Just Buffalo Members Competition 2017 Judge’s Award Winner

I’m very happy to have won the Just Buffalo Members Competition for 2017. Judge Janet McNally (author of Some Girls and the YA novel Girls in the Moon) selected my poem “At the funeral of an atheist I didn’t know.” You can read it now in The Public, along with the Audience Award winner Khalil Ihsan Nieves’ poem “you should be here now.” Judging was blind, which makes it OK, I think, that I studied under Janet at Canisius, and then returned there to be here colleague on the 9th floor of Churchill Tower. She was even more surprised by the selection than I was. I believe she said she thought a “weird/charming old man” had written the poem. (She wasn’t exactly wrong.)

Rachelle Toarmino of Peach Mag (a dear friend and collaborator and second place runner-up in the contest) said in her “Peach Picks” column said the poem offers “an insightful look at belief against doubt, with a ready lyricism that allows it to stand as a hymn for the nonbeliever.”

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