2018 Literary & Photography Prize Winners
Prize winner: “guns, drugs, homos” by Sarah Adams
This poem is a powerful recounting of the poet’s psychological and cultural transactions on his/her/their last day in Prague. It’s an appropriately lower-case travelogue through the “soft underbelly of the city.” As we follow the poet’s little “i” around, we and the poet watch it lose track of itself, the poem formally lurching forward in loose tetrameter and the first three stanzas failing to solve, resolve, or dissolve that self’s place on the map. Most impressive is the way the poem stages and then reflects on a moment’s miscommunication between the poet and a shop clerk. At first, the clerk seems to speak the poet’s political language. But then, in a masterful quatrain, the poet reveals just how much is lost in translation when two ways of seeing the world fail to gain purchase on each other. What’s left is a silence that chills, a recognition that no souvenir can ever capture the truly painful moments of cultural exchange, or the profound self-insight such a moment leaves behind as its own sad memento.
read guns, drugs, homos
Runner-up: “Estoy En…” by Alan Codner
This is a comics travelogue with a sharp eye trained mostly on the writer-artist’s own humorous fears and shortcomings. Its series of observations about the vagaries of travel and navigating a sometimes scary new place, however, are less comedic fodder than they are wise advice. Reading it, I felt as if I was listening to a friend confiding to me all the little strangenesses that might make travel and trying to communicate in another language an unenjoyable hassle. But, says my friend, it’s precisely such strangeness that offers the greatest rewards if we travel not to be comforted, but to explore.
read “Estoy En…”
Photography Winner: “Positano, Amalfi Coast” by Lauren Beaver, judged by Amanda Lenig
“It was an honor to be asked to judge the photography competition for Flagship: Global Experiences Magazine this year. It was a difficult decision and all the students who entered their work should feel proud of their craft and accomplishments. The photos were well executed from subject matter, to mood; creativity, to color composition; and all truly captured a moment in culture and time. One photo, however, rose to the top of the list. The image titled, Positano, Amalfi Coast , captured not only the beauty of the landscape but offered a wonderful moment into the life of travelers to the area. The juxtaposition of the colorful and breathtaking backdrop, to that of the weary and varied foreground crowd offers an authentic representation of a moment in time, travel and emotion. Well done and congrats to Lauren Beaver!”
view Positano, Amalfi Coast