Posts By: Peter Kispert

Interview with 1/2K Prize Finalist: Caitlin Scarano

Caitlin-Scarano-e1395083194898-250x300There are just over three weeks left to submit to the 2014 1/2 K Prize.  Before you find yourself panicking in front of a blank page take a few minutes to gain some insight from Caitlin Scarano. Her rich, assured “No Men in the Title, a Poem to Birds and Places” was a finalist for our 2013 1/2K Prize. Here she responds to questions posed to her about the prose poem form, discussing the distillation of language, the value of hybridity, and interrogating cliché.
How did the byline you included, “A crack in a boulder can never be an entrance to a cathedral”—a line from poet Eduardo C. Corral, inspire or otherwise inform this poem?
I was taken by that line because it made me consider how people can be born into limitations, for example, a cycle of abuse or poverty. There are some circumstances, places, histories, and experiences we can never fully transcend. Even if we overcome those circumstances, we cannot erase the influence and consequences of them. This is why my poem cycles in on itself and negates its own assertions. We cannot be what we are not. I am a product of my family and its history, which, metaphorically speaking, is more crack in a boulder than cathedral – nowhere near divine or pure – but beautiful and compelling in its own way.

Interview with 1/2K Prize Winner: Diane Seuss

DianeHeadshotThere’s no question: Writing short can be difficult.  And short is what our annual 1/2K Prize is all about. There’s the limited word count (500 words) and the unlimited genre constraints (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, short-shorts, prose poetry–a welcome collapse of genre). We asked Seuss to tell us more about her excellent piece, “Wal-Mart Parking Lot,” which won our 1/2K Prize in 2013 and appears in our Summer 2014 issue. Here she divulges which Wal-Mart inspired her, her approach to writing the piece, and the challenges and triumphs of the compressed form.

We hope this helps all you current and prospective Half-K authors. Submissions for this year’s contest are now open through August 15th. Click here for a full list of guidelines.

Read more…