The Rattle Chapbook Prize
The annual Rattle Chapbook Prize gives poets something truly special. Every year, at least one winner will receive: $2,000 cash, 500 contributor copies, and distribution to Rattle's 7,000+ subscribers. In a world where a successful full-length poetry book might sell 1,000 copies, the winning book will reach an audience seven times as large on its release day alone—an audience that includes many other literary magazines, presses, and well-known poets. This will be a chapbook to launch a career.
And maybe the best part is this: The $20 entry fee is just a standard subscription to Rattle, which includes four issues of the magazine and the winning chapbook, even if it isn't yours. Rattle is one of the most-read literary journals in the world—find out why just by entering! For more information and to read portions of last year's winning entry, 3arabi Song by Zeina Hashem Beck, visit http://www.rattle.com/chapbooks/about/
Please enjoy this poem by Ms. Beck.
Ghazal: Back Home
for Syria, September 2015
Tonight a little boy couldn't walk on water or row back home.
The sea turned its old face away. Again, there was a no, no, back home.
Bahr* is how we were taught to measure poetry,
bahr is how we've stopped trying to measure sorrow, back home.
"All that blue is the sea, and it gives life, gives life," says God to the boy
standing wet at heaven's gate—does he want to return, to go back home?
My friend who hates cooking has made that eggplant dish,
says nothing was better than yogurt and garlic and tomato, back home.
On the train tracks, a man shouts, "Hold me, hold me," to his wife,
bites her sleeve, as if he were trying to tow back home.
Thirteen-year-old Kinan with the big eyes says, "We don't want to stay in Europe."
"Just stop the war," he repeats, as if praying, Grow, grow back, home.
Habibi, I never thought our children would write HELP US on cardboard.
Let's try to remember how we met years ago, back home.
On our honeymoon we kissed by the sea, watched it
rock the lights, the fishing boats to and fro, back home.
* Bahr is Arabic for sea. Also, in Arabic poetry, bahr means meter.