R. Cassandra Bruner

R. Cassandra Bruner

R. Cassandra Bruner of Ellensburg, WA has won the 2019 Frost Place Chapbook Competition for her manuscript, The Wishbone Dress. Bruner receives a fellowship to the Frost Place Poetry Seminar, a $250.00 prize, and a week to live and write in the Frost Place house in Franconia, NH.  Selected by competition final judge, Eduardo C. Corral, The Wishbone Dress will be published by Bull City Press in September, 2019.

About the manuscript, Eduardo C. Corral said:

“To wish with a wishbone means to break the wishbone. The poems in this chapbook enact another kind of breaking—the speaker veers from binary thinking and living. ‘Every girl must know her annunciation,’ writes the poet. In this instance, the annunciation unfolds over years as the speaker transitions. The slow work of bringing forth what has always been there complicates her bonds with family and lovers. (Not everyone can veer from binary thinking and living.) It complicates, too, her own sense of self. The imagery—dazzling, uncanny—brings us close to the emotional and intellectual turmoil orbiting transition. ‘I paint a mirror / white, a frost no bulb could sprout from’ and ‘a wish for recognition, for his budding breasts / to hide themselves like fawns.’ The poems not only record the struggle to become, but also make visible the chaotic wonder of living. The language itself is never chaotic—it’s always wondrous. The metaphors are mind-blowing, the use of mythic and Biblical motifs deft, the lines are tight but elastic, the diction music-rich. The craft choices are exact and exacting. Language, in this poet’s hands, never breaks; it remembers, it yearns.”

R. Cassandra Bruner earned her MFA in poetry from Eastern Washington University where she served as Managing Editor of Willow Springs Books. Finalist for Black Warrior Review’s 2018 Nonfiction Contest, their poems and essays have appeared, or are upcoming in The Adroit JournalBlack Warrior ReviewCrazyhorseMuzzleNew England ReviewNinth Letter, and Pleiades among others.


2019 Frost Place Chapbook Competition Editors’ Selection

Tariq Luthun

Tariq Luthun

Each year, the editors at Bull City Press select a manuscript from the competition finalists. This year’s Editors’ Selection is How the Water Holds Me by Tariq Luthun of Detroit, MI. Look for this exciting title from Bull City Press coming soon!

Tariq Luthun is a community organizer, data analyst, and Emmy Award-winning poet from Detroit, MI. He earned his MFA in Poetry from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and currently serves as Editor of the Micro Department at The Offing. A Muslim and diasporic Palestinian, Luthun’s work has earned a number of recognitions, and has appeared in Vinyl Poetry, Lit Hub, Mizna, Winter Tangerine Review, and Button Poetry, among other credits.


Congratulations to the 2019 Finalists

R. Cassandra Bruner The Whishbone Dress (2019 winner)

Darrel Alejandro Holnes Mama’s Boy

Patrycja Humienik Origami Mouth 

Tariq Luthun How the Water Holds Me (2019 Editor’s Selection)

Rachel Inez Marhsall Mariposa

Rachel Mennies The Teenage Girl Understands

Erin Miller Eventually, Some Sort of Monster

Meghann Plunkett Wild and Dangerous 

Nomi Stone Fieldworkers of the Sublime 

Angela Torres What Happens is Neither 


Last year’s Frost Place winner, Yuki Tanaka’s Seance in Daylight, along with the previous winning titles, is here: https://bullcitypress.com/product-tag/frostplace/

Writing Your Name on the Glass

Last year’s Editors’ Selection Writing Your Name on the Glass by Jim Whiteside, along with the previous Editors’ Selections titles, is here: https://bullcitypress.com/product-tag/editors/