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1st Place Poetry Contest Winner - Emma Conlon

notes on womanhood (abridged)

liminal space

1. the place a person is in during a transitional period

2. empty or abandoned places that appear eerie, forlorn, or surreal

3. the aperture; a doorway between who you are

& who you’re meant to become.

the world has been shaping & reshaping

my soft clay body from birth when I was most loved

no scars no wounds to pinch & roll out

everything else is mere liminal space between

we all come into this world more or less the same

it’s always been our ends that capture us best

each of us hands, pushing each other beyond

the boundaries of the physical body, some unknown

hideaway between the realms of the living & the


if I am ever the victim of a true crime podcast,

I’d like to think I know how they would spin it:

beloved young English teacher & bride-to-be tragically

struck down in her prime, leaving behind a bereaved family

& a devastated fiancé. how terribly awful, taken

away from us so soon. anyway, here’s how we think

he did it. will her killer ever be found?

sometimes I think the world would love me better



Emma Conlon (she/her) is an emerging poet and a recent graduate of the University of Virginia. Her work has been featured in Eunoia Review, Pen & Pendulum, Wet Ink Haven, Merak Magazine, Polemical Zine, and elsewhere. Her debut poetry collection, Changing of the Tides & Other Poems, was self-published in 2022. Find more of her work at and most social media platforms @byemmaconlon.


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