Today is Chris Toll’s birthday, so it is especially nice to announce the winner of the third annual Chris Toll Prize.
This year the prize committee read about 70 anonymous manuscripts, many of which were wonderfully suited to a prize honoring our dear, beautiful, tattooed friend.
After much deliberation, we are pleased to announce the selection of Hygiene in Reading, a taut collection of prose poems by Patrick Williams. The winning chapbook should be available for order this month.
Here’s a sample poem from the chapbook:
About Patrick Williams
Patrick Williams is a poet and academic librarian living in Central New York. Recent work appears in publications including Prelude, BORT Quarterly, NO INFINITE, and Heavy Feather Review. He is the editor of Really System, a journal of poetry and extensible poetics. Find him at patrickwilliamsintext.com and on Twitter @activitystory.
About The Chris Toll Prize
Chris Toll was a beloved and respected member of the Baltimore literary community for 40 years. During that time, he wrote and published many poems, including the volumes The Pilgrim’s Process (Shattered Wig), The Disinformation Phase (Publishing Genius), and Life On Earth (Fell Swoop). He was also mentor, teacher, and friend to many poets and writers of that community, known for his gentle encouragement, sharp poetic eye, and fearless honesty.
The Chris Toll Memorial Writing Prize is for an unpublished chapbook. It honors one poet each year whose work indicates the belief that poetry is the best of all callings, who carries poetry through life like a grim, hard, and happy duty, who knows, as Chris did, the finest expanse we might measure is for the love behind the word. The Prize thus honors the memory of Chris Toll and the bright, brittle artifacts—the poems—he left behind.
2014: Barrett Warner, My Friend Ken Harvey
2013: Kyle Flak, What Hank Said on the Bus