Announcing the Winner of the New Measure Poetry Prize 2013 & Fall 2014 Free Verse Editions

Monica Berlin & Beth Marzoni, No Shape Bends the River So Long

2013 New Measure Poetry Prize Winner
Selected by Carolyn Forché

No Shape Bends the River So Long meanders through the American landscape in search of site and relic, home and away-from-home. Part meditation on our tenuous position in the natural world and part interrogation of that relationship, these poems map what any place records and what it has erased. Weathered by obsolescence, chance, complacency, and awe, they carve out a new idiom for how we go on. Monica Berlin and Beth Marzoni’s collaborations have been published or are forthcoming in Colorado Review, New Orleans Review, DIAGRAM, Better: Culture & Lit, Meridian, TYPO, Quarterly West, and Vela.

Valerio Magrelli, The Condominium of the Flesh

Translated by Clarissa Botsford

A darkly humorous exploration of the human body and its various functions in poetic prose, Valerio Magrelli’s personal chronicle of clinical experience catalogues a life history of ailments without ever being pathological. Every sensation and malfunction is placed under the subjective microscope of the poet’s eye and examined in excruciating and obsessive detail. This Gray’s Anatomy of the soul leads the reader on an inside-out voyage of discovery, with many surprises on the way. One of Italy’s most celebrated living poets, Valerio Magrelli has also attracted an international following, including luminaries such as Octavio Paz and Joseph Brodsky.

Jesús Losada, The Magnetic Brackets

Translated by Luis Ingelmo and Michael Smith

The Magnetic Brackets . . . is one of the liveliest and truest poetical testaments that a reader can tackle at these times of disbelief, of half-truths, of vacuity and passivity in thought. For this is one more gift from the book: where thought and feeling are perfectly merged.” —Antonio Colinas. Jesús Losada is the author of eleven collections of poetry, among them Huerto cerrado del amor (2nd prize, Premio Adonáis, 1994), La noche del funambulista (Premio Provincia, 1998) and Corazón frontera (Premio “San Juan de la Cruz”, 2010).

Allison Funk, Wonder Rooms

Centuries before modern museums, European wonder rooms housed artifacts and curiosities that mirrored the worlds of their collectors. In them, the New World met Old; superstition tangled with natural science; the monstrous roomed with the commonplace. In Allison Funk’s fifth collection of poems, Wonder Rooms, she is similarly in between: at once in the shelter of her childhood home and the chaos of a madhouse. Like Renaissance collectors before her, she invents a nomenclature to make sense of her world. Allison Funk is the author of four previous books of poems and the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

L. S. Klatt, Sunshine Wound

The poems in Sunshine Wound leave behind, if not a “beauty mark,” an impasto. The lines are thick with grief but also phantasms that ambush us with a “manufactured light.” It is this dream power that exposes the vulnerable, whether it be the “forgotten” head of George Washington that “looks like it wants to speak” or a “cardboard fawn” on the verge of an “elegant collapse.” Relying on a protean poetic line, the poet improvises a likeness of America that is both genuine and synthetic, reminiscent and alien. L. S. Klatt’s second volume (Cloud of Ink) received the Iowa Poetry Prize.

Sarah Sousa, Split the Crow

Using a supple but precise idiom, Split the Crow chronicles the history of European settlers and the Indigenous Americans they sought to convert, assimilate and eradicate. A range of stories and voices are woven throughout the collection: those of Europeans such as Mary Rowlandson and Roger Williams; a native-owned African slave during the Civil War; and indigenous voices, some clear and attributable, others literal marginalia in European bibles. Sarah Sousa’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Apalachee Review, Barn Owl Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review, among others. Her first collection won the Red Mountain Press Prize and will be published in 2014.

2014 New Measure Poetry Prize Competition

Parlor Press’s poetry series, Free Verse Editions, is pleased to announce the sixth annual New Measure Poetry Prize, which will carry a cash award of $1,000 and publication of an original, unpublished manuscript of poems. Jon Thompson will judge this year’s competition. Up to four other manuscripts may be accepted for publication by Free Verse Editions editors. Submit a manuscript and a $28 entry fee between March 1 and June 30, 2014. Visit Free Verse Editions at Submittable for full guidelines: (after March 1)

Jon Thompson, Free Verse Editions Series Editor

David Blakesley, Publisher, Parlor Press; 765.409.2649