First Annual Slate Roof Press Chapbook Winner



  • Contest winner agrees to a three-year work commitment in our collective, averaging 8-10 hours/month, including monthly business meetings in Greenfield, MA.
  • Contest winner will work with other members toward publication and marketing of his/her work, as well as the work of others in the collective.
  • The winning manuscript will be published by Slate Roof within 3 years after the winner joins the press.
  • Members of Slate Roof Press will work with the winner, providing feedback on drafts and the final manuscript, as well as editing.
  • No financial investment required.

Slate Roof Press is delighted to announce the selection of
Anna M. Warrock's Turning to Go Back
as the winner of our 1st Annual Poetry Chapbook Contest.

Anna M. Warrock is the author of two previous collections of poetry,
Horizon (Great Owl Press) and Smoke and Stone (Stone Soup Poetry). Anna joins Slate Roof from Somerville, MA, to become our first member from eastern Massachusetts. The recipient of several literature fellowships from the Somerville Arts Council, Anna has been an active voice in the poetry and cultural scene in the greater Boston area for many years and makes a living as an editor.

Our finalists are:
Michael Metivier's And Then Again Little Yearling
John Palmer's Some Strange Race
Ellen Miller-Mac's Flooding Eleven

Also receiving honorable mention are:
Christian Lund's All the Beautiful Ones
Gail Thomas' Waving Back
Molly Scott's Up to the Windy Gate

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

What we admired most in Anna's work was her language and imagery, which was both lyrical and accessible; and her ability to capture the simple, genuine, and elusive human response in the face of loss and suffering. Here is one sample from her manuscript:


Please can you tell me, is it day or night?
--A Sudanese refugee resettled in Minnesota

It could be night, broken—as the clumps of snow
fall dark against the sky and could be pieces of the sky's body
come down, torn edges, someone tore them, some djinn or booligan,
the way the desert lions tore at the flesh of the boys running,
how many were left behind to bleach among the rocks
and in memory, things happening that have no name,
mother's arm hacked and exploded, and this snow,
pieces of sky changing as they fall into white
cold that coats all things, just the way the night does
when you sleep through it with your eyes open and the roaring.

--From The Members of the Slate Roof Collective

Slate Roof was formed in 2004 to publish local poets. Our members are involved in all aspects of publishing; typical tasks include coordinating print runs 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; attention is paid to typography, papers, and binding. Our current print run is 350 copies; of that, 25 copies are given to the author and 50 retained by Slate Roof for promotional purposes. All profits return to the press; poets retain copyright. If you have questions, please contact us at