2018 Gas Station Winners

We are thrilled to announce Sarah Minor’s (read her recent interview here) picks for our new Gas Station Prize. For the inaugural contest, we asked people to send us hybrid work, or work that didn’t fall neatly into one genre or another. Below are the first-, second-, and third-place winners, with some of Sarah’s thoughts on each piece.

Our second-runner up is Lucas Bailor for their piece, “bible garage.”

Sarah’s thoughts: “bible garage” is a hybrid text invested in a poetics of “thinking around” a subject. Bailor calls this approach “the concrete wondering aloud,” or, rather, “the way dried cat food represents the absence.” The text’s concerns with salvation, space, and the physicality of scripture remind me that pages, like bodies, can fashion their own appeals for mercy.

Lucas Bailor is from Moreno Valley, California and currently teaches at California State University, Monterey Bay. His work has recently appeared in DelugeAngel City ReviewDUM DUM Zine, and SHARKPACK Poetry Review. He occasionally tweets @lucasbailor.

Our runner up is DF Parizeau (their online poetry project may be found here), for their piece “Beyond City Limits.”

Sarah’s thoughts: “Beyond City Limits” convinces me that every story comes in layers. Each form is built by textures and map keys and the way that someone dear to you keeps drawing their letter “A.” In this hybrid piece, [the author] uses a collaged, visual form to remind us of all that can be communicated by what a narrator leaves out.

Currently living as an uninvited guest on the unceded territories of the ʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations, DF Parizeau is a poet and non-fiction writer, who also dabbles in mixed media projects. You can typically find him wandering the streets, collecting raindrops as part of his online poetry project, ‘the eavestrough diaries’ (www.belowtheeaves.ca). His work has been featured in W49 Magazine, and on various stages across the city.

Lastly, our winner and Gas Station award recipient, is Mike Oliphant, for his mind-bending piece “Medium Warp: Excerpt’s of a Digital Consciousness.”

Sarah’s thoughts: In “Medium Warp,” Oliphant uses the borrowed shapes of the Error Code, the User Agreement, and the language of JavaScript to craft an artful “Reply All” to the digital age. “If severed, the arm of an octopus will search for food…” By showcasing the richness of each fragment, Oliphant rejects the blueprint for traditional narratives—“Reply: The point being: Anything untethered grows hungry.”

Mike Oliphant is an MFA candidate at Western Washington University. His short fiction and poetry have been published in Psaltery & Lyre, IDK Magazine, Shooter Literary Magazine, NANO Fiction,The Molotov Cocktail, and elsewhere. He is the current Managing Editor of the Bellingham Review and a recent Pushcart nominee.

In addition to our winners, we’d like to honor the finalists for this prize, whose work will be appearing on our site in the coming weeks.

Jenny Montgomery
Marisol Cortez
Chris Wiewiora
Lili Weckler
Our deepest thanks to Sarah Minor for judging and to all of you for submitting your work. And congrats to the winners! Look out for these pieces in our latest issue of Thin Air!