The Hopper Poetry Prize

AUGUST 2017

We are pleased to announce that Scott Edward Anderson has received Honorable Mention for The Hopper Poetry Prize for his manuscript Dwelling: an ecopoem.
 

Dwelling: an ecopoem is a sequence of poems—and prose "questions"—that initiated as a conversation with Martin Heidegger's essay, "Building Dwelling Thinking." The poems depart from there to explore the nature of our dwelling on earth, how we conceive of our place and concept of home. The prose questions further explore the concepts offered by the poems while trying to define what makes an ecopoem and touching on the complicated relationship between Heidegger and the poet Paul Celan. Poet and essayist Alison Hawthorne Deming has called Dwelling: an ecopoem "a phenomenology of how we live on the Earth."

 
Scott Edward Anderson is the author of Fallow Field (Aldrich Press, 2013) and Walks in Nature's Empire (The Countryman Press, 1995). He has been a Concordia Fellow at the Millay Colony for the Arts and received the Nebraska Review Award. His work has appeared in the American Poetry Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Cimarron Review, The Cortland Review, Many Mountains Moving, Terrain, and the anthologies Dogs Singing (Salmon Poetry, 2011) and The Incredible Sestina Anthology (Write Bloody, 2013), among other publications. Learn more about his work at ScottEdwardAnderson.com and connect with him on Twitter  @greenskeptic. Enjoy his poem "Becoming" from Dwelling: an ecopoem, below.

Ännu sitter Tuvstarr kvar och ser ner i vattnet (Still, Tuvstarr sits and gazes down into the water) | John Bauer, 1913 Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Ännu sitter Tuvstarr kvar och ser ner i vattnet (Still, Tuvstarr sits and gazes down into the water) | John Bauer, 1913
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Becoming

Say that childhood memory
has more relevance than yesterday
            

          a moose calf curled up against the side of a house

merely saying it may make it so.

The way a sunflower towers over a child,
each year growing shorter

               a hermit crab crawling out of a coconut

or no, the child growing taller.

Naming the childhood memory
bears witness to his knowing

               a hawk swooping over a stubble field

imagining the earth, "the earth is all before me,"
blossoming as it stretches to the sun

               a red eft held aloft in a small, pink hand

Is home the mother's embrace?

               a cabbage butterfly flitting from flower tops

Do we carry home within?

The child sees his world or hers

              stroking the "furry" back of a bumblebee

head full of seed, until it droops,

spent, ready to sow the seeds of its own becoming,
say that our presence in the world

               a millipede curling up at the slightest touch

is in making the book of our becoming.