We’re thrilled to announce that Cintia Santana and her poem “Qasida of Grief” have taken the Wabash Poetry Prize this year! Congratulations, Cintia!
Competition was keen, and we here at Sycamore feel tremendously lucky that the inimitable C. D. Wright agreed to make the final selection. I’m not sure we would’ve been able to do it, so fantastic were these submissions. Here’s what C. D. Wright had to say about the winning poem:
The sounds of this poem are pitch perfect. The syntactic abbreviations control the pacing. The sense of it is delivered deftly and tenderly, and the poem forfeits no subtlety in its rendering with such succinct clarity. A beautifully turned lyric.
Indeed! Here’s Ms. Santana’s poem, which moves from vowel to vowel so mournfully, and with such wisdom:
Congratulations also to our esteemed …MORE
What first struck me about NoViolet Bulawayo’s novel of coming of age in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, We Need New Names, were the brilliant insults. Ten year old Darling, and her gang of friends – Bastard, Stino, Sbho, and Godknows (not Chipo, though—she hasn’t said a word since she got pregnant)—run through the shanties and guava orchards relentlessly haranguing each other. Cabbage head, they sneer. Chapped buttocks. Goat teeth. Dumb donkey.
Darling and her friends have plenty reason to be brutal with each other. Life in their slum, Paradise, is unrelenting. In the first of the novel’s episodic chapters, the children steal the shoes off a corpse hanging from a tree to buy one loaf (“maybe even one and a half”) of bread. Darling’s voice – unsentimental, intelligent without any cloying precociousness – gives the book a wild energy. With Darling we …MORE
We are pleased to announce that we have nominated the following authors for the Pushcart Prize:
Mary Ruefle, “Address Book” (25.1) Geffrey Davis, “What I Mean When I Say Elijah Man” (25.1)
Jeremy Collins, “Songs of My Father” (25.1) Jill Smith, “Trust Someone” (25.1)
Angie Kim “Buried Voice” (25.2) Hannah Gersen “The Housesitters” (25.1)
We would like to thank all of our contributors for sharing their work, their time, and their voices with us, so that we may in turn share it all with you.
In 1989, Michael Moore’s Roger & Me announced the death of the auto industry in my hometown, the birthplace of General Motors, Flint, Michigan. In the film, Moore travels back and forth from Flint to General Motor’s Detroit headquarters, demanding Chairman Roger Smith come confront Flint’s 30,000 unemployed auto workers. Unable to talk to Smith, Moore instead talks to people waiting in line to sell their plasma, single mothers being evicted, and one woman selling rabbits for “pets or meat” in a snowy backyard. Flint saw itself presented as a city of desperately poor eccentrics, and it’s been angry ever since.
If Moore captured the death of Michigan’s auto industry, the Big Three bail-out brought a wave of writers, photographers and filmmakers to exhume the bones. Flint and Detroit—their staggering unemployment rates, sprawling blight, and political failures—satisfied a morbid curiosity about …MORE
If New Jersey were the universe, Noelle Kocot would be its soul. No, wait. If Noelle Kocot were the universe, her soul would be in New Jersey and her toes in the sea, settling down a hurricane. Better yet, if Noelle Kocot controlled the galaxy, Soul in Space (Wave Books), her latest poetry collection, would be a satellite beaming down pictures of earth to earth.
Poet Noelle Kocot
That’s what this book does to you—transmits poems down like a saint receives a vision. Frequencies are set to prediction, revelation, image, and imaginings. All the while, the book is grounded in the subjectivity and temperament that is unforgettably Kocot: surreal and forthright in feeling. Being a human in the outer space is both historically possible and most certainly uncomfortable, if not suffocating.
If human experience is at times suffocating, Soul …MORE