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MIGRATIONS & OTHER EXILES
Winner of the Idaho Prize for Poetry 2022
Selected by Final Judge Dzvinia Orlowsky
With a Bachelardian dreaminess and a poetic language that is both sensuous and incisive, Migrations and Other Exiles questions the contradictory nature of human love. Right from the opening poem, “Promise,” the speaker attempts to shape an unidentified other into a graceful swan-like survivor only to renege: “I carved her neck long/so that when the rains came / she might hold it above /water. You will not drown, / I promised her. But then her/ mouth and eyes filled and I/let them. What begins with hope, complex and lucent—a flight of spirit—often ends with the rarity or inability to fly: “Remember that one time / we flew? Like we were birds/ with thrift-store wings.” Other times, it’s the literal, hard-hitting world of self-harming burns and gunshots that violate the boundaries of self. Precise and elegant, redemptive in its musicality and stunning imagery, Migrations and Other Exiles is a remarkable, stand-out, collection.
—Dzvinia Orlowsky, Final Judge for the Idaho Prize 2022