Here are the results of the UMSL MFA Graduate Prize in Poetry.
First Place goes to Matthew Freeman for “The Procovery Sequence.” Here is the judge’s blurb:
I love how the poet re-mixes ancient myths in these poems (“Finally a Consistent Poetics,” for example, or “Condition Center”) and makes them relevant. I also admire how the poet can fit a perfect iambic line right against a line broken with slang diction (“Condition Center,” again). I’m impressed by the rhythm in these poems, and I found “Speaking Old and Young” particularly moving in that regard. I’m also impressed by the variety of forms and kinds of rhyme. Above all, I was taken by the disarming honesty in these poems, and how they confront raw subjects with great awareness and even humor. Great stuff!
Runner-Up goes to Kasey Perkins for “Those Who Breathe Once, and Never Stop.” Here is the judge’s a blurb:
I admire these poems very much, and I felt transported by the imagery. In the true spirit of elegy (most of these poems feel elegiac to me), I felt that each profound loss was answered by the consolations of beauty, and a keen sense of place and identity. Great sensory details and a wide-scoping imagination at work here!