Admin_99 Posted June 25, 2021 Share Posted June 25, 2021 For close to seven decades, 92Y’s Discovery Poetry Contest has recognized the exceptional work of poets who have not yet published a first book. Many of these writers—John Ashbery, Mark Strand, Lucille Clifton, Ellen Bryant Voigt, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Mary Jo Bang, and Solmaz Sharif, among many others—have gone on to become leading voices in their generations. This year’s competition received close to a thousand submissions, which were read by preliminary judges Julia Guez and Timothy Donnelly. After much deliberating, final judges Rick Barot, Patricia Spears Jones, and Mónica de la Torre awarded this year’s prizes to Kenzie Allen, Ina Cariño, Mag Gabbert, and Alexandra Zukerman. The runners-ups were Walter Ancarrow, Hannah Loeb, Dāshaun Washington, and JinJin Xu. The four winners receive five hundred dollars, publication on The Paris Review Daily, a stay at the Ace Hotel and a reading at 92Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center in the fall of 2021. We’re pleased to present their work below. Kenzie Allen. Kenzie Allen is a poet and multimodal artist and a descendant of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. She holds a Ph.D. in English and creative writing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an M.F.A. in poetry from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan. Her poems can be found in Boston Review, Narrative Magazine, and The Adroit Journal. She is the recipient of fellowships from Vermont Studio Center and the Aspen Writers’ Foundation. Born in West Texas, she currently lives and teaches in Toronto. * Quiet as Thunderbolts And I kept it from you like a kill, my name, my legacy, my shoulder chip and the small hollow beneath where I can be wounded. The Longhouse I whittled to matchsticks, abalone filling up with hair ties, Ute painted coffee mugs and iron turtles a pan-flash of identity, an almond eye watching from between the white bookcases and photographs of cities, orchards, graves. A lonely ironing board left to the street outside our old place, candles I lit in Lisbon for all the women I have loved. Animals who are no longer with us. Animals who are no longer ours. So much landscape I can’t tend to, wide as a child’s face and crumbled in drought, rimmed in salt. I kept the Water Lily, how Bear Clan was given the medicines, Namegiver, how she made me darker with her words. The turquoise ring and how it pleases the Spirits to give that which has been so admired. The sweetgrass in my sock drawer, the exact volume of air I can fit in my lungs and belly as I try to swallow and breathe its sweetness. Every bead, every loop of every treasure necklace— I kept porcupine quills in my throat, I let the water drown me every night in my river-bottom canoe. I’ve been sleepwalking since I got to this earth, since they brought up the soil and made an island, those who did not perish in the dive. Since the island crawled into a continent, I’ve been shell and memory, calendar and hearth. Ina Cariño. Ina Cariño holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from North Carolina State University. Their poetry appears in Apogee, Wildness, Waxwing, New England Review, and Tupelo Quarterly. They are a Kundiman fellow, a recipient of a fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center, and the winner of the 2021 Alice James Award for their manuscript, Feast, which is forthcoming from Alice James Books in 2023. * Ancestors for Sale Mag Gabbert. Mag Gabbert holds a Ph.D. from Texas Tech University and an M.F.A. from the University of California at Riverside. Her essays and poems can be found in 32 Poems, Pleiades, The Massachusetts Review, Waxwing, and The Pinch. She is the author of Minml Poems, a chapbook of visual poetry and nonfiction. She’s received poetry fellowships from Idyllwild Arts and Poetry at Round Top. She teaches creative writing at Southern Methodist University and serves as the interviews editor for Underblong Journal. * Tattoo At forty-three my uncle got one of the ocean on his foot, which made it look like he was standing in the ocean. But who could’ve imagined, once he turned forty-four, that he’d collapse right on its shore, his chest fallen flat as ink kept lapping against the bones attached to that skin with its greenish-white tongues, its mouth full of foam. And his lips lined with sand. There’s a little black compass I have inked on my hand, a mark people often mistake for a wedding band: a name promised, an until-death wish, my path already set. This way I can think about permanence as I turn toward decay. When other awful things happen, I hear an old friend say: there will be an/other side again, and yet I can’t help but wonder if both sides are the same, just this one flipped image above and below any still water’s surface (notice the face in surface, a lake mirroring yours in it, how it echoes ache, ache before the eyes blue away). Scientists claim that humans are trained to find faces in everything—the cracked windshield, a shirt’s stain, the stopper for the drain—but they also forget to say soil and waves will seek themselves in our skin. Grief involve trades: Sorry I’m tide up. I’m knot okay. I still curl over my bent legs like a seashell when I think about my dead uncle. Or fate. Then I break down to seas/ash/ hell. The pastor says, he will always be mist. Says, now he is hole again. But even when I imagine that pink sole of his beneath its ocean of flesh, or his branched veins shielding their school of silver fish, they all start to spill out from his archway. Then ribcage. I remember how, before he went in the grave, my uncle looked like that ocean was being siphoned up his leg, like his whole body was turning a shade of dolphin-sea-grey. It was as if his calf almost became a real calf then. But now I can’t seem to erase that one last image from my head. Alexandra Zukerman. Alexandra Zukerman is a poet and photographer. Originally from New York, she has spent time in many places meaningful to her. She studied at Harvard and completed an M.F.A. at NYU this spring, where she also taught undergraduate courses. She is currently at work on her first manuscript of poems. * Quest 8 The world practices social distancing. The virus spreads in waves. In prison, the virus spreads in flat water. Life goes on as normal. Normal in prison. Biographers always talk about the last day. Sylvia Plath cleaned her kitchen and left reminders for herself. Alan Turing bought theatre tickets and promised to see the Webbs. “Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.” It turns out the learning curve in prison is a depressed boxspring— It is normal in prison to have a Bunkie. That first visit, we wondered about our father’s new word— He kept using it as though the word nothing would mean the same thing to us. His first Bunkie was fifty years younger. From El Salvador, he came to this country. El Salvador, then Ukraine, then Israel— Time in prison is as thick as telling. Prison is made of small stories. They sit elbow to elbow and pass the salt. That last visit, we watched our father’s mouth— He hadn’t raised his lids. Maybe out of neglect, or he’d found solace on the shut side of them. Prisoners sink in flat water. You don’t find air on torture worktables or in hospital self-assessments. It doesn’t articulate pain like fire or nails. View the full article Quote Michael Neff Algonkian Producer New York Pitch Director Author, Development Exec, Editor We are the makers of novels, and we are the dreamers of dreams. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.