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Greentower Press is excited to announce the winners and finalists for the 2017 Midwest Chapbook Contest


Arts Grant by Frank Montesonti

Rhi(n.)oceros by C.D. DyVanc


Grating Darling Full of Dirt by Erin Dorney

Sore Songs by Heather June Gibbons

A Tattoo of the Slaughter by Erin Hall

g r e e n r o o m by Genevieve Kaplan

Re: Memorandum by Michael Martone

Notes from a Good Little Sister: Sixteen Vignettes by Lizzi Wolf

A bit more about our co-winners:

C.D. DyVanc is former award-winning journalist with the Missouri Press Association. He currently lives in Columbia, Mo., where he serve as an overnight hotel auditor. His work is forthcoming in the Columbia Writers Guild’s 2017 Well-Versed anthology, as well as in the hybrid art exhibit, Interpretations V.

We loved the scope, ambition, and experimentation of DyVanc’s Rhi(n.)oceros. The work is propulsive and inviting. The poems deftly and surprisingly veer from causal, dark, or humorous observation to philosophical rapprochement and quandary. From science to pop culture to politics to language itself, these poems tackle the existential wrapped within the present moment.

Frank Montesonti is the author of two full-length collections of poetry, Blight, Blight, Blight, Ray of Hope, Winner of the 2011 Barrow Street Book Prize chosen by D.A. Powell, and the book of erasure, Hope Tree (How To Prune Fruit Trees) by Black Lawrence Press. He is also author of the chapbook, A Civic Pageant, also from Black Lawrence Press. His poems have appeared in journals such as Tin House, AQR, Black Warrior Review, Poet Lore, and Poems and Plays, among many others. A longtime resident of Indiana, he now lives in Los Angeles and is the lead faculty of the MFA program at National University.

From first to last, Montesonti’s Arts Grant stuck with us. The surreal nature of these poems is grounded by the conceit of the project and energetically plays with the tradition of the prose poem. The reader is placed in the gripping position of experiencing the poems and trying to imagine the installations. This duality provides distance for reflection and yet draws us near. The poems often contain moments of oscillating seriousness, hilarity and absurdity. They feel like thoughtful think-tank pieces of art and on art and art’s relationship to society, a serious send-up, so to speak. Above all, these poems are fun and thought-provoking. The work lights up our circuitry.