And the winner is…

After a record voter turnout, and a good close race: “Ode to Stinkin.” I’ll be contacting the winner to arrange delivery of an autographed Ray Troll t-shirt of the writer’s choice. Many thanks to all who entered, voted, and spread the word about our contest. We’ll look forward to another when salmon season rolls around next year.

On to our next poll: this quarter’s book club selection. Nominated were Cindy Dyson’s And She Was, Thomas Wharton’s Icefields, and Marcel Theroux’s Far North. We’ll add those to Being Caribou, Firecracker Boys, and Raising Ourselves, all nominated earlier this year, and set up another poll for readers to choose our next selection. By clicking on the Shelfari links in the sidebar, you’ll get complete information about each title. Voting closes at 8 a.m. AST on Monday, August 31, and the book discussion will be September 28 and 29.

And to add a good laugh to your Monday, here once again is the winner of our Ode to a Dead Salmon contest:

“Ode to Stinkin’”

Dead salmon in the middle of the path stinking to high heaven—Ancient folk song (Circa, 1973)

O Humpy! An eagle dropped you in the park,
a cyclist ran over you in the dark.
O beautiful salmon! Putrefied and parched
atop you a hundred tourists marched.

And there you decayed and stank in the sun,
when I happened on you during a morning run.
I paused to move you from the path
so as not to encounter a bruin’s wrath.

But then, O Humpy! I saw your eyes
and thought you must have once been wise.
to swim so far from the ocean’s deep,
navigating currents your scent did keep.

You finned and spermed in the riverbed
and left your babies on the mud-bank’s edge.
Sad now, though, those sloughing scales,
but your end is better than my own sad tale.

O Humpy! I buried you beside the trail
and then at once I started to wail.
See, I’d been out there runnin’ and a thinkin’
about my ole’ man and all his drinkin’.

Bout how his eyes are glossy and thick
and when he smooches me, I just feel sick.
His hugs feel more like a nasty squish,
no six-pack abs as I’d once wished.

O Splendid Humpy!
Lover or fish, does it really matter?
Seems I’d rather smell the rot of the latter.
But what’s an Alaskan girl to think

cause after a while—they all start to stink.

5 thoughts on “And the winner is…”

  1. Andromeda Romano-Lax

    Does the winning poet want to take credit? (Or is he/she preferring to remain anonymous?)

    If you're the winner, feel free to speak up here! I, for one, would be interested to hear more about your writing background, interests, place of residence etc.

  2. I would love to know who wrote the top 3 pieces. I'm sure others would like to publicly hail you as fine poets. Esp. congrats to you, creator of Stinkin'…

    and thanks to 49 Writers for coming up with this contest; what a great incentive to have a little fun with our writing.

  3. O.k. It's me, Vivian Faith Prescott, the author of Ode to Stinkin. Here's some information about me:

    Ch’a aadéi yei xat naay.oo. Lingít X’éináx, Atk’aheen yoo xat duwasáakw. Dleit kaa X’éináx Vivian Martindale ka Prescott yoo xat duwasáakw. Yéil naax xat sitee. T’akdeintaan áyá xat. Sáami ka Suomalainen yádi áyá xat ka áyá xat, ka Irish, ka Dutch, ka German ka Norweigan. Howie Martindale yoo duwasáakw ax xúx. Mitchell Prescott yoo duwasáakw ax éesh. Lorna Woods yoo duwasáakw ax tláa. Binkley ka Amundsen dachxan áyá xat. Kachxaana.aakw dax as een.aa áyá. Sheetka Kwaan yei xat yatee. Kashxeedí aya xat. Ax toowoo yak’éi yaax’ yei xat teeyí. Gunalchéesh ax x’éit yees.aaxí.

    My name is Vivian Faith Prescott. My Lingít nickname is Atk’aheen (Faith). I am a student of the Lingít language. I’m a full-time writer living in Sitka, Alaska. I was born and raised in Wrangell, Alaska. I’m married with grown children and have many grandchildren. I am of Sáami and Suomalainen descent (among other ethnicities). My children are Tlingit, Ravens, from the Snail House. I am a poet, writer, and scholar. I’m a 2nd year student in the MFA at UAA’s low residency program. I’ve been writing and publishing since the 6th grade. I’m a fifth generation Alaskan. My maternal great-grandfather, the Great Elk Slayer, William Binkley from the William-Purdy gang, escaped from a chain crew and fled to Wrangell, Alaska with his family. He was wanted for poaching and was a suspect in the murder of local law enforcement (I have his wanted poster from the LA Times). With this heritage, I figure I had to become a writer or resort to crime. I’ve decided to combine them.

    I’m currently working on several writing projects: a poetry manuscript about my life living within a multi-cultural family on an isolated Alaskan island; a poetry manuscript concerning my involvement with the Lingít language revitalization, struggles with language loss, etc…; a finished memoir, which is currently being circulated among publishers (lots of rejection letters piling up); and a middle-grade novel that was completed last year and is now in the editing process.

    You can find me online @ Poets and Writers Magazine
    My Space
    Find me, Poet_tweet, on Twitter:
    And if you Google me, I might turn up on wikipedia where you’ll find that I was an American actress who appeared in 202 films between 1909-1917. Evidently, I was quite prolific and talented.

  4. Andromeda Romano-Lax

    (oops, zapped my own previous comment…)

    Hello and congrats Dr. Viv,

    Excellent! Your bio is as interesting as your poem and you clearly have many wonderful stories to share! Thanks for coming 'out of the closet' and into the community here at 49w.

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