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Posted by : cj on Thursday, March 31, 2005 - 08:58 AM
Chicago Poetry News: Click On Headlines . is pleased to announce the Winners of the 2005 Frieda Stein Fenster Memorial Award for Poetry. Entries were judged by three distinguished Chicago poets: Beatriz Badikian-Gartler, Ph.D (author of Mapmaker Revisited), Pamela Miller (author of Recipe For Disaster and the 1st place winner of the 2004 contest), and Michael Watson (host of the WLUW Worslingers poetry show). Poems that were submitted according to the rules were judged blindly.

Cash awards are as follows: first place winner will receive $100; second place winner will receive $50; and third place winner will receive $25. Winners are invited to appear and read their winning poem for The Chicago Poetry Explosion, a National Poetry Month celebration at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, on Sunday, April 17, 7:30 PM. Winners may pick up their award checks and certificates at the Poetry Explosion or any time thereafter. In addition, the first place winner will receive her own personal page here at for one year.

The 2005 Winners are:


for her poem "After The Crash"

After The Crash

My thighs bruise a furious purple,
welts explode, then fade away
like thunder on trees.

His fist ricochets, leaves an opaque white mark
like the imprint of our daughter's slight hand in clay
framed in the front hallway.

Seven years I've been here,
lucky number seven.
Lucky for me if his road rage catches my shoulder
instead of colliding with my face.

Seven the age of our daughter,
the one gift he gave,
though at the time she was named
just his hard seed forced into me
a result of icy, wet conditions.

Now she waves a fairy costume wand,
steps forward with question-mark eyes
a witness to the hit and run.

I lie in metal, warped and twisted,
in the tunnel of silence she blinks,
etches on her heart all details to recall later

so she can detour,
outline in yellow highlighter on her map
which direction to take.

Hard lines are formed
A boomerang, I return.

After the crash I stare into hard headlight eyes,
my firm, capable hands,
analogous to my daughter's
hers marked in clay, forever small.

I seize her power and take back my own.

My hands swell and I rise,
we drive away.


for his poem "In the Waiting Room at Bernard Mitchell Hospital"

In the Waiting Room at Bernard Mitchell Hospital

The voice in my head can be so different than the one that comes
out of my mouth. I think aubergine, but say eggplant, something
like coming back from Paris but not knowing where to begin.
I had intended to look back and put things together, but it's hard
to speak sympathetically about this moment. I was heartbroken

once I heard the news. I regret never having learned another
language. I wish I knew how to read music. The French know
how to make eggplant sound sexier than it really is, like a secret
meeting to share photocopied pages of a banned novel. There are
notes on survival in the margins of any given season, there are bodies

resembling pictures of hostages found on the roadside
of an occupied country. I say disease, but think quiet place
by the river. There's a narrative I love about a woman who goes
outside to shoot crows that disturbed her sleep. It's a form
of surgery by any other name, an exaggerated appearance

through the fog, a mythology of rooftop dreamers. I say
waiting room, but picture Jeu de Paume, a hotel nestled
between branches of the Seine. I don't remember the last time
I told my wife I loved her. A sign at the door asks that we forgive
the appearance of the lobby as it undergoes renovation


for her poem "One, Two, and Then There Were Three"

One, Two, and Then There Were Three


My little yolk
Daddy listens for your heartbeat with his
You bear the scent of hyacinth
Your bones form like the whiskers of an orchid
I wrap you in the cashmere of cala lilies
Cozy you on a bed of buttercup and crocus
My little yolk
Open your eyes wide


In summer heat
I lie awake,
waiting for your somersaults
to tickle my spleen.
You steal my words away.
Later I will feed them to you
with my fingertips.
Let the juice of language run
down my wrist.
How many ways you will surprise me.
Pluck the world with new eyes.
In summer heat
I lie in wait of you
to stir and stutter-a-flutter
in my belly.

3. (And then there were Three.)

In the half-passed night
we lay air tight,
swimming in the syllables of each other's names.

We whisper in half-sleep
she has your toes,
my lips,
our hearts.

On the precipice of language,
we suck the silence of her mouth.
This is our life, between our skins,

An honorable mention category was not included in this year's contest.

Click Here to review the 2004 winners.

**We hope you found the information on this page useful. needs your help. We are holding a fundraising drive in order to stay online. There are two ways that you can help: Click here to offer a financial gift or click here to order the new book by Press.

Note: The winners of the 2005 Frieda Stein Fenster Memorial Award for Poetry, sponsored by, have been announced.

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