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Each year The Poetry Center of Chicago invites regional poets to submit their unpublished work for consideration in its Annual Juried Reading, judged this year by Brenda Hillman. Finalists receive cash awards, are invited to read their work at The Poetry Center, and have their work published in a chapbook designed specifically for this event. This year The Poetry Center partnered with Plastique Press to design the competition’s chapbook as an expanded Plastique eBook, which features the work of its nine finalists: Lina ramona Vitkauskas (1st place), Carrie Oeding (2nd place), Richard Fox (3rd place), Stephanie Anderson, Patrick Culliton, Ellen Elder, Rebecca Morgan Frank, Megan Levad, and Stephanie Sauer.
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Lina ramona Vitkauskas is the author of two chapbooks and one poetry book including: THE RANGE OF YOUR AMAZING NOTHING (Ravenna Press, 2010); Failed Star Spawns Planet/Star (dancing girl press, 2006); and Shooting Dead Films with Poets (Fractal Edge Press, 2004). She was recently nominated in early 2009 by Another Chicago Magazine for an Illinois Arts Council Award (in the poetry and fiction categories). She has won an honorable mention in STORY magazine's Carson McCullers Award contest (1999) and placed as a semi-finalist for the Cleveland State University Open Poetry Series (2002). She has an MA in Creative Writing from Wright State University and her work has appeared in many literary magazines and anthologies including: The City Visible: Chicago Poetry for the New Century (Cracked Slab Books, 2007); The Prague Literary Review, Van Gogh's Ear (Paris); The Chicago Review; Aufgabe; Drunken Boat; MiPoesias, the In Posse Review Multi-Ethnic Anthology edited by Ilya Kaminsky, among many others. For 8 years, she was the co-editor of the online literary magazine, milk magazine; is currently the primary Lithuanian translator for the online international poetry web collection, UniVerse - A United Nations of Poetry; and has read at/in various venues and series in Chicago. Poet Denise Duhamel has noted that Lina's poetry "employs humor and kitsch. Its dazzling underside confronts intolerance and terrorism with a wise brilliance."
Carrie Oeding's work has appeared in several journals including Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction, DIAGRAM, Colorado Review, Best New Poets, Mid-American Review, 32 Poems, and Third Coast. Her first manuscript has been a finalist or semifinalist for a number of book contests, including New Issues Press, The Vassar Miller Poetry Book Prize, The Akron Poetry Prize, Marsh Hawk Press, and more. She just recently moved to Houston, TX, where she teaches at The University of Houston, as a Houston Writing Fellow.
Richard Fox has contributed work to many literary journals. In 2000, he was the recipient of a full fellowship for poetry from the Illinois Arts Council. Swagger & Remorse, his first book of poetry, was published in December, 2007. He holds a BFA in Photography from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, and lives in Chicago.
Stephanie Anderson is the author of four chapbooks: In the Particular Particular (New Michigan Press), The Choral Mimeographs (Dancing Girl Press), A Spot A Scheme (forthcoming, Cinematheque Press), and The Nightyard (forthcoming, Noemi Press). Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in dear camera, H_ngm_n, Strange Machine, and Tight. She lives in Chicago.
Patrick Culliton lives in Chicago. His poems have appeared, or will soon, in Coconut, Conduit, The Hat, The Journal, jubilat, RealPoetik, Rabbit Light Movies, Third Coast, and elsewhere. He is the recipient of a 2009 Individual Artists Fellowship from the Illinois Arts Council. He teaches at the University of Illinois-Chicago and has a chapbook forthcoming from Octopus Books in Spring 2010.
Ellen Elder has degrees from The University of Chicago, Miami University, where she received The Academy of American Poet's Prize, and The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she received her PhD in English. She spent her summers growing up in Ireland. Her fiction was nominated for the 2006 Best New American Voices and her poetry can be found online at Exquisite Corpse and DMQ Review and is forthcoming in The Cento: A Collection of Collage Poems (Red Hen Press). She is at work on a poetry collection about her mother.
Rebecca Morgan Frank's poetry has appeared in the Georgia Review, Guernica, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Best New Poets 2008, and elsewhere, and she recently received an AWP Intro Journal Award and a residency fellowship from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. She received her MFA from Emerson College and is currently pursuing her PhD as an Elliston Fellow at the University of Cincinnati. She also teaches writing for Massachusetts College of Art's low-residency MFA Program at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and serves as editor-in-chief of the online literary journal Memorious.org.
Megan Levad grew up across the field from her grandparents' century farm. She studied at The University of Iowa and the University of Michigan, where she received the Zell Fellowship and the Roethke Prize. Her work is forthcoming in Spinning Jenny. She wrote the lyrics for composer Tucker Fuller's song cycle Infidel, and is currently collaborating with him on an opera.
Stephanie Sauer's work has been published internationally and has received numerous awards. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was selected by Presidential Inaugural Poet Elizabeth Alexander for the School's Writing Fellowship. She owns and operates the independent Copilot Press.