The Hopper Poetry Prize


We are pleased to announce that Heather Swan has received Honorable Mention for The Hopper Poetry Prize for her manuscript Root Causes.

Root Causes examines, primarily, human and nonhuman relationships with pesticides.

Heather Swan's poems have appeared in such places as Poet Lore, Midwestern Gothic, Basalt, The Raleigh Review, The Cream City Review, Iris, and others. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in such places as AEON, ISLE, Edge Effects, Resilience Journal, and About Place. Her book Where Honeybees Thrive will be published in October 2017 by Penn State Press. She received an MFA in poetry and a PhD in literary and environmental studies from University Wisconsin-Madison, where she was the recipient of a Martha Meier Renk Fellowship and the August Derleth Award for poetry. Enjoy her poem "Vespers" from Root Causes, below.



By the lake's edge at dusk,
a raft of lavender ice
is being consumed by
the warming blue.
Seagulls reel and vie
for what is vanishing
months too soon.
Red-winged blackbirds
clamor for the foreground
as a train whistle spools
through townthe boxcars
heaped with coal.

The factory hums on,
its wires reliably pulsing
so we can endlessly
use our phones.
A greyhound bus roars
along a bank of trees,
and two long boats
scissor the water below,
scullers thrusting
to the shouts
of the coxswain,
embodying the churn
of forward motion
humans seem
to love. But here,
on a mat of branches
and sand, quiet as monastics
in a chapel, two cranes
stand perfectly still.

Snow Plums and Twin Cranes   | Bian Jingzhao Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Snow Plums and Twin Cranes  | Bian Jingzhao
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons