Announcing the Omnidawn 2011 Open Book Contest Winner

We are very pleased to announce the winner of Omnidawn’s first annual 2011 Open Book Contest:
Loom by Sarah Gridley, selected by Carl Phillips.

The finalists of the 2011 contest are (in alphabetical order by the author’s last name):

All the Good in the World Starts Now — Anne Cecelia Holmes
A Geography of Syntax — Jill Darling
Midwinter — Matt Reeck
Roadsides — Nik De Dominic
Thought That Nature — Trey Moody

Judge’s Citation for Loom

“Not inside us or outside us, but the obbligato pressing on between.” One of Loom’s concerns is the tension between inside and outside, between the outside world that contains and in part defines us, and the interior of self that we know best in the “slow darks/of elected solitude.” It makes sense, then, that an underlying theme – or obbligato – of Loom is Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shalott,” a equally mysterious text that, among other things, includes a woman weaving at a loom, whose only vision of the outside world is in a mirror until, fatally, she turns toward the actual world, and the mirror cracks. Loom seems at times a Book of Hours both contemporary and medieval, illuminated everywhere with intellect, grace, and a persuasive belief in beauty; at other times, something woven of many histories – private, natural, literary – a fabric that at once conceals and discloses. This indefinitiveness is part of the point here: “Let nothing speak to/or touch/what the story truly feels.”

–Carl Phillips, Judge of the Omnidawn 2011 Poetry Open Book Contest

Sarah Gridley is the author of two books of poetry: Weather Eye Open (2005) and Green is the Orator (2010), both from the University of California Press. She is an assistant professor of English at Case Western Reserve University.
(Photo credit: Ann Gridley)

For more information about Omnidawn’s annual book contests, please visit our contest website at

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