top of page

Best of the Net Nominations for Poetry 2022

By Flapper Press & Clayton Clark:

The Best of the Net is an awards-based anthology that highlights the work of writers, poets, and online publishers. The project was created in 2006 by Sundress Publications for the ever-growing digital literary landscape to bring together online magazines, journals, and creators toward honoring digital publishing.

"We believe this effort is integral in decentering the literary canon as well as promoting and amplifying voices that are imperative to good literature, responsible culture, and the understanding of today's social climate." —

Over the past year, the Flapper Press Poetry Café has had the honor of featuring an outstanding collection of poetry and interviews from poets around the globe, and we are excited to announce our nominations.

With the help of poet & painter Clayton Clark, serving as guest poetry editor, Flapper Press is proud to present (in alphabetical order) our nominations for Best of the Net in Poetry for 2022! Congratulations to all our nominees!

Click here to see our

2022 Best of the Net nominations for WRITING!


Laurel Benjamin—"Flowers on a Train"

Flowers on a Train

Flowers fall off her shirt

onto the floor a sea of flowers

as she texts into her phone.

And because like her I’ve cried

under sunglasses, into my tea, under

the shower’s hot water,

at the top of the steps between classes

I inhale the violet, the tangerine,

the rose.

Flowers fell off my skirt one Christmas,

punch at a party, attentions of the bass player

staggering to get more

into his glass. I needed

a refill, staring at white lights

hung on the kitchen’s bare walls.


close enough.

Then the band started up

and he took his place

next to the piano, the drums,

and my saxophone boyfriend.

As we drove back over the Bay Bridge

I compared musical temperaments

while the punch wore off, like coming out of


Flowers on a Train, why do you cry,

a saxophone player in your coffee or did you wake

in the middle of an impermeable song,

honeyed sweater, sunglasses on your curly crown.

You can reach me a few seats away—

your flowers crawl up my legs,

thick velvet pile,

silent wet.

— Laurel Benjamin


CC: I loved the surreal reality of this poem. Such wonderful, striking imagery, and the empathy is contagious. The language is surprising and the scenes, so vivid, yet they feel slippery as memory. It’s beautifully drawn, tender, and colorful. I love that the speaker asks, “Flowers on a Train, why do you cry, a saxophone player in your coffee.” It’s such a unique way of seeing. I feel it all as I have joined them on the ride.


Douglas Cole—"Old Woman"

Old Woman

She doesn't sleep, or so she says—catnaps, dozes in fits

in her world chair by the east window, witness and some say

conjurer, but they don't know—I know—I see through the blinds

the way her eyes burn like roses. God’s awake, she says,

when the rest of you are sleeping on porches, in alcoves,