2021 Marsh Hawk Press Prize Winners
Chosen by David Lehman
The MARSH HAWK PRESS POETRY PRIZE
($1,000.00 Cash Prize and Publication of the Book, along with the Duotrope Prize)
“Rasa” by Joanne Dominique Dwyer
David Lehman writes: The author writes that “Intimacy means profoundly interior — / countless sets of keys and cryptic codes.” The book is intimate in this sense. The author celebrates the power of the imagination to multiply metaphors, as in “Tarzan Audade,” with its striking opening lines (“It’s never a good sign when the patron saint / of betrothed couples is also the saint of the plague.”) and “No Alphabet,” orchestrated by the reiterated “If not” that begins the poem. The poet’s fruitful exchanges with Freud, in such poems as “To Charette with a Man,” “Patron of Embalmers,” and ‘Handsome Is as Handsome Does,” delighted this reader.
The ROBERT CREELEY MEMORIAL AWARD
($250.00 Cash Prize)
“Morning Music” by Lera Auerbach
David Lehman writes: In the title poem and such others as “Beethoven’s Choice” and “The Strings,” the author reveals a deep and heartfelt knowledge of music, which is one source of the manuscript’s unity. Another is the bravely autobiographical dimension in the “Zuihitsu” poems that frame the collection. The poems have a Russian feel, as if they participate in a tradition established by Akhmatova and Mandelstam.
The ROCHELLE RATNER MEMORIAL AWARD
($250.00 Cash Prize)
“Vanished” by Richard Mullen
David Lehman writes: By my quick count there are 146 eight-line poems here, each complying with the requirements of an ad hoc form. The poems constantly keep one surprised and alert, as when “Thackeray, the author” considers himself “a nocturnal anomaly at his desk” and suddenly, without warning, we face “the field beyond the graves. “The humor is likeable and subtle: ” ‘I believe in science,’ she sobbed into a pillow.”
Brandon Magby, Dwaine Rieves, Deborah Schupack, Adrie Kusserow, Gregory Mahrer, L.J. Sysko, Sally Derringer, V. Joshua Adams, Mary Pinard, Erik Reece, Robert Clinton, Jan Shoemaker, Joseph Harms, Partridge Boswell