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GPC Chapbooks!
winners from our free yearly contest


cover art by Candela Ferrandez

Meditations from My Childhood Bedroom

by Christa Vander Wyst

limited edition print copy
[digital free PDF--Winter 2023]
[accompanying playlist for this chap][goodreads page for this chap]

Christa Vander Wyst graduated from Knox College in 2021 with a BA in creative writing. Through her poetry and essays, she commonly reflects on themes of childhood, mental health, self-discovery, and growth. When she’s not arguing for the importance of the Oxford comma, she enjoys reading, thrifting, and drinking mediocre decaf coffee. This is her first chapbook

selected by Stephen Furlong


Christa Vander Wyst’s writing invites us to gaze into well-tuned memories, cleverly arranged so that we too can remember how technicolor childhood felt. We grow up with each page turn, wading into the startling reality of how life’s rules change as our innocence fades. This chapbook holds heart with every poem—as a reader, I revel in how richly detailed all of these recollections are, how the voice reaches to us as a trusted companion, and how the prose travels to untouched territory in creative forms to display how fiercely mental illness grips those in their hardest-to-breathe moments. By the end, we are asked to share a lost love for the places and people that are no longer, but we are also welcomed by the chance to find a new beginning.


- Jaime Lam, Winner of the 2021 Davenport Prize in Creative Nonfiction


Vander Wyst sets herself before these pages as before a window. She considers the beehive in her maple. When “the house across the street becomes a fishbowl,” she peers into others’ alien domesticity. Sometimes the light bends back into memory and refracts what she thought she saw; sometimes it reveals who she might yet be. A part and apart: windows make us both, and this work navigates the distances created by difference and by time to consider such cleaving and the many metamorphoses required to become most oneself.


- Beth Marzoni, No Shape Bends the River So Long (Parlor Press)

have you ever dreamed of flamingos?

by mónica teresa ortiz

limited edition print copy
[digital free PDF--Winter 2023]
[accompanying playlist for this chap]
[goodreads page for this chap]

mónica teresa ortiz is a poet born, raised, and based in Texas.

what if instead of putting our faith in elections

we just believe in each other?

cover art by Ashley-Devon Williamston

selected by Laura Villareal

The Failure of Photography

by Leah Mueller

limited edition print copy
[digital free PDF--Winter 2023]
[accompanying playlist for this chap]
[goodreads page for this chap]

Leah Mueller is the author of ten prose and poetry books. Her work appears in Rattle, NonBinary ReviewMidway Journal, Citron Review, The Spectacle, Miracle Monocle, Outlook Springs, Atticus Review, Your Impossible Voice, etc. She is a 2023 nominee for both Pushcart and Best of the Net. Her flash piece, “Land of Eternal Thirst” appears in the 2022 edition of Sonder Press’s “Best Small Fictions” anthology.


cover art by Christina Ortiz

selected by Lyd Havens


Dedicated to her late husband, Russ Van Rooy, Leah Mueller’s new collection is deeply introspective. Mueller takes the long view of our short time on this planet, and without being morbid or overly sentimental grieves for her lost partner. Indeed, as the title of this stunning collection suggests, memory itself may be overrated. But a bit of survivor’s guilt is implicit in poems like, “In my dreams, you are still dying,” in which Mueller tosses Russ’s ashes into the Pacific Ocean and reflects, “I am doomed to a body: that familiar bulk / with its animal vexations. I tow its weight / and pay for its maintenance. // The void has swallowed your remains.” Mueller is not unfamiliar with death, having buried her parents and siblings, and though she feels the loss, she dodges sorrow the best she can, as the final poem in The Failure of Photography, “How to be Happy Again,” demonstrates. When misery shows up, she cautions, “slip out your back door and walk as fast as you can in the opposite direction.”


- Charles Rammelkamp, Mortal Coil and Transcendence

Leah Mueller’s poems in The Failure of Photography create an alchemy akin to the magic of the dark room, shapes and images emerging and following the reader. A widow at a bar on Halloween night in a merry widow costume, a roadside yucca tree giving up its ghost, drunken cowboys as healers, a skeleton tumbleweed. These vivid poems have the feel of black and white photos with flashes of color revealed as a window sash flaps up in the wind. Full of both movement and a forlorn, beautiful sanctuary, this chapbook gives us moments of rest in the poet’s sure imagination and an invitation to journey to strange places. “Someone always wants to live inside me…” she tells us in the poem “Motel Heart,” and in “No Hero”s Journey” we are beckoned with “I think you need to get into that chariot and drive.” A few poems into this chapbook, the reader will be Mueller’s ride or die.


- Kelly Riggle Hower, Winner of the Richard Hugo House Poetry of Place Prize

GPC's 2023 Inaugural Online Poetry Reading!

A lovely poetry reading featuring 8 of our finalists from our Inaugural Chapbook Contest(!):

  • Ashley Elizabeth

  • Christa Vander Wyst

  • Leah Mueller

  • Andrew Sargus

  • Sneha Subramanian Kanta

  • Alex Vigue

  • Bianca Phipps  

  • mónica teresa ortiz

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