Chapbook Contest 2016 Winners

CutBank is proud to announce the winners of our 2016 Chapbook Contest! Congratulations to Raven Jackson, Lisa Hiton, and Wendell Mayo, whose books will be published by CutBank in 2017.  

little violences by Raven Jackson

About the Author: 
A native of Tennessee, Raven Jackson is a poet and filmmaker currently attending New York University’s Graduate Film Program. A Cave Canem fellow and a graduate of the New School’s Writing Program, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in TriQuarterlyCALYXKweliPhantom LimbPANK, and elsewhere. She's currently in post-production on her fourth short film.

What Our Judges Say: 
"These poems take difficult subject matter as bedfellows—violence and sexuality, violence and family, sexuality and family—and wrap it all in such rich language. I mean cake-rich. Or, poisoned cake rich. You know there's something rotten at the core—that first violence—but you keep eating. Urgent, powerful, and very easy to read.... Making what is difficult to swallow in life a pleasure to consume in print is no small feat."  -Caylin Capra-Thomas

"Striking, expansive and well-contained imagery; a sense of urgency, a vibrant voice."  -Stephanie Pushaw


Variation on Testimony by Lisa Hiton

About the Author:
Lisa Hiton is a poet and filmmaker from Chicago, Illinois. She holds an M.F.A. in poetry from Boston University and an M.Ed. in Arts in Education from Harvard University. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Linebreak, Lambda Literary, The Paris-American, Prodigal, and Hayden’s Ferry Review among others. Her first book has been a finalist or semi-finalist for the New Issues Poetry Prize, the Brittingham & Felix Pollack Poetry Prize, the Crab Orchard Review first book prize, and the YesYes Books open reading period. She has received the AWP WC&C Scholarship, the Esther B. Kahn Scholarship from 24Pearl Street at the Fine Arts Work Center, and two nominations for the Pushcart Prize. She is a contributing interviewer at Cosmonaut’s Avenue.

What Our Judges Say: 
"Confident and vivid, Variation on Testimony swings effortlessly between the abstract and the deeply personal. Every image seems newly constructed even when it's referencing the oldest tropes."  -Stephanie Pushaw

"Throughout the collection, Hiton strikes an impressive balance between tenderness and threat, between the fragmented image and fully realized scene, between what is said and what is palpably unsaid."  -Caylin Capra-Thomas

When the Moon Was Ours for the Taking by Wendell Mayo

About the Author:
Wendell Mayo is author of four story collections, recently The Cucumber King of Kedainiai, winner of the Subito Press Award for Innovative Fiction. He’s a recipient of an NEA fellowship and a Fulbright to Lithuania. His stories have appeared widely in magazines and anthologies, including CutBank, Yale Review, Harvard Review, Manoa, Missouri Review, and others. 

What Our Judges Say:
"Satisfying and emotionally evocative. This collection of four stories begins with a bang but morphs quietly, beautifully into a contemplation of one father/son relationship. Demonstrates a beautiful handle on the progression of a single character through time and shifting points of view, takes risks, and raises poignant questions of family and memory, the forces that shape us."  -Kate Barrett 

The CutBank Chapbook Contest honors three works of startling, evocative, and beautiful new writing in prose and poetry each year. To purchase previous chapbook winners, please visit our online store.