jefferson's famous plantation.  Of particular focus is Sally Hemings, the daughter of an enslaved African woman and an English ship captain, who became Jefferson's mistress of 40 years and bore at least six of his children. Gillespie's collection not only captures the voices of these people, but follows them as they move through the plantation itself, capturing the significance of the place to the men and women who inhabited it and the latent risks and dangers in every corridor.


Mr. Dargan and Stillhouse Press would also like to give special recognition to:

Deborah Schwartz

A Girl Could Disappear Like This

A lyric collage of voices and experiences, Schwartz's collection explores the experience of living in the gendered female body.
"[This] is a brave and fierce manuscript with a very strong and creative voice that draws one in with its strangeness and uniqueness.  
The best of these are poems you will remember."
- Kyle Dargan


HONORABLE MENTIONS 

Monique-Adelle Callahan
Anonymous 

Susan Leffer
Digging in the Dark

Zohra Saed
The Secrets of Misspelled Cities


JUDGE

Kyle Dargan is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Honest Engine: Poems (University of Georgia Press, 2015) and Logorrhea Dementia: A Self-Diagnosis (UGA, 2010).  His debut, The Listening (UGA, 2004) won the 2003 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, and his second, Bouquet of Hungers (UGA, 2007) was awarded the 2008 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry.  Dargan’s poems and nonfiction have appeared in publications such as Denver Quarterly, Jubilat, The Newark Star-Ledger, Ploughshares, TheRoot.com, and Shenandoah.  While a Yusef Komunyakaa fellow at Indiana University, Dargan served as poetry editor for Indiana Review.  Former managing editor of Callaloo, Dargan is also the founding editor of Post No Ills Magazine. He is Director of Creative Writing at American University and lives in Washington, DC.


STILLHOUSE PRESS WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL WHO SUBMITTED THEIR MANUSCRIPTS FOR CONSIDERATION. 

STAY TUNED FOR INFORMATION ON OUR 2017 CONTESTS, OPENING IN LATE SPRING.