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2015 David Martinson – Meadowhawk Prize

I’m pleased to announce the winner of the 2015 David Martinson – Meadowhawk PrizeA Different Wakeful Animal by Susan Cohen.

The language, the word choice, the pattern and overall, well-wrought texture of these poems, caught my ear early and made this collection a pleasure to read and re-read. From wild fires and ash, birds and shadows, deaths in the family, trees and artwork, from all these facts Cohen fashions “something natural.” This is a solid, remarkable collection. I like it a lot and think you will too. Look for the published book around April of next year. Meanwhile, here’s a poem to hold you until then:

Nothing Roughly Useful like Oats

I get lost in poems—their lilac
smoke, their bitter mirrors.
I love a poem’s sealed chamber
at 3AM when mine’s the one
lamp shining. I’ve been lost
in Lisbon with Pessoa, and
under Lorca’s murderous
New York City sky. One year,
I wandered Andalusia lost,
and climbed into a pasture.
A stallion galloped at me; spooked
us both. Poetry’s the kind of map
that gets you lost and lets you
stay there, a black horse tumbling
towards you huge and fast—
your right arm flying up and out—
as if you could stop a horse
who swerves only when it’s close
enough to see you carry nothing—
leaving you its gallop as a gift.

Susan Cohen is the author of two poetry chapbooks, a non-fiction book, and Throat Singing (WordTech;2012), a full-length collection of poems. She was a newspaper reporter, journalism professor, and contributing writer to the Washington Post Magazine before winning a Knight Fellowship at Stanford University in 1998-9, where she divided her time between studying poetry and bioethics. Since then, she’s won awards from the Fund for Investigative Journalism and the National Association of Science Writers, as well as numerous poetry prizes, including the Acorn-Rukeyser Chapbook Award, New Millennium Writings Best Poem, Rita Dove Poetry Award from the Center for Women Writers, Anderbo Poetry Prize, Literal Latte Poetry Prize, multiple Atlanta Review International Publication Prizes, and the Milton Kessler Memorial Poetry Prize from Harpur Palate. She has an MFA from Pacific University and lives in Berkeley. To learn more about Susan Cohen and her poetry, please visit her website:

Thanks are due, also, to the many other poets who submitted manuscripts this year. The abundance of well-written and profound manuscripts makes the task of reading enjoyable and rewarding, but it also makes the final choice of a single manuscript a serious undertaking. I was so impressed by the submissions, I decided to name finalists this year: Heartwood by Mary Logue; Burning Windfall Branches by James Silas Rogers; In and Out of Rough Water by Jayne Marek; Faceted by William Greenwood; Sawhorse by Tony Barfield; and The Dream about Farming by Knud Sørensen (translated by Michael Goldman).

Manuscripts for the 2016 David Martinson – Meadowhawk Prize can be submitted April through August, 2016.

Scott King


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