CONTESTS

THE HOPPER POETRY PRIZE

 
 

 

Kathleen Hellen selected The Adjacent Possible by Julie Phillips Brown as the winner of the 2019 Hopper Poetry Prize.

 
 

Gorgeously spare, hypnotic, the poems in The Adjacent Possible are a meditation on an “adjacent” possibility “[w]ithout I, without / you,” the insight that “the joint of two not solids . . . is no joint at all.” The poems in this collection beckon to the relationship of all beings, examine the “flurried noises” of language, the “substrata” of consciousness that distinguishes seer and seen, the eye the “gracejoint.” Following the arc of seasons, “particulars” of landscape “accrete,” imitate the “brief echoes of / an objective real” as filtered through the gaze of “one” who “still looks out” on ones that “sound” and “speak.” The language is part play, part theory: winter with its “edges fringed with wintersedge,” spring when “Lilies wave by / lovely / lovely,” when “the is larks / through utter night, skirrs / at the hum of dawn,” summer “most bodied, / the most seeming.” This “radiant” poetic force, as heralded in the epigraph from Édouard Glissant, animates the “mind’s infoldings,” “ghosts of / patterns, wisps crossing / an interior eye,” reduces to glance the “cloudlight [that] tinks / at the atomic.” In the narrative arc, summer leaves us in the tenuous moment when the “I / come into iridescence” perceives its shift from one to “we,” asks “if we [can] conjure beyond / a useless symbolic, without / order / unalone, no one.” It interrogates how we “scaffold the abstract / fortifying the angles” of existence. The question of spring—“What is an I if / alone?”—is recollected at the end, in late summer, but with intensity exacted over time: “will you be / still by me, still possible?”

 


Charity Gingerich’s  After June  was the winner of the 2018 Hopper Poetry Prize. It is forthcoming from Green Writers Press.

Charity Gingerich’s After June was the winner of the 2018 Hopper Poetry Prize. It is forthcoming from Green Writers Press.

Ralph Black's  Bloom and Laceration  was the winner of the 2017 Hopper Poetry Prize. It is now available from Green Writers Press.

Ralph Black's Bloom and Laceration was the winner of the 2017 Hopper Poetry Prize. It is now available from Green Writers Press.

John Saad's  Longleaf  was the winner of the 2016 Hopper Prize for Young Poets. It is now available from Green Writers Press.

John Saad's Longleaf was the winner of the 2016 Hopper Prize for Young Poets. It is now available from Green Writers Press.