First prize: Meaghan Hackinen
Second prize: Alan Morris
Third prize: Serena Molloy
Ed Higgins, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Writing and Literature Ed Higgins has been teaching at George Fox University for over four decades. His classes have covered poetry, the modern novel, world literature, science fiction and much more. While officially retired now, he still teaches part-time. He’s also published an extensive body of his own poetry.
Here are his winning selections and why:
First Prize: “Cycling North Cascades Highway” by Meaghan Hackinen
I like the tightness of this piece, every word counts and intensifies the story. The imagery, too, is finely tuned, believable, fulsome without overwhelming other story elements. The narrator/protagonist comes off with panache and I love her wry voice. The Kerouac allusions might put someone off, but I found them apt and they contributed to the protagonist’s character. The kinetic imagery of the story’s close zooms down that hill with exhilaration—and I’m not even a cyclist.
Second Prize: “Life is Good” by Alan Morris
While a bit put off by the title here, fearing saccharine, I was quickly hooked. The dialogue seems real, as does the situation. The setting is nicely done with economy that’s supportive of the story. And the story’s ending affirmation is touching without slipping into feel-good cliché. The last line nicely snaps the lid on the whole story scene that’s been itself nicely played out. (more…)