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2015 Winner

There Is a Doe in the Winter Hay Field

We are proud to announce that the Winner of the 2015 Concrete Wolf Chapbook Competition has been selected by our final judge, Patricia Fargnoli. This year's winner is Susan Gordon of Ijamsville, MD, for her manuscript There Is a Doe in the Winter Hay Field.

Patricia Fargnoli says of this manuscript: "In Susan Gordon's wonderful chapbook-length poem, she follows the body of a deer from its dying to its disintegration, by day, change by change, and in so doing, gives us a gift about beauty, about death, about change, about the importance of paying precise and close attention to the amazing world."



“Susan Gordon’s extraordinary language conveys us through death to dissolution and transfiguration, as she bears careful, caring witness to the body of a belly-shot doe day after day, week after week, month after month, through all seasons of the weather and the soul.  Time and again precis description breaks open into transcendent vision; beauty entwines with horror, both driving towards the ‘unraveling / of what comes / after everything has been undone.’  This is a masterpiece, a poem I will cherish and revisit for many years.”

—Jo Radner, Professor of Literature Emerita, American University, and Storyteller

Susan's Web Site:

Excerpt from
There Is a Doe in the Winter Hayfield

I have been hearing the exploding cracks 
of rifle shots from the long, empty farm behind mine

I don’t know those hunters 
but I know their signs 
I find molasses and corn in August  
left out to call the velvet-antlered buck into ambush 
I find beer cans and orange peels  
as the raw dark of hunting season sets in

There is a doe in the winter hay field

I allow a hunter here, Nick, 
a bow-hunter, quiet, waiting 
quick to follow if he has wounded

He has never left a deer behind

There is a doe in the winter hay field

Belly shot 
she died running 
her legs outstretched 
stilled mid-gallop 
She died in extremity 
in flight

There is a doe in the winter hay field

She is close to whole  
her skyward eye plucked 
one ear torn 
Other than that, she is 
a sweet-faced beauty 
with a long white throat and a dark nose

There is a doe in the winter hay field
There Is a Doe in the Winter Hayfield


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