August 22, 2017 at 12:05 pm EST | by Steve Charing
Gay man wins Pratt Library’s poetry contest
Stephen Zerance, gay news, Washington Blade

Stephen Zerance won Pratt’s Poet Lore Poetry Contest. (Photo courtesy Zerance)

Baltimore resident Stephen Zerance was named the 2017 winner of the Enoch Pratt Free Library/Poet Lore Poetry Contest. The contest was judged by “Poet Lore,” billed as America’s oldest poetry journal.

There were 261 poems submitted for the 2017 Poetry Contest, representing 20 Maryland counties and Baltimore City. Zerance emerged as the winner for his poem titled “True Crime.”

Zerance, who received his MFA from American University, is the author of the chapbook “Caligula’s Playhouse” (Mason Jar Press, 2016). His poems have appeared in “West Branch,” “Prairie Schooner,” “Quarterly West,”” Assaracus,” and “Knockout” among others. He has also been featured on the websites of Lambda Literary and Split This Rock. He began writing poetry during his undergraduate days.

“With ‘True Crime’ I wanted to explore the recent surge of true crime-related programming on television and media and link it to my life, to make sense of my fascination with various cases,” Zerance told the Blade.

“The poem tackles the triple homicide home invasion that occurred in Cheshire, Conn. It’s a particularly grizzly case that received a lot of media attention and the poem explains the effect of this.”

“True Crime” will be enlarged for display in a Central Library show window in the summer, and along with the runners-up will be published in the Fall/Winter 2017 issue of “Poet Lore,” available through “Poet Lore’s” e-store and at the Central Library. The poem will be a part of his collection debuting in 2018 from Indolent Books.

To read “True Crime,” click here.

You can follow Stephen Zerance on Instagram @lvcifers_revenge.

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