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  • Leslie Jill Patterson

2023 IHLR Chapbook Winner

This year, our chapbook competition was the most difficult we've ever judged. It came in a year when we received three times as many manuscripts as we normally receive, and at the end of the judging, we would have happily published every single finalist.

Our 2023 Finalists

Timmy Chong, East Coast Love Poems

Kathie Collins, Grass Widow

Aiden Heung, Last Warmth of the Day

Aiden Heung, On the Slope of the Dead

Karen Kapoor, a condensed history of my father's addiction

Heidi Seaborn, Brush Fire

Laurie Wetherington, Little Machines

We even had difficulty selecting our finalists because our semi-finalists were so strong!

Our 2023 Semi-Finalists

Courtney Bambrick, Gargoyle

Faith Gomez Clark, Unlock the Body

Matt Hohner, Foreclosures

Guillermo Robollo-Gil, El Hijo de Yvonne

Manisha Sharma, What the Silenced women Would Have Said

Jessica Thompson, The Mood Ring Diaries

Lucinda Tree, What Falls to the Ground

But we're a small publisher and have only limited resources, and so we can only choose one winner. This year, we ultimately selected Maxwell Suzuki's BUST OF AN ATHLETE. Suzuki is a queer writer who lives in Los Angeles. He is working on a novel about Japanese Americans, their generational trauma, and what it means to exist within conflict. He is the Prose Editor for Passengers Journal and is on the staff of Guernica, JMWW, and Split/Lip Press. Maxwell is also the author of the forthcoming fiction chapbook, 'Voyager 2, This is Voyager 1, Over' (Gold Line Press, 2023). He was a finalist for the Tin House 2023 Winter Residency and will attend the summer 2023 Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Craft Literary, Lunch Ticket, The Normal School, ANMLY, South Dakota Review, and elsewhere.

Every poem in Bust of an Athlete surprised us with its language play, insight, and imagery. The manuscript held our attention through repeated readings. We cannot wait to share it!

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