Announcing our 2016 Chapbook Contest Winner, Colleen Abel


Sundress Publications is pleased to announce that Colleen Abel is the winner of our fifth annual chapbook competition. Among a record number of remarkable manuscripts, Abel’s collection, Deviants, stood out. Judge Staci Schoenfeld had this to say about the chapbook:

“In Deviants, ‘The eye alters all that it falls on.’ And the eye is everywhere—in every poem and in the lyric essay, ‘Fat Studies.’ There is no escape, even in the darkness: ‘It’s true I like you better in the dark. / Deep dark. Where I can’t even see your face.’ And the eye is keen in its appraisal. What it sees is what is most often offered up for alteration—the female body. The poems and the lyric essay all deal in issues of body. These bodies are not, however, places of comfort and safety. Instead the body is dangerous: ‘My heart is not a heart, it is a little nest of razorblades. I look soft, but if you touch me, your hands will be instantly pulverized, as if you had slammed them into concrete.’ Or the body becomes something to escape: ‘If it helps, I don’t want to be myself / either—to slip out of this body when / when you enter, to exchange within the puff / of magic smoke my life for another. / Leave me other.’ The body is in turns stark and lush and finally ‘the body / is a planet you tilt / on its axis     spinning.’ Deviants left me both spinning and altered. It made me want to say, Thank you for helping me understand.”

Colleen Abel’s first full-length collection, Remake, won Unicorn Press’ 2015 Editors Prize and is forthcoming in fall 2016. She is also the author of Housewifery, a chapbook (dancing girl press, 2013). A former Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow at UW-Madison, Abel has published work in Pleiades, Colorado Review, The Collagist, Southern Review, West Branch, and elsewhere. She lives in Wisconsin with her student loans.

We also are excited to announce that Lauren Eggert-Crowe’s Bitches of the Drought and Erin Radcliffe’s Bottomland were also selected for publication – all three collections will be available on the Sundress website at in the coming year.

Other Submitted Chapbooks of Note


Bitches of the Drought by Lauren Eggert-Crowe*

Bottomland by Erin Radcliffe* 


Visitation by Maggie Blake Bailey

Games I Play by Dawn S. Davies

Across by Andy Fogle

 One February by Catherine Moore

*Selected for publication


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