Now in Print: Unpacking the China

We’ve just gotten the good news from our wonderful printer: Unpacking the China has shipped! If you’ve already pre-ordered this gorgeous chapbook, we will be sending your copy ASAP via media mail. Look for it to arrive in the next 2-3 weeks.

If you haven’t yet ordered your copy, why wait? You can purchase our 2015-16 contest winner securely right here, for only $12 plus shipping:

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Sarah Merrow’s chapbook is elegant in both content and form; Unpacking the China would make a beautiful gift for your sister, daughter, mother, best friend, partner, or any woman in your life who deserves and appreciates great poetry. You can get a sense of the book from its cover:


Thank you for your support of valiant women poets and small presses!

Announcing our winners… drumroll please!

It is with great joy that we bring you the winners of our 2015-2016 chapbook contest! Please help us congratulate these talented & fierce poets, Sarah Merrow and Vivian Faith Prescott.

Judge’s Selection

Our esteemed judge, Mary Ann McFadden, has chosen Sarah Merrow’s superb manuscript, Unpacking the China, from a pool of nearly 200 entries and 10 finalists. We’re so grateful for Mary Ann’s time and the deep attention she gave to the judging process. Mary Ann shared her thoughts on the winning submission:

“This manuscript immediately caught my eye for its distinct voice. I put it aside because I didn’t want to be influenced by the dazzling line arrangement of the first poem. But the more I read, the more this one stood out. I read it several times, eventually just for pleasure, and to learn from the author’s brilliant word choices, her confidence, her spare and elegant use of language. These are true poems, a pleasure and a revelation to read. The author has so much to say that matters and she says it in language that is intelligent, taut, and accomplished. I congratulate her, I bow to her, and I bow to you at Quill’s Edge for making it possible to put these wonderful poems into the world.”

Want more gorgeous poetry in your life? When you buy this book, you’re supporting the work of women poets in community!  You can pre-order Sarah Merrow’s chapbook here:

Unpacking the China
by Sarah Merrow (2016)

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About the poet: Sarah Merrow was born a New Englander and now inhabits Baltimore, Maryland. When not writing or playing music, she rebuilds concert flutes. With this vocation, it’s inevitable; she hears music in poetry and poetry in music. She studied English, German, Japanese, and Spanish — and as a result, has trouble limiting Scrabble choices to English.

Editorial Selection

The QuillsEdge Press Editorial Board selected Vivian Faith Prescott’s manuscript, Our Tents Are Small Volcanoes, to be the second publication from our 2015-16 contest. Here are some comments from a few of our readers:

“Each poem a star, the stars placed exquisitely in the manuscript’s deep dark sky. Marvelous deep, a manuscript which refuses erasure… of a language, a way of life, a person, a people.” – Jane Seitel (Founder, President of the Board)

“The feel of these poems just hits my core… Grateful to have had the chance to read them.” – Jude-Laure Denis (Vice-President of the Board)

“Our Tents are Small Volcanoes is an elegantly paced collection that built in intensity until it took my breath away. Balanced between longer narrative-descriptive poems that chronicle the ‘migration’ and short lyrics that evoke, mostly through landscape, the psyche and cultural history of the people to whom the narrator belongs–structured in this skillful way, the reader feels the wrenching effect of displacement, the strenuous efforts of acclimatization, and the poignancy of the quest for identity.” – Lucia Galloway (Winner, 2014-15 contest with The Garlic Peelers)

Want more gorgeous poetry in your life? When you buy this book, you’re supporting the work of women poets in community!  You can pre-order Vivian Faith Prescott’s chapbook here:

Our Tents Are Small Volcanoes
by Vivian Faith Prescott (2016)

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About the poet: I’m a fifth generation Sámi-American and was born and raised on the small island of Wrangell in Southeastern Alaska. I live in Wrangell near the Red Alder Head Village site at my family’s fishcamp, aka Mickey’s Fishcamp. I have an MFA from the University of Alaska and a Ph.D. in Cross Cultural Studies. My poetry has appeared in The North American Review, Yellow Medicine Review, Poecology, Drunken Boat and elsewhere. I’m the founding member of Blue Canoe Writers in both Sitka and Wrangell with an emphasis on mentoring Indigenous writers. I’ve been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and was a Joy Harjo Award semi-finalist. I received honorable mention in Boulevard’s poetry contest for emerging writers and, in 2012, was awarded the Jason Wenger Award for Literary Excellence. I’m the author of two poetry chapbooks and a full length collection, The Hide of My Tongue.

Psst… Order Now and Save Up to $11

As a pre-order special, if you purchase both winning chapbooks, you’ll save $5 off the cover price AND receive free shipping. We are so grateful for your support!

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Applauding our Finalists and Semi-Finalists

We offer kudos and recognition to the finalists and semi-finalists of our “To Inhabit” chapbook contest as well. When you order one (or both!) of the winning chapbooks, you’ll get to enjoy the inclusion of an anthology of our Selected Finalists.

Please help us celebrate the following poets:


Wendy Carlisle
Pat Daneman
Mary Hanford
Lois Harrod
Sandra Marshburn
Cynthia Neely
Judith Ryan
Jennifer Wheelock


Helen Engelhardt
Deborah George
Akua Lezil Hope
Nancy Jentsch
Lindsey Martin-Bowen
Sharon Scholl
Edwina Trentham
Mary Van Schoelandt
Wendi White
Melinda Wolf

Last, but most certainly not least, our wholehearted thanks to each entrant in this year’s chapbook competition. You have enriched our lives with your poetry, and your support makes it possible for us to publish and celebrate the voices of women poets over 50. We are profoundly grateful to you. We’re excited about many ideas we have for making this community of writers stronger, deeper, and more powerful, and we hope you’ll join us as we continue on this great adventure!

To stay informed about new & upcoming opportunities from QuillsEdge Press, please follow our blog, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or subscribe to our email list. Thank you! Your support truly makes a difference. ♥

Chapbook Competition Deadline Extension!

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Our new submission deadline for the 2015 Chapbook Competition, “To Inhabit,” is March 1st, 2016! Get all the details here.

Dear friends,

At this time of midwinter, of thankfulness for Winter’s nurturing rest and anticipation of Spring’s renewing flame, we’re at an exciting moment in the life of QuillsEdge Press.

We’ve received nearly 150 entries in our 2015 chapbook contest, and they are marvelous collections of poetry. Our deep & heartfelt thanks to each of you who’ve entrusted your work to our readers. We are frequently blown away by the power & craft of the poetry we’re reading, and we don’t envy our judge, Mary Ann McFadden, her final decision!

This month, QuillsEdge Press welcomes our new executive editor Ann Davenport, who joined us as a reader several months ago. Our esteemed co-founder, Elliott batTzedek, is moving on to launch a new publishing project. As the Board and staff work diligently to ensure a smooth and successful transition in leadership, we also want to take a moment to draw a deep breath, celebrate all the Press has accomplished, and look to the vibrant future.

To that end, we are also glad to announce a brief extension to this year’s contest! If you wanted to enter, but didn’t quite have time to finish preparing your manuscript, we have great news – you have until March 1st to submit your chapbook to QuillsEdge Press. This year’s theme centers around “To Inhabit.” Please see our submission guidelines here.

We can hardly wait to read your work! As always, please know how honored we are that you’re a part of our community. Thank you for inhabiting this world with us.

With warmth & poetry –

Jane, Jude, and Anique
Board of Directors
QuillsEdge Press

Our First Chapbooks Go On Sale Today!

Our 2014 On the Edge winners are being printed this week. We are so excited by the quality of the poetry and the beautiful book design our printer Joe Carlough created.

And the covers! Wow, the covers! QuillsEdge Board Member Anique Taylor created a painting just for The Garlic Peelers, and the multi-talented Suellen Wedmore sent us her own lighthouse paintings to choose from for Mind the Light.

You can buy them now on our QuillsEdge Press Web Store for $12/book, with free shipping. They will be mailed out starting October 10th. We’re offering a pre-shipping special deal – both beautiful chapbooks for $20.00

Both books contain a selection of poems from our four finalists: Eve Linn, Sarah Backer, Kim Baker, and T. Stores.


Of The Garlic Peelers, 2014 Judge Barbara Crooker said:

garlic peelersOne of the things I look for in a chapbook is unity of theme, keeping in mind Frost’s dictum that if 26 separate poems make up a book, then the 27th poem is the book itself. The Garlic Peelers exemplifies this. I love the stunning title poem, and the way the other poems unfolded, like cloves of garlic from its core. I also admired the variety of forms and voices used, and the central metaphor: women’s lives as many-layered and essential as garlic. I like the way Lucia Galloway plays with multiple levels of meaning (chase/chaste/chastened; skins/scraps/leavings/chaff), the quotes that are salted between sections, and the way each section is introduced by lines that are excerpted and reworked from the title poem. No good recipe is complete without garlic, and no poetry shelf is complete without this fine book.




Of Mind The Light, 2014 Judge Barbara Crooker said,

mind the ligh

Mind The Light has as its narrators five very different women who were lighthouse keepers, five separate personas, five unique voices, like the multi-faceted Fresnel lens used in lighthouses. Each poem is a small gem; “lapidary” comes to mind in describing them. The central metaphor, women finding their strength in adverse and sometimes unchosen circumstances, took my breath away. This is a book of poetry that reads like a novel, and I challenge any reader to come away unmoved.


Mind the Light also has photos of four of the women, and an original painting by Suellen Wedmore of the fifth.

Our 2nd Competition Opens 11/01/2015!

QuillsEdge Press is proud to announce our 2nd Annual Chapbook Competition for Women Poets Over 50!

Our Theme: To Inhabit (a body, a landscape, an ecosystem, a dream, a memory, a nightmare, a fantasy, a place, a time)

Our Judge: Mary Ann McFadden

The competition opens November 1st, 2015 and runs through January 31st, 2016. Check back here in early October to download the guidelines and get the link to enter online!