One Book, Two Poems: One Poem contest winners and finalists announced!

Poet and novelist Ron Rash had a hard time picking the winner of the One Book, One Poem contest, and in the end, he decided it was a tie. Will Garland and Debra Daniels are the winners of the contest, for their poems “Swimming Out by the Dam” and “Inside the Silvered Breath.” Both poems will be published in Jasper later this year.

Five additional poems were named finalists: “corduroy road” by Lauren Allen, “Muddied Bottoms” by Will Garland (author of one of the winning poems as well), “Waters Remember (Keowee No. 1)” and “Three Things One Moment Before Summer” by Rieppe Moore, and “Elegy” by Dianne Turgeon Richardson.

Of the two winning poems, Rash wrote, “These two poems remind us that the best poetry is written for the ear as much as the eye. I am gratified to have had the opportunity to experience them.”

Jasper sponsored the One Book, One Poem contest in conjunction with the second annual One Book, One Columbia program. The book chosen for 2012 was Ron Rash’s Saints at the River, and a number of events tied to the book were scheduled in January and February, including a packed presentation by Rash at the Bostick Auditorium in Richland County Public Library.

Rash also agreed to judge Jasper’s One Book, One Poem contest, which invited poets from the greater Columbia area to submit poems inspired by Rash’s novel. Not only will the two winning poems will be published in Jasper later this year, but the authors will also receive a literary arts prize package. The finalists will be published later this year right here on the Jasper blog.

Jasper congratulates Will Garland and Debra Daniels, this year’s winners, and the finalists, Lauren Allen, Rieppe Moore, and Dianne Turgeon Richardson. Jasper also thanks all the participants who entered, and who made the judging so difficult because of the range and beauty of the work submitted.

The One Book, One Columbia program hopes to create a sense of community through a shared reading experience, encouraging residents of the greater Columbia area to read the same book at the same time. For more information on the One Book, One Columbia program, see

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