Puerto del Sol’s 2017 Prose and Poetry Contest Winners

First, we’d like to thank everyone who gave us their work – we had a fantastic day of reading all the submissions.  For those who sent us writing, keep your eyes out next spring for your copy of Puerto del Sol’s Science Issue – our way of saying thanks for your submission (and contest reading fee, of course).

This year’s contests were judged by Carmen Gimenez-Smith and Lily Hoang.


2017 Prose Contest Winner: “The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln” by Shane Kowalski

Lily says: “A story about a play where sound becomes violence, ‘The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln’ made me laugh. Out loud. It’s funny. It’s frightening. It gives us real talk about race. It is a striking revelation of teenage wisdom.”

2017 Poetry Contest Winner: “Cuadrado de Sabzeh” by Natalie De Paz

Carmen says: “The mixture of languages in this poem is not the most surprising thing about it; ‘Cuadrado de Sabzeh’ moves in new directions seamlessly, painting a picture of blessings and hope for the future.”


“The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln” and “Cuadrado de Sabzeh” will be published this coming fall on our newly, revamped website.  We’ll announce it again before they go up!


We’d also like to give a big shout out to our Runners Up


“The River Where I Came from, the River Where I’m Going,” – J.D. Ho

“Errands,” – Connor McElwee


“Adviced” – Emma Bolden

“Live” – Anna Morrison

“A Prayer to Ek Chuaj” – Javier Perez


About our Judges:

Carmen Giménez Smith is the author of a memoir, Bring Down the Little Birds (University of Arizona, 2010) and four poetry collections— including Milk and Filth, finalist for the 2013 NBCC award in poetry. She is the recipient of a 2011 American Book Award, the 2011 Juniper Prize for Poetry.  A CantoMundo Fellow and formerly a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she is also the co-founder of Noemi Press.

Lily Hoang is the author of five books, including A Bestiary (winner of the inaugural Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s Nonfiction Contest) and Changing (recipient of a PEN Open Books Award). With Joshua Marie Wilkinson, she edited the anthology The Force of What’s Possible: Writers on Accessibility and the Avant-Garde.

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