The poems of this group form a discrete sequence, stitched together by several threads — lexical richness, narrative restraint, the undercurrent of menace and tragedy that falls upon a family and a town. Each poem is written with great authority, evident by the allegiance throughout to precise diction and image. While these are spare poems, they are in deep and complex conversation with each other, which results in a complicated, multi-dimensional work of beauty and terror, light and darkness. I was hooked by the first poem, "Investigation," a short poem, but told with great patience, slowly. Here, the poet tutors the reader how to proceed. This will be a work, we learn from this first piece, that zooms in, in, in, deeply, darkly, and with grace.
—Martha Rhodes, Contest Judge
ABOUT THE JUDGE
Martha Rhodes is the author of five poetry collections, most recently The Thin Wall (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017). She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She is the director of Four Way Books and lives in NYC.