We are awarding a monetary prize and a complimentary copy of Volume One to the reader who submits the best feedback on a piece appearing in each issue of The Summerset Review. Runners-up receive complimentary copies. For information on how to submit your feedback, see our Guidelines page.
For the Spring 2008 issue, we awarded $150. For the Summer 2008 issue, we awarded $100.
For the current issue - running now through December 1st, 2008 - the prize money is again set at $100.
Award winner for the Summer 2008 issue:
Tanaz Bhathena of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
LuAnn Schindler of Ewing, Nebraska
|We want to thank all those of you who submitted entries. We recognize the investment you've made to read our publication and write to us. We sincerely appreciate the interest.|
Tanaz writes about Joe Ponepinto's "The Art of Waiting" -
The conflict between the narrator and Mueller reminded me of certain instances in my own life: trying to please an anal professor in college, attempting to create the perfect sales pitch for a nit-picky customer. But that was only on the surface.
On a deeper level, it reminded me of a Buddhist theory called Pratityasamutpada, or "dependent co-arising." In layman's terms, it means that everything in the universe is created by a never-ending chain of cause and effect. Everyone and everything is interdependent. The smallest of creatures in the world have a purpose; the most unskilled jobs can be important when one looks at the big picture. Perhaps you may call this common sense, and indeed it is true that many of us have heard of a similar theory from different sources.
But how many of us have realized and accepted this very simple thing in life? Very few. For many, including myself, shame and ego come in the way. The idea of a job being even close to menial, is embarrassing.
The narrator's transformation in this story, from an embittered artist to a complacent waiter, is inspiring. Unlike the sharp flash of enlightenment common to practitioners of Zen Buddhism, the narrator's nirvana is more subtle – more like the delicate clink of a pair of wine glasses than the hard smack of a bamboo on one's spine. However, as a reader, I thought the effect was just as powerful.