David Martinson – Meadowhawk Prize

I’m pleased to announce the winner of the 2014 David Martinson – Meadowhawk PrizeWhat Thread? by Francine Sterle.

What Thread? is an ambitious collection, but also dazzling. I was immediately fascinated by the variegated nature of this collection. “From well-fed flowers/to the wrecked bouquet,” the poetry moves back and forth, from elegy and loss toward quest and question. Look for What Thread? around April next year. Meanwhile, here’s a small sample from the poem ‘One Thought Attracts Another’:

“I applaud the green foliage of our language.
Who knows what we’ll find on the other side?
This is the fugue that repeats then crumbles:
our numbered days,
death’s ashen spark.
A branch becomes a vein.
A spider embellishes its web.
This rain is ruin and our ruin rides.
But after days of it,
after the serpentine
passages of water dry,
after marsh marigolds and wild violets,
up come the moon-faced sunflowers
drunk with light.”

A native of Minnesota, Francine Sterle holds an MFA degree in poetry from Warren Wilson College and has studied writing in a variety of settings, including Oxford University, Spoleto Writers’ Workshop, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. She has three previous collections: The White Bridge (Poetry Harbor, 1999), Every Bird Is One Bird (Tupelo Press, 2001), and Nude in Winter (Tupelo Press, 2006). She lives in Iron, Minnesota, on the West Two River.

Thanks are due, also, to the many other poets who submitted manuscripts this year. I was overwhelmed, but as I set about reading, continually surprised, often moved, and, finally, downright astonished by the number of superb submissions. And while the quality and variety made the reading enjoyable, it makes choosing a single manuscript downright daunting.

Manuscripts for the 2015 David Martinson – Meadowhawk Prize can be submitted beginning in April, 2015.

Scott King

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