The Prize: Collection Of Best Poems of 2013

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In my bookseller days, I was always searching for the perfect book to read in slow increments at the registers. Lockwood was initially heralded as the Manic Pixie Dream Girl of modern poetry. The world, orienting itself around the desire to keep a single plant alive, seems gentler. An older couple smiles at him; the airport security line welcomes him. Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, published in , is his best expression so far of this power. This is a book of movement that becomes deliberate in the very moment it occurs.

It is a book of unapologetic wandering and unapologetic reflection. It is a beautiful collection, and is all the more beautiful for how it invites its readers to wander with it.

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She remakes them. And the moral—if there is one—is that sometimes human beings are made up of equal parts love as cruelty.

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In her imagery, storytelling, and reshaping of myth, Kelly reminds me of the feminist fairy tale master whom I could never do without, Angela Carter. Why do we ever pick up a book of poetry if not to have our heart broken again and again? Kelly is not one of those poets who ends her poems on an expansive note—not all of the time at least.

She leaves the reader standing on the edge of a cliff, holding her heart in her hand. Her endings are perfectly sharpened blades brandishing the last blow, after a slow rhythmic build.

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12222 Bollingen Prize Judges

Kelly poises her reader on a tightrope and knows just when to shake. And it is in being punctured and shaken that we enter a place of stillness where we, the readers, can begin to grapple with pain, memory, trauma, on an individual and communal scale. But, instead the door. Martin is stunned, in the wake of violent Black death, that such life persists. These bodies have physical heft even though they are so often dematerialized to the point of transparency, to becoming something that eyes look through and objects pierce.


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Trying to write about this collection is a completely hopeless exercise for me. So many of us have a book for which this is the case, and often—unsurprisingly often—this book was written by Carl Phillips. In Wild is the Wind, questions about attachment and commitment unfold deliberately, and to read them is to listen, carefully, to meditations like this:. Not that being wrong means wasting time, exactly.

The 10 Best Poetry Collections of the Decade

In addressing questions like these, and others on love and its loss, Phillips constantly returns to impermanence in the landscape—light, water, seasons, the movement of bees—with careful attention to the subtle, elemental shifts that mark the passage of time, the formation of desire, and the crystallization of connection.

Reader, I loved it from the first page, which is a beautiful glossary of terms.

There are rules. Throughout the collection, the speaker switches from cyborg to flesh-and-blood human and back.

Poetry NOW: 6th annual Battle of the Bards - Toronto International Festival of Authors

That is: the language given to us, the expectations placed on us. The obedience others feel they deserve. N Herbert. Rather than pilfering through folklore, Berry creates brand new fairy tales as perfect and wicked as the ones you already know, and tells them from a first person perspective.

This is everything poetry can and should be, touching on love, loss, memory, home, place, language, storytelling and myth. So all-encompassing, multi-faceted and accomplished it makes you want to break your pencil and give up. I read this book at a zippy pace, relishing the rich, sometimes opulent, language and laughing far more often than most collections will grant their readers.

Yet among the riot of animals there are more personal poems that bring an altogether deeper timbre. Where else would I have learned that the orange ghost in Pac-Man is called Clyde? Melissa draws you back into the self-mythologizing world of teenage girls, and how refreshing it is that she portrays that world so sympathetically. Royal Society of Literature. Archived from the original on 5 March Retrieved 10 August The Guardian. Retrieved 27 November Retrieved 20 November Retrieved 17 June The Man Booker Prizes.