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  • Leslie Jill Patterson

2018 trifecta winners announced

This year, we received twice as many Trifecta submissions as we've ever received before! It's exciting to know that word is spreading about IHLR's summer e-edition of marathon-long manuscripts: we know writers are looking for a good home for their lengthier works, and we're thrilled to have the opportunity to publish them for our readers, who travel during the summer months and enjoy having reading material on their handheld devices.

Geffrey Davis selected MELANIE FIGG's "Leaving a Trace" as the winner of the poetry Trifecta. In this haunting poem, Figg explores the discovery of patient/inmate remains in an abandoned asylum, now the Oregon State Hospital Museum of Mental Health in Salem, Oregon. In partnership with time, the poem says, we continue to confine, forget, and ignore the people who once lived here. The poem also makes use of David Maisel's beautiful series of photographs depicting the canisters, Library of Dust.

Figg is the recipient of a 2017-2019 NEA Poetry Fellowship, as well as grants from the McKnight and Jerome Foundations and the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County. Her collection of poems, Trace, won the New Rivers Press Many Voices Project and will be published in the fall of 2019. Her poems, essays, and reviews have been published in dozens of literary journals, including The Iowa Review, Nimrod, LIT, and Colorado Review. Melanie curates Literary Art Tours in DC galleries (a Washington Post Editor’s Pick) and is a certified professional coach. She teaches and coaches writers in community art centers and privately.

Katie Cortese has selected DANIELLE LAVAQUE-MANTY's "The Cello Part" as the winner of the fiction Trifecta. In this story, LaVaque-Manty puts to use an extensive knowledge of string instruments, composing, the way some people have special powers of listening--all as metaphor for the way we struggle to connect with other humans and create sustainable relationships. The series of recurring scenes involving triangles of characters are some of the best drama we've seen in a short story, the dialogue flawless, the tension captivating.

LaVaque-Manty is a freelance editor living in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train, The Pinch, Sou’wester, Baltimore Review, New Delta Review, Monkeybicycle, and the web edition of Ninth Letter.

Elena Passarello selected SHERYL ST. GERMAIN's "The Light of Who We Are" as the winner of the nonfiction Trifecta. In this elegy to her son, St. Germain uncovers the heartfelt, healing side of gaming, how it enabled her to connect with her son when it seemed he was most intent on escaping emotions, especially the painful ones. It taught us things we didn't know about gaming and changed the way we see it, and it's especially relevant today when so many Americans suffer from addiction.

St. Germain is a poet and essayist whose work has received numerous awards. Her most recent book, a poetry collection, The Small Door of Your Death, was published by Autumn House Press in 2018. Her winning essay will appear in a forthcoming manuscript, Fifty Miles, to be published by Etruscan Press in Fall 2019. Sheryl directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Chatham University in Pittsburgh and is co-founder of the Words Without Walls program.

We're especially pleased to offer the work of our 2018 Trifecta winners for free, so that everyone can enjoy reading some of IHLR's content without expense! Look for them to come out in mid-June, right HERE!

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