2017 Poetry Contest Runner-up: Noah Baldino

The beauty of this poem is how it resists the urge to pull punches, placing its readers in a position beyond that of witness: if this is what I must endure, you must help me endure it. Help me gather the teeth, confettied against the glinting pipes. Help me see the dead flies / mottled / a swarm of distant, dark balloons. Do not be mistaken – this is no sad resignation but, instead, the blood-holy howl of a body refusing to be shaped by its enemies.

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An Interview with Sarah María Medina – 2017 BWR Poetry Contest Winner

I use white space to play with the rhythm and beat of an open rather than set structure. There’s another song I love which switches from Rumba to Bembé and I like thinking about what that would look like on the page. I like to use Spanish to subvert English, to reclaim tongue, but Spanish is also a colonizer language, so I like to find Taíno and Yorùbá words too.

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