Creative Nonfiction Contest Editorial
I melted into the shape and texture of “Dispatches.” Unfolding in short bursts, it reminded me of speaking out loud to oneself or the process of working through a complex idea — beautifully rendered. “Dispatches” is an intimate exploration of the literal and figurative voice and how each takes up just the right amount of space allowing for an effortless ebb and flow. When the writer says, “I imagine my vocal cords crowded with ghosts, all shouting down the tunnel that is my throat, attempting to articulate a new person into being.” I could picture this birthing of the new self and what we must do in order to shed old skins that no longer serve us. This call to action is responded to by the figurative voice, “I think literary voice must be that which we cannot hide about ourselves. That voice is less about aesthetics and more about ontology, a frame of mind, a way of being in the world.” There is no hiding here. Instead, there is simply existing.
— Chelene Knight
2021 CNF Contest Judge