I am deeply honored and humbled to have won the 2020 Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies for my forthcoming full-length poetry collection In The High Weeds.
Here is competition judge and Colorado Poet Jared Smith’s commentary on my manuscript:
In The High Weeds is an extraordinary journey from youth to maturity through an immersion in art, mythology, and family memories that provide a path that glimmers and illuminates our lives through the darkness laid out beneath uncertain stars. It entrances me. The imagery is concise and brilliant, and the craftsmanship is masterful across a wide range of poetic styles as the poet explores the mysteries of childhood, the greater responsibilities and frightening shadows of adulthood, and the challenges of raising healthy children in an uncertain world. Even as, the poet writes, “Time rolls out and ebbs/and ebbs again until the shore is dry/as wasp’s wings,” we find ourselves lifted on the fragile latticework of those dry wings and transported through her words to a meditative understanding of the peacefulness of all things in balance. The poet nears closure with the magnificent poetic statement that “Now is the time to leave/and wander/to bow to the mountains/and breathe the wisdom/of saints and sages/to savor the sweet lantern light/of the pear tree/to shadow the river’s bending banks/and bathe in the petals/of the weeping cherry.” What a wonderful journey to take with a brave and compassionate guide.
To launch In The High Weeds, I will be featured in a reading from the book at the 2021 Convention of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies on Saturday, 12 June 2021 on Zoom. You can register for the conference here.
In The High Weeds will be published by mid-June. Watch here for more details.
My heartfelt thanks to Jared Smith for this honor, and to the NFSPS for offering this and other opportunities for poets across the U.S. to share their art.