Timothy Daniel Welch Wins Iowa Poetry Prize!

I'm very excited to announce that my lover and life partner is the winner of the 2016 Iowa Poetry Prize.

2016 Iowa Poetry Prize Announcement

The 2016 Iowa Poetry Prize is awarded to Adam Giannelli's Tremulous Hinge and Timothy Daniel Welch's Odd Bloom Seen from Space. This year's judge was Craig Morgan Teicher.

Teicher writes of Giannelli's Tremulous Hinge, "This extraordinary and sobering debut begins with a literal stutter--'Since I couldn't say tomorrow /  I said Wednesday.' In trade for this impediment, Adam Giannelli finds that, in poetry, what can't be said gives way to what must be said. Giannelli has found a new stopping place in his poems, tensed between mourning and tribute: he sees a beautiful waning world made beautiful by its fleetingness."
 
Adam Giannelli's poems have appeared in the Kenyon Review, New England Review,  Ploughshares, Field, Yale Review, and elsewhere. He is the translator of a selection of prose poems by Marosa di Giorgio, Diadem, and the editor of High Lonesome, a collection of essays on Charles Wright. A PhD candidate in literature and creative writing at the University of Utah, he lives in Salt Lake City.

Of Odd Bloom Seen from Space, Teicher says, "In these poems, Welch is an attentive watcher who has 'lived most of my life alone.' From the little distance he cultivates, he manages a detailed view of the big picture. This is classical poetry set in our time, with room for 'Owls and their Michael Jackson / hooting in the trees' and 'reading Anna Karenina / on a Kindle.' For all its subtle sarcasms, this is a deeply earnest book, one sensitive soul's reckoning with a troubled age."
 
Timothy Daniel Welch received his MFA in poetry from San Diego State University and his PhD in English from Florida State University, and was the 2013-2014 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow for the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Institute for Creative Writing. His poetry may be found in journals such as Rattle, Arts & Letters, Best New Poets, Green Mountains Review Online, and elsewhere. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.

Winter 2016 Featured Artist: Kate Domina

   Sister Sister       oil on panel, 45.5"x79"

Sister Sister     oil on panel, 45.5"x79"

Kate Domina is a Toronto based figurative painter. Using children and adolescents as her subjects, she incorporates classical representational oil painting techniques with whimsical and often ambiguous narratives. Her critical theory fixation (Lacan, Freud and Jung specifically) weaves it’s way into her work, evolving her portraits into studies of human frailty, and often, neurosis. Domina has training from the University of Toronto, Sheridan College and Ontario College of Art and Design.

Currently Reading: Juliana Spahr's That Winter the Wolf Came

THIS is why I love Juliana Spahr:

"It might be that there is nothing to epiphany if it does not hint at the moment of sweaty relation larger than the intimate. For what is epiphanic song if it doesn’t spill out and over the many that are pulled from intimacies by oil’s circulations? The truckers, the sailors and deckhands, the assembly line workers, those who maintain the pipelines, those who drive support in the caravans that escort the tankers, the fertilizers, the thousands of interlocking plastic parts, the workers who move two hundred miles and live in a dorm near a factory, alone, those on the ships who spend fifty weeks circulating with the oil unable to talk to each other because of no shared language and so are left only with two weeks in each year where they can experience tongue in meaningful conversation. A life that is only circulations."    (from “Transitory, Momentary”)

 

Spahr’s poetry exposes those moments of “sweaty relation” we may not be aware of, or even those we are aware of, but may never think to think about. As in Spahr’s previous collections, the poems in That Winter the Wolf Came chart the entangled relationships and interconnections among and between all: including birds, oil, corporate greed, food, bays, oceans, our bodies, and other nonhuman living and nonliving entities.
 

from “Tradition”:

Later I pass the breast cup to not really me,
a breast cup filled with sound insulation panels and imitation wood
            with a little nectar and sweetness. 
And not really me drinks it and then complains a little,

rebuking me, for my cakes of nuts and raisins
are cakes of extraction of crude petroleum and natural gas,

for my apples are filled with televisions and windshield wiper blades.

 

© Juliana Spahr, That Winter the Wolf Came, Commune Editions, 2015


Currently Reading: Brandi George's Gog

With lyrical intensity, Brandi George invites the reader into a Midwestern countryside filled with violence and possession, weakness and strength, a world reminiscent of Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina. And just like Allison’s protagonist, the first-person speaker of Gog is boiling inside as she becomes a fury that refuses self-pity: 


from “The Shadow of My Black Dress”:

  I’ll travel back in time, Mother,
         hold your hand when
                  the giant lobster hovers
          over your bed, clicking its pincers.
  But I’m not sorry. I wore your wedding dress
to a séance, which was not really
            speaking with the dead, but dancing
 on your antique table. I haven’t slept since you
          called an exorcist for me. Just
   so you know: if that man you brought
                   home from the bar takes
off his hat, I’ll load my rifle. And Angel
        of Death: blow me.         
   

 

from “Why the Working Class Won’t Save Us”:

… Bitch, ice queen, feminazi. Every woman
in my family has been raped. My belated protection:
petrifaction, the tree’s innermost ring drained
of sap, black lipstick and necklace-dagger…


© Brandi George, Gog, Black Lawrence Press, 2015