And we’re thrilled to announce David Armstrong as the winner of our 2017 Slippery Elm Prize in Prose! He’ll receive $1000 and publication of his story “Parabolic” in our upcoming issue.
Read judge Mary Grimm’s thoughts on “Parabolic”:
I love this story! It has a straightforward, sure-footed narration and a strong voice that give the story a quiet and compelling authority. I love how it goes from the mundane (Walmart, the football game, the pub) to the image-full transcendence of his memory of his brother — “How the light cracked the black-eyed susans and cattails and spun languorously in shimmering helixes and touched our pale skin in rippling waves.” It’s magic realism, I guess, but of a particular low-key sort, the sort where the effects of the two (magic, reality) are somehow reversed or reflected in a way that makes the reader want to look and look again at what is supposed to be mundane.
This is a story that doesn’t try to settle anything or ask us to believe in anything. The narrator is telling us what he did and what he knows – it’s personal and important to him, the meeting with Jesus, no matter how things turned out, a Lives of the Saints for modern times.