Tag Archives: poetry community

Award News

The Quebec Writers’ Federation Awards are a series of Canadian literary awards, presented annually by the Quebec Writers’ Federation to the best works of literature in English by writers from Quebec. The A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry is one of seven categories in the annual awards.


CONGRATS to GWP poet, Sarah Wolfson!

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The poems in A Common Name for Everything build idiosyncratic worlds around the themes of nature, home, parenting, and naming—worlds that are at once poignant and absurd: a professional namer of lakes explains his standards; the rural gods are given names; a study of sheep results in loneliness. Steeped in sound play and borrowing academic language to create a specimen lens, these poems bask in the local as they seek to name even the commonest earthly things.

Advance Praise for A Common Name for Everything

In her stunning first book of poems, Sarah Wolfson drives a team of spirited horses into rural landscapes, many of which she interiorizes figuratively in ways that are wonderfully strange. In one keenly intelligent, musical poem after another, Wolfson instills her lyrical narratives about motherhood, environmental crisis, the inherent elegy of words, natural history, and poetry itself with chthonic imagery, risible asides, empirical logic, and academic nomenclature. For her, poetry itself is ‘the common name of everything,’ and from her ‘place’ she serves her reader ‘soup and small/ theories of holiness’ in evocatively specific, sublime ways. By writing from the ground and body up, Wolfson surprises herself first and then her reader with language that soars with verbal music . . . A Common Name for Everything marks the debut of an enormously talented, wise, and timely new voice. ”
Chard deNiord, Poet Laureate of Vermont

“In A Common Name for Everything Sarah Wolfson demonstrates, again and again, an entirely uncommon talent for precise and defamiliarizing observation. At times declarative and deceptively plain, and at others more fractured and gestural, the poems in this formidable first collection are informed by a lyric sensibility that is authentic, playful, and unflinchingly direct.”
Phillip Crymble, Poetry Editor at The Fiddlehead; author of Not Even Laughter 

“I can’t remember when I last read a book of poems that provided such varied pleasures . . . But the gorgeous surfaces of Sarah Wolfson’s work—the poet’s intelligence and curiosity and wit—are not ends in themselves, but a way to get at what seems essential in the self and the world. So we learn the poet is skeptical of god ‘though not of souls,’ become acquainted with a daughter’s ‘need to wonder,’ and waken with the poet to marvel at August ‘with its great star events.’ In short, A Common Name for Everything is anything but common. I’m already eager to hear more from this poet, to be swept away again.”
Clare Rossini, author of Lingo and Winter Morning with Crow

More Praise

“. . . Humane and full of wonder even as it resists all that is inflated by romanticism, A Common Name for Everything’s insistence on Earth’s ordinary orderings doesn’t efface the deep reverence the speaker has for the same. If there’s a divine in Wolfson’s world, it’s this world itself and all that’s passing through it. In her poems’ radical adjustment of scale back to something earthly and earthy, there’s more than enough.” —Letitia Montgomery-Rodgers, review excerpt from Orion

 

About the Author
Sarah Wolfson’s poems have appeared in Canadian and American journals including The Fiddlehead, AGNI, Michigan Quarterly Review, PRISM international, and TriQuarterly—and they have twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She holds an MFA from the University of Michigan. Originally from Vermont, she now lives in Montreal, where she teaches at McGill University.

 

Our Small Press Poetry Future

(This is an excerpt, modified for this post, from GWP poetry editors, Dede Cummings and James Crews’ interview with Dante Di Stefano over at Best American Poetry)

Green Writers Press is proud to offer some stunning poetry books in our catalog. We are looking for new and emerging poets that write about the earth and our place in nature and the built environment, poets who give voice to those who are marginalized in our society, and established poets who want to publish with us and enjoy the benefits of working collaboratively. 

Green Writers signed the new poetry collection by Robert Pack, entitled All One Breath, and we are thrilled to work with such a notable American poet as Pack. We also recently published Dirt and Honey, by Rachel Vasquez Gilliland, an emerging Mexican-American poet and feminist. Another upcoming book is titled Time Inside, by Vermont poet Gary Margolis, about his work with maximum security prison inmates. Last, but not least, GWP just published A Bouquet of Daisies, by seventeen-year-old poet, Megan Alice, with proceeds benefitting the Planned Parenthood Federation. 

We strive for a diverse chorus of poetic voices and our literary magazine, The Hopper, is doing just that. Founded in 2015 by Dede Cummings and Sierra Dickey, the Hopper also awards a poetry prize, now in its third year. Winners include John Saad in 2016, Ralph Black in 2017, and our 2018 winner, Charity Gingerich. Our poetry editors are James Crews, Anna Mullen, Ellie Rogers, Emma Irving, Dede Cummings, and Caroline Shea.

We have a bias for poetry that is accessible to as large an audience as possible, and because we are an independent press run almost entirely by women, we also believe that more female and transgender voices are needed in American poetry to give voice to those who have been kept quiet for too long. But as an environmentally-minded publisher, we hold close to Robert Bly’s idea of “shared consciousness” with the natural world — an outlook long held by Native Americans before us. This idea puts forth that elements of the natural world are just as intelligent and conscious as humans (if not more so), and perhaps the current environmental crisis would not be so dire if more people saw the world in this way. We need more American poetry that acknowledges our essential interconnectedness as a planet and as a human species. To paraphrase the Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, we’d like to see more poetry that awakens us from the illusion of our separateness.

What the future holds for Green Writers Press’ poetry program: our publisher is an award-winning poet in her own right, so we give a lot of attention to publishing and promoting our poetry catalog. To that end, you can expect to see several new collections which showcase diverse American voices, and which unflinchingly tackle the environmental crisis. Upcoming 2019 poetry collections in addition to the Hopper Prize winner, Charity Gingerich’s After June (spring 2019), we will also be publishing Ha Kiet Chau’s collection Eleven Miles to June (fall 2019) and Sarah Wolfson’s A Common Name for Everything (fall 2019).

You can also look for anthologies that are in and of themselves forms of resistance against the prevailing fear and outrage infecting our politics and our country as a whole. For instance, we’ll be publishing an anthology edited by our poetry editor, James Crews, called Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection, with a lovely preface by former Poet Laureate Ted Kooser.