2018 APPR Winners
"There Are No Cassocks in America"
by Rachel Scott
There are no Cassocks in America.
No men armed with steel snakes, laughter and smoke
on their lips, reeking of vodka, who gained pleasure
in lining Jewish men and boys together, guns pointed
upward, only to never pull
Baruch’s cousin tells him they’re gone.
There are no gunshots in America.
But there are echoing sounds, such as engines
rumbling in streets, children kicking tin cans in
alleys with new shoes, and the occasional
bang of a pot. Phantom bullets hit
Baruch’s cousin tells him he’s safe.
"Alleys Through the Valleys" (excerpt)
by Benjamin Phelps
They were chasing him again. It was almost like a daily ritual. Five of the other boys at his school would chase him from the edge of the school’s property all the way to Little Italy. As usual, he managed to slip them by cutting through some of the thin alleys that New York had in abundance. He had won the game (as he tried to think of it) again today. He did not want to think about what would happen if he lost and they caught him. Their cries of “guinea” and “dago” were enough to worry him. I will never be caught. I am too fast for them...
"The American Dream" (excerpt)
by Tess La Fera
The American Dream
Has taken a knee
Its silent protest has become
Fire and brimstone
Its mouth arrested
Its freedom under siege
Waiting at the border
Doesn’t stand under God
It stands for destruction
Another black man gunned down for
Who knows what this time –