Transpoetic Broadside Prize
The Bennett Nieberg Transpoetic Broadside Prize awards a single poem written by a trans poet who has yet to publish their first full-length book. The prize consists of $500, 10 limited edition broadsides of the winning poem, and a feature in Gasher.
Bennett Nieberg (they/them) was a queer Jewish emerging poet pursuing their MFA at Virginia Commonwealth University at the time of their passing in 2021. Their work appears in journals such as Crabfat Magazine, New Delta Review, The Indianapolis Review, Entropy, Permafrost, Western Humanities Review, Pretty Owl, and Lunch Ticket, among others. They were the editor in chief of the journal What Are Birds? which hosted the original Transpoetic Broadside Prize. Gasher Press honors Bennett’s legacy of social justice and commitment to the literary community with the continuation of the Transpoetic Prize.
Photo credit: Rachel Lowe Photography
for the poem "Four Months to Coming Out Again"
Selected by final judge [sarah] Cavar
About the poem judge [sarah] Cavar wrote:
To be trans: a life lived. A life lived in. A life lived in-
side language gauged the size of a gauged self.
This poem makes me want to write poetry. I tapped my keys before I knew I had a winner. And what does this poet do? Strips the transpoetic to its bare essentials: inevitable, delicious, frightening contra-diction, seeking at once to define itself against a hostile cis world, and yet also queerly-desiring undefinition. We see in this poem an ode to the complexities of trans relationally, sexuality, and desire: a desire to fit or be fit inside a moment of warm, sticky comfort. Yet, we remain fluid, and thus, unstuck.Wielding bodies ungrammatical in their lyric beauty, we tangle with our pasts, risking clarity for a sense of completion. Yet, as this poem calls us to remember, we are but members of an ongoing sentence to life that we ambivalently serve, hoping along the way to find a bit of grace.
Callie Jennings is a queer and trans game designer, musician, and writer based in Boston. Her poetry is forthcoming in _x/y: a junk drawer of trans voices_. Chances are she's dancing.
Four Months to Coming Out Again
You say Put my body where you want it and so I guide.
Your body to the head of the sentence.
Well. I put your body well. If. I guide
you to the head of the sentence, my body arrives
to the sentence but. My body heads the sentence. At. The head
of the sentence my body is in
some other sentence than my body is in.
Some other sentence than I can. Say.
Your body. Ends the sentence it begins and I can say:
Your body. Well. I want your body well at the head
of the sentence. Where my body
would want my body to. Want
not in my body in your body where I want it.
I call want to your body not to what body
could I call my body. In what body
could I put want. In what body
where I would want to preposition your body
where I would want.
If I want I want
to put my ungrammatical body
in the body
of a faraway sentence. Where somebody
could say I want your body here. Where I
could say I want. I can’t want it Where I
could say I want my body, not in my body,
put in my body. In
My body a sentence
I could say I want to want to say. Oh how
had I ever stopped calling
for myself? The first part I lost
and was believed
was the tooth and red ligature
I took from the apple
and saved in a blue metal bank
and brushed every Sunday like a good widow.
Joy David - "Ode to Trans* Bodies"
Jonah Radeke - "ALONE IN CENTER CITY, I SET OUT MY T SHOT ON A FLOATING DESK"
Elijah Guerra - "Anatomy of a Deer in Decomposition"
Danny Dudarov - “For the Winter”
Carson Wolfe - “Six Hours of Daylight”
emet ezell - “Self Portrait as the Prophet Elijah”
Cass Garison - “Raspberries”
KB Kinkel - “Asymptotes”
Anna Newman - “January”
Reyzl Grace - “That Cancer You Know Turns Down a Trip to the Seaside”
Gracia "Cianga" Mwamba - "Sun"
Oscar Woodiwiss - "Body Against Wound"
Mia-Jo - "On the Silver Line"
nic lachance - "it grows its own body"
2022: Leo Gabriel Miller for the poem "buzz cut baptism" Selected by final judge Kayleb Rae Candrilli