New Measure Poetry Prize Winner
Martha Ronk, Ariadne, A Series
[New Measure Poetry Prize, selected by Jon Thompson]
In his paintings of Ariadne, De Chirico presents a statue threatened by intrusions of locomotives and ships, dark shadows, and male conspirators; her sexualized marble body is openly exposed on the piazza. The piazza seems in its vast expanse to be convalescent. Ronk’s short poems evoke other women’s histories of confusion and danger by drawing on the imagery of these disquieting Metaphysical paintings and on the secondary myth of Cleopatra. Martha Ronk is the author of eleven books of poetry, including the forthcoming Landscapes on the Verge (Omnidawn).
Free Verse Editions 2021
Giles Goodland, Civil Twilight
Civil Twilight occurs when the center of the Sun is 6 degrees below the horizon. It is also a phrase in which the vowels are all 'i's. The first pair of 'i's is pronounced softly, the second harder. Two pairs of 'i's stare at each other across a gap. Civilisation (with four 'i's) gives place to nighttime, and then replaces it, in a daily cycle. The sounds of words are not always arbitrary. These poems explore transitions into adulthood, the family's shifting constellations. Giles Goodland is a UK-based linguistics researcher with previous books from Shearsman and Salt.
Richard Jarrette, Strange Antlers
What do teachers of a lifetime say in the mind of a writer about the world we inhabit? Strange Antlers offers a kind of answer. A confluence of poets, Zen masters, and animals offer instruction in perilous times. In poetic forms marked by the economy and grace of Eastern poetry and the freedom of Western poetry, Jarrette works toward finding sanctuary. Richard Jarrette’s works include Beso the Donkey (2010), A Hundred Million Years of Nectar Dances (2015), The Beatitudes of Ekaterina (2017), and The Pond (2019).
Simon Smith, Last Morning
Last Morning, announces a shift away from the poetry of place in previous volumes like Day In, Day Out (Free Verse Editions, 2018) to the poetry of space: marking out a unique politics in its enactments, offering a new gift and alternative to Trump, Brexit, and the all-consuming neo-liberal leviathan. Like companion volume, Municipal Love Poems, Last Morning takes its bearings from the contemporary rethinking of lyric poetry. Simon Smith is the author of six books of poetry. His translations of Catullus appeared in 2018 and featured as part of the BBC In Our Time radio program available worldwide.
Susan Tichy, North|Rock|Edge
Battered, embodied, ecstatic, North|Rock|Edge is an "I"-less encounter with the coasts of Shetland. In somatic memory of days on foot, in carried shards of rhythm and thought, and in the real time of their composition, the poems voice both landscape and inscape, to altar what we cannot alter, be it the planetary energy of cliffs and waves or the irreversible environmental damages we have authored and now fear. What is self? What is a coast? What does it mean to walk as witness? Susan Tichy is author of six previous collections, most recently The Avalanche Path in Summer (Ahsahta, 2019).