California Writers Exchange Finalists

Fourteen finalists were selected in the fiction category and fifteen in poetry from a pool of 692 fiction entries and 712 poetry entries. Judges Karen Tei Yamashita (fiction) and Juan Felipe Herrera (poetry) then named a winner and two runners-up in each genre. We extend our thanks to all who entered.



Sean Bernard, “California”

First Runner-up:
Kelly Luce, “Ms. Yamada’s Toaster”

Second Runner-up:
Jill Tidman, “Unseeable Things”

Jon Boilard, “Green Street Incidents”
Rob Davidson, “First Position”
Lisa Douglass, “No Tell Motel” and “The Apology”
John Fox, “The Children Colony”
Jim Gavin, “The Hourglass”
Lee Milena Goodman, “Barter System”
Catherine Harris, “The Real Thing”
Tim Z. Hernández, “Breathing, In Dust”
Hannah Kornfeld, “Ace of Cups”
Missy Roback, “Love, Rose”
R.A. Rycraft, “You Know”


Craig Santos Perez, “from unincorporated territory”

First Runner-up:
Gabrielle Myers, “Feeding – Poems”

Second Runner-up:
Roxane Beth Johnson, “Mulatto & other poems”

Lory Bedikian, “Beyond the Mouth”
Michelle Bitting, “Cool Blue Lens”
Brendan Constantine, “Selected Poems”
Aja Couchois Duncan, “Nomenclature, Miigaadiwin, A Forked Tongue”
Taylor Graham, “Peace in Fifty Tongues”
Vanessa Huang, “quiet of chorus”
Christina Hutchins, “Sing the Body”
Shawn Pittard, “My Secret Name”
Joshua Rivkin, “Suitor Suite”
Cathie Sandstrom, “Uncertain Geography”
Bruce Snider, “At These Speeds”
Deborah Wood, “A History of Readings”