- "Mona Revisited" by Lynne Albert from Her Haunted Hazel Eyes Contradict Her Smile
- "Luis y Su Madre" by Skylark Bruce from I Wish
- "Confessions Part II: I Am" by T.M. Göttl from the Lake Effect Poetry 2012 Team Anthology
- "Soap Box Clean" by Cory Mikesell from the Lake Effect Poetry 2012 Team Anthology
- "To Be a Memory" by Jen Pezzo from Imaginary Conversations
- "Bullet Proof" by Carla Thompson from Anywhere Else But Here
Deciding which pieces to nominate was a challenge. While my first instinct was to nominate one poem from each of the six chapbooks The Poet's Haven published this year, I had to consider the need for the poems to stand on their own, without the context of the surrounding book. The two books I published this year that I did not choose to nominate a piece from both ran into this; the poems in those books work best as part of the whole.
I expect picking next year's selections to be an even more difficult process. The Poet's Haven will be doing away with the set publishing schedule we've used the past two years and will instead be working from a publication queue, allowing for far more than six titles to be released. We will also have some Poet's Haven Digest anthologies hitting shelves. This means I'll have to choose from a much larger selection of publications.