Dr. Amy Randolph, associate professor of English at Waynesburg University, was recently named the 2013 winner of the Astounding Beauty Ruffian (ABR) Press poetry chapbook competition, resulting in the publication of her chapbook. In addition to publication, the award also included a $10,000 cash prize.
Selected from more than 450 entries, Randolph’s chapbook, “A Particular Sorrow, a Tree,” is a long poem presented in segments. Many of the segments in her poem deal with experiences such as loss, self-doubt and spiritual doubt, while other segments are firmly rooted in images of hope and spiritual endurance.
“The ineffable, ethereal quality these poems contain gives them so much mystery that I can't even describe it,” said Sherry Beasely, owner of ABR Press. “I read the poems so much in an effort to see if there was some concrete thing, and, not really finding one, liked the manuscript all the more for it. These poems are deep and pure and they seem to truly come from Amy’s soul. We received a lot of good work, but Amy’s manuscript trumped all the rest.”
Kristine Schiffbauer, instructor of visual communication at Waynesburg University, designed the chapbook cover using a photograph taken by Dr. Robert Randolph, writer-in-residence at the University and Randolph’s husband, while the Randolphs lived in Texas.
"I feel blessed and honored that my manuscript was chosen,” said Randolph. “As a poet, I consider this a strong affirmation not only of my own writing but of the value of all poetry in a culture (our culture, specifically) in which the genre often seems not to play a significant role in people’s lives. This is why I'm so grateful for Astounding Beauty Ruffian Press and the work they do – clearly not for profit, but out of a genuine love of poetry and a commitment to producing beautiful books."
Randolph holds a Ph.D. from Binghampton University as well as a Master of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Arts degree, both from Texas State University.
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