Judge Ira Sukrungruang had this to say about the work:
“There’s this beat in my head that I can’t kick. It shakes. It rattles. It pumps like a heart about to burst. It a visceral response when reading “Backseat Freestyle” by Jasmine Salter. The language transports, engages, and is energized with wit and explosive lyricism. This language speaks, too; it saying something important, necessary. I’m listening. We all should.”
Jasmine Salters is a scholar, essayist, backpacker, and occasional lecturer partial to cross-genre writing that centers what moves, flourishes, and resists at the margin. Her essays, articles, and book reviews have appeared in publications such as Gawker, HuffPost, Public Books, and The Feminist Wire, among others. She is currently working on a collection of linked essays based on her award-winning dissertation, which centers the experiences of women of color in the commercial sex industry and the relationship between race, gender, intimacy, and capitalism. Tweet her at @backofftrack.
Darlene Pagan, for “Sanctuary of Frogs,” and Patricia Colleen Murphy, for “Absent without Leave”