Over Ten Years of Poetry

Slate Roof members are involved in all aspects of publishing. Typical tasks include working with local vendors, managing bookstore accounts, accounting, designing promotional materials, sending out promotion, providing feedback on other members' manuscripts, and editing/proofreading final copy. The chapbooks are designed by the poets; we pay attention to typography, papers, and binding. Our current print run is 350 copies; of that, 25 copies are given to the author, and 50 are retained by Slate Roof for promotional purposes. Poets retain copyright. All profits return to the press

Slate Roof Press is delighted to announce the selection of
The Chain Fountain by Kate Stearns as the winner of our
2015 3rd Annual Poetry Chapbook Contest.

Runner up: John Palmer for In Clover
Finalists: Janet Bowdan, Making Progress Kelly DuMar, How He Asks (After Alzheimer's) Judith Hoyer, Bits and Pieces Set Aside

Kate Stearns has an MFA in poetry from the University of Iowa and won the Minnesota Voices Project for her first book, The Transparency of Skin (New Rivers Press, Minneapolis). The recipient of a Loft-McKnight Foundation grant and a finalist for a 2012 Massachusetts Cultural Council grant, Kate has recent or forthcoming work in North American Review, Salamander, Southwest Review, Yale Review, and elsewhere. Her work has been anthologized in collections of British and American poetry and of writing by American women abroad. Poet Allen Grossman called her "a true poet ... a poet of love and the hardness of it, and also a poet of freedom and the sternness it requires and the terror it entails." Kate has taught writing at Macalester College, Emmanuel College, and Harvard, and is the Writer-in-Residence at Roxbury Latin School in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. She and her husband, cinematographer Richard Klug, live in South Natick, Massachusetts.

We at Slate Roof thank everyone who participated for their considerable time and work in preparing and submitting a manuscript. The selection process was long and difficult; we received many excellent manuscripts representing a broad spectrum of poetic styles and concerns. Our selection process is blind and all manuscripts were considered seriously.

Kate Stearns' poetry travels from Emily Dickinson's "last trip ever out of Amherst" to the sharp moments of the everyday: workers in Red Sox caps, a child's handwriting. Her gaze fixes on "the cracked plate / under all our harvest" even as she holds on to "a reverence for what people might still / be capable of." Here is a poem from her manuscript:

One Minute One Morning One Day

Feathery fennel and Sweetheart beets
laid out on a white plate. You shoo

fruit flies from a network of lines
on a plum's plump surface and turn to see
the hills' forsythia strike a blaze in neutral sky,

fracture yellow the low-lying, shape-shifting
drift of clouds. Again, the play of blossom
against absence, although absence now

is adamant: the cracked plate
under all our harvest.

Slate Roof Press is member-run and committed to publishing local and regional poets. Designed by the poets themselves, Slate Roof chapbooks feature letterpress covers, special papers, and hand-sewn bindings. We invite you to learn about membership, small press publishing, and chapbook creation on our about page.