West Trade Review Prize for Poetry 2022

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June 15, 2022

West Trade Review is happy to announce the results of the first annual West Trade Review Prize for Poetry .

GRAND PRIZE ($500 & publication in the spring 2023 print edition):  Max Parker ("Secrets and Surprise")

Max Parker is a queer writer from the Pacific Northwest. Their work appears in The Brooklyn RailThe Southampton Review, and Mid Magazine. Max can be found on Instagram @pollypocketlizard, and online at maxparker.me.

"Max Parker's 'Secret's and Surprises' serves up sacrilege hot with a side of raunch. Each line delivers a wink and middle finger, lyric engine humming. Driving through irreverent confessions and concessions, this poem purrs, shrugs — then bites."  -Kemi Alabi, Contest Judge 

​Look for Max's poem in the spring 2023 print edition of West Trade Review.

Honorable Mention:  Amanda Leal ("America")

Amanda Leal is a 29 year old poet from Lake Worth, FL. Her work has been featured in magazines such as Hole In The Head ReviewSky Island JournalLevee MagazinePine Row Press, and others.

"Story and image rule Amanda Leal's 'America,' sketching an intimate mother-son portrait while a country’s violence gnaws at the edges. Moments of wonder and innocence, rendered in loving detail, underscore what’s been lost — and what’s still at stake."  -Kemi Alabi, Contest Judge

Look for Amanda's poem in the winter 2022 online edition of West Trade Review.

Honorable Mention: Lauren Endicott ("Mama Snake Love on Vinyl")

Lauren Endicott is an emerging poet though a lifelong writer and lover of poetry. Her work explores themes of grief, nature, healing, and the mess of being human. She is also a graduate student of social work at Simmons University training to become a licensed psychotherapist. Recently Lauren’s poems have been published or are forthcoming in Dissident Voice and Duck Head Journal. She lives in the Boston area with her spouse and two children.

"Lauren Endicott's 'Mama Snake Love on Vinyl' slithers. Form and sound submit, like the speaker, to the hiss and curl of a protective mama snake. Tension builds through shortened lines until the tender turn of the final stanza, one I'll remember for a while." -Kemi Alabi, Contest Judge 

​Look for Lauren's poem in the winter 2022 online edition of West Trade Review.

Kemi Alabi is the author of AGAINST HEAVEN (Graywolf Press, 2022), selected by Claudia Rankine as winner of the 2021 Academy of American Poets First Book Award. Their poems and essays appear in The AtlanticPoetryBoston ReviewCatapultGuernicathem.the BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2Best New Poets 2019, and elsewhere. Selected by Chen Chen as winner of the 2020 Beacon Street Poetry Prize, Kemi has received Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net and Brittle Paper Award nominations along with support from MacDowell, Civitella Ranieri, Tin House and Pink Door. 

Kemi believes in the world-shifting power of words and the radical imaginations of Black queer and trans people. As cultural strategy director of Forward Together, they built political power with cultural workers of color through programs like Echoing Ida, a home for Black women and nonbinary writers, and annual art campaigns like Trans Day of Resilience. The Echoing Ida Collection, coedited with Cynthia R. Greenlee and Janna Zinzi, is available now from Feminist Press.

Born in Wisconsin on a Sunday in July, Kemi now lives in Chicago, IL 
Contest Judge:  Kemi Alabi