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THE 2017 BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY MILT KESSLER POETRY BOOK AWARD

murphy
 

Patricia Colleen Murphy for Hemming Flames

from Utah State University Press

Judge: Dante DiStefano

 

 Patricia Colleen Murphy knows the truth of Milton Kessler’s central insight as a poet: "the mind must love the heart." Hemming Flames wrenches as it recounts a grim catalogue of family dysfunction and its lifelong aftermath. However, this book is more than a mere chronicle of abuse and survival. These poems—by turns witty, blunt, cosmopolitan, surreal, down-to-earth, and always devastating—are masterful in their technique, canny in their enthusiasm for American poetry and its many traditions, suffused with a hard-earned duende, and filled with a wry wisdom. The poems in Hemming Flames are tiny dioramas of pain that quarrel with the difficult unromantic daily tasks of living (and remembering) and yet hold out a hope for avowal and renewal.

 

Kessler Award Finalists for 2017:

(in alphabetical order)

Suzanne Buffam for A Pillow Book (Canarium Books)

Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello for Hour of the Ox (University of Pittsburgh Press)

Jennifer Givhan for Landscape with Headless Mama (Pleiades Press)

Ruth Ellen Kocher for Third Voice (Tupelo Press)

W.S. Merwin for Garden Time (Copper Canyon Press)

Brynn Saito for Power Made Us Swoon (Red Hen Press)


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Last Updated: 3/8/18