Sábado en Alausí / Saturday in Alausí

22 Oct

Columbia Journal Fall Contest Finalist!

I’ve always been a little wary about sending poems to contests. It seems almost impossible to win, and although the prizes can be substantial, the entry fees are not cheap.

This year I decided to try my luck and entered a number of contests. While I’ve definitely gotten my usual share of rejections, this year things have been different. I won the Betty Gabehart Prize, which was amazing. Then, I was selected as a semifinalist for the Frontier Industry Prize. While I didn’t make it to the finalist round, they told me that my poem made it to the top 4% of entries. That made me feel very good and it’s been a huge encouragement for me and my poetry.

Last week I got excellent news: my poem “Sábado en Alausí/Saturday in Alausí” was selected as a finalist in the Columbia Journal Fall Contest! I didn’t win any money, but my poem got published in the Columbia Journal Online— so stoked!

The poem is about the knock on the door that so many of my ancestors dreaded. Even after emigrating to South America from Spain, the Inquisition followed. The characters are different, but this story keeps repeating itself over and over.

This poem is in Spanish and English, which is another reason why I am so grateful that it was selected. It is a gamble to send a multilingual poem in as a contest submission. But, this poem has to appear in both languages, because it is written for the descendants. I couldn’t just send it in English. It would have been like sending half the poem.

Click here to read the poem: http://columbiajournal.org/fall-2019-contest-poetry-finalist-sabado-en-alausi-saturday-in-alausi/

Then, come back here and let me know what you think in the comments!

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