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
Amanda Lou Doster's Permission to Go Home
as the winner of our 2nd Annual Poetry Chapbook Contest.

Amanda Lou Doster was a finalist in the 2011 Hedgerow Books competition and winner of the 2009 Poet's Seat Poetry Contest. She holds a MFA from the University of New Hampshire and has lived in Northern Ireland and East Germand, in addition to Toronto and six states in the US before putting down roots in western Massachusetts. She lives with her husband and son on an acre of wetlands in Greenfield, MA.

Our finalists are:
Patty Crane for Something Flown
Melissa Jordan for Bain Marie
Richard Turnball for Grimoire: A Book of Spells

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.Our selection process is blind, and all were considered seriously.

What we admired most in Amanda's work was the deceptively simple narrative voice, the way her sentences began straightforward journeys into common events or memories and then shift and dive into cultural landscapes and explorations of the human psyche. Her poems are accessible and intricate; more importantly, they have heart. Here is one sample from her manuscript:

It's the Equinox and I Can't Sleep


because I lack grace in transitions,

even ones that happen every year and only mean it's time

to pull mulch off the garden, to find out

how many bulbs came uneaten through winter.


By March my faith wears thin. I know rodents prefer tulips

and I'm convinced I'll have none this year. Last night

in our bed I lay far from you and imagined what spring

could do to us. I haven't told you


I always want to move in the spring, sell it all

except a duffle bag of clothes and my car.

One year I did. For eight months of nowhere in particular.

I felt, not at peace, but, at least like the change was all my doing.


Then it was fall - I ran out of money in Arkansas

and planted garlic to make myself stay put.

This is still my strategy: in autumn I bury

what will keep me hopeful the rest of the year.


Now there's you, with your own flight impulses and

ways of stumbling into constancy. We fell in love this winter

and now take our doubt and delight in turns. I wondered last night

how many seasons we'll wake to, whether we will --
or can -- ever learn patience. I'm still getting used to you.


--From The Members of the Slate Roof Collective

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 at

Watch our website for the announcement of the 2015 contest!