Prize Win from Bloom Literary Journal!

Velvet Rodeo poetry collection wins prize! This just in from BLOOM Literary Journal at


Judge C. Dale Young has selected Velvet Rodeo by Kelly McQuain for the 2013 BLOOM Poetry Chapbook Prize. McQuain will receive 25 copies of the chapbook and a $100 honorarium. Judge’s citation: “‘The tongue I try to master / is a sticky one, forked and full of tricks,’ is the opening of a poem in Velvet Rodeo, and it becomes a point of return for the collection. These poems understand that to tell the truth, one must lie, play tricks, and even dare to say the unbelievable. Careful and exacting, these poems exact a price from a reader. They linger with you long after you have finished reading them.” “Alien Boy” from Velvet Rodeo appeared in the Fall 2012 issue of BLOOM. ~~~~~ Kelly McQuain grew up surrounded by the mountains of West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest. His poetry has appeared in Painted Bride Quarterly, The Pinch, Assaracus, Kin, Mead, Bloom, Chelsea Station, American Writing and the anthologies Poems for the Writing and Rabbit Ears: TV Poems. His fiction has appeared in such journals as Icarus, The James White Review, Kansas Quarterly/Arkansas Review, The Harrington Gay Men’s Fiction Quarterly and in numerous anthologies, including Best American Erotica, Skin & Ink and Men on Men 2000. His book reviews and columns on city life appear in The Philadelphia Inquirer. Recently his poem, “Camping as Boys in the Cow Field”, was selected by Reginald Dwayne Betts as the winner of Redivider’s AWP poetry contest. McQuain works as a professor in Philadelphia.

“Alien Boy” can be read here:

My thanks to poet C. Dale Young and the editors at BLOOM, Charles Flowers and Aaron Smith, who keep the journal going! — Kelly

C. Dale blogs about poetry at this site:

“Alien Boy” appears in Bloom literary journal

We may have the first winter snow on the ground here in Philadelphia, but at least one thing is in Bloom. A big shout out to Charles Flowers and Aaron Smith, and all the other Bloomers who make it happen! “Alien Boy” was inspired by a sad story a friend shared, one that stayed with me a long time and wouldn’t let go. I knew I needed to write about it. I’m grateful to know people who inspire, help shape, and/or print my work.