Named Finalist for the 14th Annual National Indie Excellence Award
Magdalena Zurawski, Prize judge, says of the collection: "The lush sounds of the poems in Rosa Lane's Chouteau's Chalk make even the silent reader's ears prick up. Her words wind us feverishly through landscapes of initiation, those early erotic encounters so impressed upon our being that we can only look back and say 'hello me.' The spaces here are sometimes wounding, 'outlined in neon, a noble gas, atomic, orange,' or 'a blur, a fallen entity / inside the house,' but like all freedom songs, they map the road taken. Here that road is queerly, wildly, sweetly taken, 'zipping us all the way down the beck.'"
In Chouteau's Chalk, Rosa Lane's poems take a deep dive into the emotional and the erotic. Gender bent, her poems reside amid a tomboy's emerging sexual identity within a world confined by heterosexual construction and its persistent mores. Her collection piques a counter-mythos that unfolds within a small fishing village opening a forbidden and hidden world with sensorial intensity and lyrical momentum. An epigraph from Audre Lorde's notable work Uses of the Erotic: Erotic as Power hovers over every poem from birth through marriage, traversing calamities and holograms of desire, giving the "I" permission to assume full agency with power and dignity in a manner that is as acute as revelatory.