the blue-collar sun

Lucas Farrell’s award-winning debut poetry collection entitled the blue-collar sun is the winner of the 2020 Sundog Poetry Book Award in Partnership with Green Writers Press and will be coming to bookstores and online in time for Earth Day, 2021.

Mary Ruefle’s Final Judge Citation: ’The world is hard to find once you start looking for it’ — from its beginning, this book activates such a search (and sometimes wants to walk away from it) in such a startling way that by the breath-taking final section the poet finds himself searching for his relationship to a fish hook. Which of all objects looks most like a question mark, so the search becomes not one for answers but for the questions themselves, that Rilkean stance. Questions carry with them the obligation to go on, to carry on in any direction they may take us, and for the sake of the art of poetry Lucas Farrell does just that. His is a mind that never stops moving. 

Advance Praise for the blue-collar sun:

“Lucas Farrell’s new collection of poetry rises over an arresting landscape of contrasts and revelations. It encompasses stanzaic verse, prose-poems, and script-like dialogue. What unifies this diverse book as a dramatic arc is ultimately Farrell’s alert, authentic voice, which is at once passionate and utterly unsentimental. He invites a reader to join him on the daily rounds of attentiveness to the longing and the loss, the passion and the humor, in life’s always inescapable and always fleeting presentness.”

John Elder, author of Picking up the Flute,
and co-editor of The Norton Book of Nature Writing

“I love these poems. They’re both warmly familiar and also weird AF. They made my heart leap for the ordinary, fascinating world.”

Anais Mitchell, songwriter and creator of the
Tony-Award winning musical Hadestown

Book Reviews

A wonderful review of the blue-collar sun by SevenDays poetry critic Benjamin Aleshire

“That the recipient of Vermont’s newest poetry award is a farmer, equally comfortable shoveling manure and penning urgent existential verse, is an auspicious sign for literature in this corner of the world.”


Book cover art by Emily Mason (1932-2019). Painting title is FROM SPA, oil on canvas, 30 x 24 inches (76.2 x 61 cm), ©2020 Emily Mason and Alice Trumbull Mason Foundation/Artist Right Society (ARS), NY. Image courtesy of Christopher Burke.

About the Poet
Lucas Farrell lives in Townshend, Vermont, where he and his wife own and operate Big Picture Farm, a small hillside goat dairy and award-winning farmstead confectionery. His first book of poems, The Many Woods of Grief (University of Massachusetts Press), was awarded the Juniper Prize for Poetry. He has two daughters


84 pages; 6 x 8 / Softcover
Full-color with photos
ISBN: 978-1-7336534-5-9
Publication Date: April 6, 2021
Distributor: IPG / Chicago
Rights sold: All rights available.
Rights contact: Dede Cummings

Distributor: IPG; also available through Baker & Taylor, Ingram, and other wholesalers.
Individuals can order directly from our shopping cart at IPG, online, or contact your local, independent bookstore.
Booksellers, libraries, colleges/universities, gift shops, etc., can order through IPG:
Independent Publishers Group
814 N. Franklin Street
Chicago, IL 60610
Order Placement: (800) 888-4741

Note on the Sundog Poetry Book Award

This contest is open to all Vermont-based poets. Submissions of manuscripts of a first or second book by a Vermont poet. A cash prize of $500 will be awarded along with 50 copies. Sundog Poetry will provide assistance with promotion through a featured book launch and readings scheduled throughout the state. Manuscripts should be between 48 and 64 pages. All submissions must be authored by a poet who resides in Vermont; proof of residency will be requested along with a $20 application fee online via Submittable. Submissions for the 2021 book award will open in Fall 2021.

Submissions for the 2021 Sundog Poetry Book Award will be accepted via Submittable from August 1 to September 30, 2021.