Rattle Poetry Prize
The Winter 2021 issue features our 11 Rattle Poetry Prize winners, including the 1st prize poem, “Encephalon” by Ann Giard-Chase. The open section features the usual wide-ranging poems with humor and heart. Melissa Balmain leads the issue of with light verse looking at her own brain (literally). Other poems cover love, evolution, Robin Hood, and the DMV.
The conversation section takes an unusual turn, where psychologist James Pennebaker discusses his lifetime of research on the benefits of expressive writing. Decades ago, Pennebaker discovered that writing about traumatic experiences yields strong and measurable health benefits. His more recent research has explores the way our unconscious use of function words can reveal our psychological secrets. Though not a poet, both of these topics are very much related to contemporary poetry.