I really loved Sydney's highly moving conflict, her pacing, and her use of detail (songs on the radio, cheeseburgers and congri). I appreciated how she embodied and contrasted geographic experiences in moments, such as when one character listens to the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean and another to the "piercing whistle" on the "sandy shores of Cuba." The mother's diary entries, and her internal journey from jubilation to fear to conflicted feelings to hope renewed, were a great addition that established a strong narrative arc for that character.

- Dr. Maxon


UNTITLED drawing by nina luo

I chose this work because of the confidence, time, and effort the work displayed. The drawing was done with care but it doesn't look labored over. The line at times is loose and quick which demonstrates the artists capabilities and confidence. I love the small process drawings as little glimpses into the practice that took place leading up to this work.

- Dr. Greco


the letter of paul to the romans by garrett goodrich

In Goodrich’s wrenching “The Letter of Paul to the Romans” we encounter the poetic technique of erasure as a metaphor for the erasure of easy or submissive faith and the unearthing of an alternative salvation in critical reading, questioning, even disfiguring sacred text. The task of locating one’s self within the Word of God sometimes requires contorting the Word—just as the Word is sometimes contorted against one to justify harm. Mindful acts of heresy—in Goodrich’s poem’s case, textual—might be a necessity of mature faith, that faith which is perpetually in a state of being lost and deepened. The ambivalence of each repeated “God” is heart-breakingly honest and human.

- Dr. Kevin Riel

*Works by the Webb Breakfast Literary Magazine Team is not included in the contest.