About MaineCFNews HighlightsA Place in Maine Contest Winners

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"A Place in Maine" Contest Winners Announced

In the summer 2013 issue of Maine Ties, the Maine Community Foundation invited readers to share their stories about a special spot in Maine. The contest judge, Donna Gold, offers these reflections on the submissions:

What’s your favorite place in Maine -- and why? Reading these entries brought me to so many different places -- offshore on a lobster boat, in-town Portland, a spring in Gardiner, skating in Corea, kayaking on lakes and rivers, into several homes, and even to a compost pile. They brought smells and sounds of woods and birds, the feel of moss and sand and rock underfoot. They brought me back to an earlier generation of Mainers, as well as into the hearts of seven middle-school writers from Deer Isle.

The essays and poems underscore how essential place is for all of us, and how many bends in roads and rivers serve as touchstones for our lives. With so many places to honor and words to delight in, choosing three winners has not been easy. The winners are those who have immersed me in a locale while also surprising me with the meaning of that locale:

From the Deer Isle writers comes Devan Showers’s story about Portland, beginning, “The smell of gas when I walk in Portland reminds me of home.” It is a piece that made me smile for the powerful expressive longing of a Maine boy for the big city. I especially loved his use of smells (wet concrete, new shoes), as well as sounds of cars and “beeping sirens” and the way he strains his neck looking up at the buildings.

Jefferson Navicky’s reminiscence, “Battery Steele, Peaks Island: An Impressionistic Essay,” begins by placing the reader right on the boardwalk of the Battery, hearing the foghorn, walking the uneven planks. Already we are there and loving the place—but the ending of the story tells us why it is so central to Navicky’s heart.

While many of the entries describe childhood places that have an ongoing meaning, Kathy Weinberg’s “Sidewalks Dream/Heritage Trail” intertwines past and present, describing both her place, a path tracing the edge of an island, its “early morning light ... uplighting the trees, so everything glows, as if illuminated from within,” and the ways that place haunt her when far away, living in her room within a “kiln fired brick city.”

Editor and writer Donna Gold edits COA, the College of the Atlantic magazine.

Winners:

The winning writers received a signed copy of Art of Katahdin by David Little.

Honorable mentions:
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