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Fallen Attitudes
(2014, by Patricia Waters)
In Fallen Attitudes, Patricia Waters' poems explore, with intelligence and panache, the elusive "bitter realm of memory." With a classicist's viewpoint, she responds to the works of Symborska, Twombly, Bonnard, the ancient Greeks and the treasures of the British Museum. A world wanderer, but grounded in the American South, in its small towns and epic cities, she creates "the past's unraveled broiderie." From explications of the history of human sensibility and esthetics, she has fashioned poems that become "that open kiss."
Mercy Spurs the Bone
(2014/Levine Prize in Poetry, by Chelsea Wagenaar)
Chelsea Wagenaar is incredibly gifted and audacious; her language is constantly inventive. -- Philip Levine, from "A Look at Philip Levine: A Massachusetts Poetry Festival Feature Poet"
Miss Lost Nation
(2014/Robert Dana-Anhinga Prize for Poetry, by Bethany Schultz Hurst)
Whenever I judge a work, I am guided by one simple question: "Have I ever heard or seen something like this before?" If the answer is "no" then I know I'm in the presence of something truly unique and worthwhile. Such was my reaction when I sat down to read Miss Lost Nation by Bethany Schultz Hurst. From the very first poem to the last, each is processed by Hurst's unmistakable one-of-a-kind voice, imaginings, and dexterity. I was reminded of the first time I ever read the likes of Elizabeth Bishop, James Wright, and Robert Hass. Hurst's voice is just as undeniable; it leaps off the page with a masterful, complex range that weaves narrative and lyric; subversive wit and true emotional grit; social commentary and deep personal longing. Miss Lost Nation will stay with you, become part of your consciousness. -- Richard Blanco, contest judge
Somewhere Near Defiance
(2014, by Jeff Gundy)
Just as a river finds inevitable kinship between remote hills and a distant sea, this book employs the prehensile reach of poetry to link local wisdom and distant war, to bind sacred callings and daily life. Defiance against what's wrong is devotion to what's right, and for Jeff Gundy the path between is a poetry bristling with connections. -- Kim Stafford, author of 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do: How My Brother Disappeared
Bay of Angels
(2013, by Diane Wakoski)
[The 1963 film starrng Jeanne Moreau] La Baie des Anges is in beautiful black and white that won't make you regret the lack of color. It is an existentialist film, but one that doesn't seem dated. The romance is not gaudy, it's believable -- both about gambling and about love. Since gambling and love are two reasons for excitement, two activities that teach us about ourselves, and two misunderstood human diversions, it seems that this film offers so much. The Bay of Angels, of course, is a place, but to me it's where I'd like to drown, with angels all around me, holding cards and offering me poker chips, should I ever have to die that way. -- Diane Wakoski (from the Introduction to Bay of Angels)
Chain Link Fence
(2013, by Patti White)
A catastrophic post-pastoral, nightmared and sung by a tornadic imagination. Chain Link Fence offers "plot" as "a series of shapes, a choreography." And here the dream replaces our dreamer, "an eggshell of / air around the world, a crust of salt, / the sphere of her eye quivering, un- / able to take it all in." White's linkage of luminescent image trades in visions rather than narratives. -- Peter Streckfus
If a Storm
(2013/Robert Dana-Anhinga Prize for Poetry, by Anna Ross)
A masterfully written collection that reads with growing psychological complexity, If a Storm is a crescendo of poetry. Anna Ross is a strong poet of eye and ear. Her close investigation of the nature of motherhood and the motherhood of nature are compelling. Assured and unrelenting, these poems build into a singular voice that continues to echo long after the final poem. -- Julianna Baggott (judge, 2012 Anhinga Prize for Poetry)
Mexican Jenny and Other Poems
(2013/Levine Prize in Poetry, by Barbara Brinson Curiel)

Artist's Statement:

Throughout my writing career I have been interested in the stories that lie submerged below and between other narratives. Many poems in this collection tell stories that are the subtext, that are at the substrata, of other more dominant stories. These poems examine the domestic, the working class, and both the private individual experiences and the unrecognized histories of Latina women.

I came upon the story behind the title poem, "Mexican Jenny," in a back issue of a textile arts magazine. A short article announced a quilt exhibit that included a crazy quilt Jenny made in the 1920s, when she was incarcerated at the prison in Caņon City, Colorado.

According to the article, Jenny had been a prostitute in Cripple Creek, a gold mining town, and she killed her husband after he beat her up for not bringing home enough money. She was convicted of murder, and in prison made a quilt from her working girl clothes, complete with the embroidered image of her dead husband. When she contracted tuberculosis in prison, the quilt was sold and the money used to send her to Mexico where she died.

This story haunted me. I wanted to know who this woman was, what brought her to Colorado, and what brought her into "the life." I used the bare bones of this story and began to flesh it out with my own imaginings.

I also researched the lives of prostitutes in western mining towns and eventually learned some of the facts of the real Jenny's case. I found the historical record's contradictions and improbabilities to be essential to the story, so I wove them into my poem. Because of these conflicts of fact, folklore and interpretation, I have given her story three different endings, told in multiple voices.

Forthcoming titles

Syntactical Arrangements of a Twisted Wind
(2014, by Earl S. Braggs)
Earl Braggs' Syntactical Arrangements of a Twisted Wind is a prophetic work. American as the blues, these poems take the outrages of recent history into a vision where the heart and humor, irony and vulnerability enable poet and community to survive -- and sometimes sing. There's breathtaking bravery and edge to the voice here, a Joycean stream of consciousness that refuses to be censored or subdued. This book moves our poetry in ways that only a true poet can. -- David Mura