Sixth Annual Wild Violet Writing Contest Winners (2008)
Arlene L. Mandell, a retired English professor, was formerly a public relations executive and writer/editor at Good Housekeeping magazine. She has published more than 400 poems, essays and short stories in newspapers and literary journals, including The New York Times, True Romance and Women's Voices.
Judge Eileen M. D'Angelo's comments:
"Penultimate Chapter" is a study in the steady build-up, and the reader feels something monumental is about to happen, all the way to the turn: "Next month, she'll retire." There's a reverent quality to the words, as the teacher cherishes the last moments of a long career, absorbs every single sensation, committing it to memory. There is a hint of wistfulness, of sadness, and the last two lines say it all, so eloquently. These are the poems that kept calling my name, poems that had the power to make me read them over and over again.