(If he could contact me offlist about the particulars of sending him his prize, that would be great. I don't seem to have his e-mail address, just his snail mail one, but I want to verify his choice of the prize before I send it.).
There were several strong entries and I struggled between three of them in particular, J.E. Stanley's poem, Bob Frazier's poem, "Research Vessel", and Jacie Ragan's poem, "Selena Bares Her Teeth Again".
If I were handing out honorable mentions after my three top favorites, I'd give them to Helena Bell, Jennifer Crow, and Sandra Lindow.
Ultimately, I selected "Event Horizon" because I just enjoyed the juxtaposition of a woman's lunch to a black hole's consumption of a dwarf star, the natural diction and flow of J.E.'s poem, the way he incorporated ALL EIGHT of the words from BOTH lists (way above the contest requirements but not illegal) in such a natural way that each word felt like it belonged in the poem and didn't feel forced into it. To me, "Event Horizon", is an example of what I enjoy about short poetry - it's deceptively simple, reads naturally, yet there's some other things going on beneath the surface that stimulate my imagination.
Thanks to everyone who participated. I enjoyed reading ALL of the poems.