In choosing the winning manuscript for the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, judge Andrew Hudgins remarked: “With immense poetic verve, Pelizzon finds flamboyance in places where it has been forgotten and brings it back to vivid life--and she sees it for what it is. Her vision is then both passionate and dispassionate at the same time, a maturity of perspective that is just one of the many accomplishments of this superb first book.”
In Nostos (the voyage of return) V. Penelope Pelizzon demonstrates again and again a worldly perspective, made clear and complex by her intelligence that is itself a treat to witness at play. Whether set in a Purgatory garden or on the platform of a bombed train station, these poems enthrall with language that is, in the words of one reader, “both the vehicle for vision and the vision itself.”
Nostos is indeed a voyage--of the mind and heart--guided by Pelizzon's compelling images and rhythms and one that returns us to where we started, but not unchanged.
V. Penelope Pelizzon teaches creative writing and film at Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania. Her poems have appeared widely in journals and magazines. She was a recipient of the 1997 “Discovery” The Nation Award.
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About the author of this award-winning collection, final judge Miller Williams commented: “Meredith Carson writes poems so well-controlled in tone that the language of conversation takes on an elegance rarely found in contemporary poetry, but emphatically contemporary.” In this, her first collection of poetry, Meredith Carson combines form and feeling, human nature and animal instinct, a scientist's eye and a poet's heart to create poetry of detail and delight.
To take the mess of life and make meaning from it is what all poets seek to do. For Will Wells, recipient of the thirteenth annual Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, this includes reaching across centuries and continents, into the minds and hearts of disparate individuals—Albert Einstein, Andrea Yates, the traveler from Porlock, Dante, or Holocaust survivors, including his own grandmother—to extract the personal value embedded there for him.
The Palace of Bones by Allison Eir Jenks is an often stark and startling vision of the way we live, the places we inhabit, and the relics we make to comfort ourselves. Haunted by a quiet, unquenchable longing, Jenks expertly and calmly guides the reader through a vivid dreamscape in this first full-length collection of poems. The Palace of Bones was selected by final judge and Pulitzer Prize winner Carolyn Kizer.