2020 Summer Contest Issue 26 poetry


by Zebulon Huset

There has Always Been a Knee on our Backs by Charles E Humes Jr.

The poem below won 1st prize in our 2020 Summer Contest in poetry. Here’s a statement from judge Ashley M. Jones.

This is a poem that took me by the most spectacular surprise⁠—I’m a poet who loves to play with form, and I think this form illuminates the content beautifully. How can one recount the things that hurt us, or the things that made us? It is a maze in our minds, and this poem shows us that.

-Ashley M. Jones


Zebulon Huset is a teacher, writer and photographer living in San Diego. His writing has recently appeared in Meridian, The Southern Review, Fence, Rosebud, Atlanta Review & Texas Review among others. He publishes the writing blog Notebooking Daily and edits the journal Coastal Shelf.

Charles E. Humes, Jr. has been a professional fine artist for over forty years. He’s a recipient of multiple grants and fellowships, including the State of Florida’s Individual Artist Grant in painting, and a Smithsonian Southern Arts Federation Print-making Fellow. His paintings and drawings have been exhibited in major galleries and universities, and have received numerous awards and honors throughout the USA.