Slate Roof Press


Slate Roof Press is delighted to announce the selection of Singer in the Gray of Jean-Michel by Lynn Shorter as the winner of the Elyse Wolf Prize & annual poetry chapbook contest.


Jillian Barnet for Falling Bodies
Mark Jay Brewin, Jr. for Retrograde
Mary Buchinger for /klaʊdz/
Brad Davis for Of All Places

We at Slate Roof thank everyone who participated for their considerable time, work, and heart 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, and each one was read by at least three press members. Our selection process was blind.

About the winning author and manuscript:

In Singer in the Gray of Jean-Michel, Lynn Shorter draws upon Indigenous, black, and European creative modes to produce in poetry something akin to an Ornette Coleman solo. From 2008 to 2020 as a senior lecturer in the United Kingdom, she developed a one-year BA entry program for non-traditional students centered on a literature, film, and visual arts curriculum. While in the UK, she complemented her university teaching by co-founding Reading the World, a creative writing and performance program for marginalized groups and artists. Lynn has an MSW from Smith.

We at Slate Roof were drawn to Lynn's work for its energy and edginess, its music and command of language. Here is an excerpt from the manuscript:

Excerpt from Clear Lake Solos

I made myself
they said a wistful transient
a fusion freak itinerant
who lives for duende
closeted in a Haitian Penny Band
They said I reigned a cappella
bloody knives ensnarled
in the copper braids of Sedna
for a fortnight
a mesa up from lobo camp
They said down sea
in my Seattle dreams a dust storm
of lost manatees provoked her

Slate Roof Press:

poetry in art-quality chapbooks made collaboratively

Now in our 16th year, Slate Roof Press is member-run and committed to publishing the best new voices in poetry with a focus on Massachusetts and regional poets. Designed by the poets themselves, Slate Roof chapbooks feature letterpress covers, special papers, and hand-sewn bindings.



Our collaborative is dedicated to publishing the best in poetry and involving poets in the process. Contest winners agree to a three-year work commitment, averaging 8-10 hours/month, including monthly meetings. The meetings have been held in Greenfield, MA, but are currently via Zoom until a vaccine is available for the virus. Contest winners work with the collaborative to publish and market their work, as well as the work of other members. Members receive feedback on drafts, and final manuscripts are edited by Slate Roof members.


Elyse Wolf is a signature member and five-year Merit Award recipient of the Colored Pencil Society of America. She received a B.A. in Art from UMass Amherst and went to the Art Students League in New York for two years on a Ford Foundation Scholarship where she studied with Morris Kantor and Theodoros Stamos. After moving to Washington, D.C., she took classes at the Corcoran Museum School Open Program with William Christenberry and Brockie Stevenson.

Her Artwork has appeared in numerous shows, including the Susan K. Black Blossom Two-Year Museum Traveling show, the John Pence Gallery in San Francisco, the Salmagundi Club and The National Arts Club in New York City, the Corcoran Museum Biennial, numerous CPSA International shows, The Art League in Alexandria, VA, The Troika Gallery in Easton, MD.

Her work has also appeared in these books: Blossom II Art of Flowers, The CPSA Signature Showcase, The Best of Colored Pencil, 2 volumes; as well as American Artist Magazine and The Artist’s Magazine.

Elyse is a member of the Jackson Art Center in Washington, D.C. and the Torpedo Factory Art Association in Alexandria, VA; and she is a Signature/Merit Member of the Colored Pencil Society of America.

For information on the 2019 Broadside Award and Glass Prize and winners Jendi Reiter and Armen Davoudian, please click here.