Announcing the 2017 Consequence Magazine Women Writing War Poetry Award Winner
Danielle Legros Georges selected the winning poem: “[…—…]” by Esther Ra.
Esther Ra alternates between living in Seoul, South Korea, and Walla Walla, Washington. She is the editor-in-chief of the Freedom Songs Magazine, a literary magazine exploring themes of racial justice. Her work has been published in blue moon, and her upcoming novel, Tadpole Pond, has garnered a body of readers on the publishing platform Radish Fiction. She is deeply interested in grappling with the quiet beauty in the ordinary, the price of courage, and the space of ambiguity between different cultures.
About the selected poem Danielle Legros Georges wrote:
“The poem’s wordless title signals a grappling with the very language that makes war known to us; the language with which we attempt to make sense of the seemingly senseless rifts delivered to our countries, homes, and selves. The speaker’s—and author’s—vulnerability and implication in the questions of voice and verity made this poem for me a keen and reverberating thing.”
Mouminat Damer for “Dear Syria”
Mouminat Damer, author of On Tears & Regrets, is a first generation Arab-American graduate student obtaining an MFA in creative writing. She writes: “Growing up was a constant struggle because there was always an imbalance between my American and Middle-Eastern cultures. However, as I’ve grown older and embraced my creativity in writing, I found that I am able to bring light to a culture that is so often looked at negatively, and my creative writing, both poetry and short fiction, is my own way of helping invalidate common misrepresentations of my culture. As an Arab-American Muslim woman, I am a positive example that creative writing and all its emphases are valued, taught, and enhanced by the minorities of America. My writing explores middle-eastern history and culture by combining elements of longing, nationalism, family, and identity.”
Jennifer Jean for “Venice Beach, July 4th 1972″
Jennifer Jean’s debut poetry collection is The Fool (Big Table). Her poems have appeared in: Rattle Magazine, Waxwing Journal, Crab Creek Review, Denver Quarterly, Mud City Journal, Green Mountains Review, and more. She is Poetry Editor of The Mom Egg Review, Managing Editor of Talking Writing Magazine, and Co-director of Morning Garden Artists Retreats. Jennifer teaches Free2Write poetry workshops to trauma survivors and to sex-trafficking survivors.
Andrea (Andy) Young for “Tableau”
Andy Young’s poetry collection All Night It Is Morning was published in 2014 by Diálogos Press. She teaches at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and is a writer for Heinemann Publishing. Her work has appeared recently in Voluble, storySouth, Radar, and is forthcoming in Women Rising: Resistance, Revolution, and Reform in the Arab Spring and Beyond (New York University Press).
About Consequence’s judge:
Danielle Legros Georges was born in Haiti and raised in the United States. She is the author of two poetry collections, The Dear Remote Nearness of You (Barrow Street Press, 2016), winner of the New England Poetry Club’s 2016 Sheila Margaret Motton Book Prize, and Maroon (Curbstone Books, 2001). Her work has appeared in a wide variety of publications including Agni, The Boston Globe, Transition, World Literatue Today, The Carribean Writer, Callaloo, Ibbetson Street, Salamandar, Poesis, Black Renaissance Noire, MaComère, The American Poetry Review, and Consequence. She has received grants and fellowships from the Barbara Deming Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the Black Metropolis Research Consortium. In 2014 Legros Georges was chosen as Boston’s Poet Laureate. She is a professor at Lesley University and lives in Boston, Massachusetts.