For our 2022 contest, judge Chen Chen chose CRYBABY!, by Sydney Vogl.
Praise for CRYBABY!
“‘i could have one lover in each arm and still hunger from all three of my hearts.’ Thus reads, in its entirety, one of the brilliantly succinct, single-line self-portrait poems in this collection so full of arms and hungers and yes, hearts. Hearts in love, hearts questioning gender, hearts hitting rock bottom only to rediscover some secret warmth. CRYBABY! embraces emotion like sunflowers spilling from a gorgeous pocket dimension where vulnerability shines hard, sings harder. I so love these poems’ ‘unrotten strawberries’ and ‘veins on . . . mother’s hands,’ these scents and textures of delight, intimacy, heartbreak. What a sweaty supernova of aliveness, what an unabashed sob of a gift, this poetry.”
—CHEN CHEN, author of Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency and When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities
“Exploring the intricacies of gender, desire, and the divided self, Sydney Vogl is a knock-out poet, part love-sick troubadour, part Walt Whitman’s cosmic twin. No matter what she describes—a vodka-soaked sweater, a triple-hearted octopus—the world comes alive under her yearning gaze. CRYBABY! is a dazzling collection.”
—BRUCE SNIDER, author of Fruit and Paradise, Indiana
Sydney Vogl is the winner of the 2021 Jane Underwood Poetry Prize and the 2020 AWP Intro Journals Project. They are the author of the chapbook CALIFORNIA IS GOING TO HELL and have poems appearing in Iron Horse Literary Review, Tusculum Review, Honey Literary, Booth, and more. She currently lives, writes and teaches in San Francisco.