Friday, December 21, 2012

Oscar Arnold Young Award Winners Announced

2013 Oscar Arnold Young Award Winners Announced

Maureen Sherbondy of Raleigh has been selected by the Poetry Council of NC as the winner of the 2013 Oscar Arnold Young Award for NC’s best book of poetry. Her collection The Year of Dead Fathers (Spring Garden Press) was selected by judge Robert Lee Brewer from 24 entries.

Brewer remarks that Sherbondy’s “collection begins with a butterfly landing on a windowsill and ends with ‘an old bird/lifting away from a pine tree, leaving behind a/trembling branch.’ In between, the narrator deals with death, specifically the death of her father.” Brewer was impressed with Sherbondy’s ability “to assemble a collection as focused as this one without falling into repetition,” remarking that she “keeps her subject fresh and interesting throughout--providing one new layer after another.”

Beth Copeland’s book Transcendental Telemarketer (BlazeVox) was chosen as runner-up. Of Copeland’s book, Brewer writes, “this collection zips from one type of well-performed poem to the next. No subject is off limits--as a reader could tell easily from poem titles such as ‘For the Poets of Afghanistan,’ ‘Pear Tree,’ and ‘My Life as a Slut’.” Copeland lives in Gibson, NC.

For honorable mentions, Brewer also praised Wilmington poet, Daniel Nathan Terry’s Waxwings (Lethe Press) and Greenville poet, Malaika King Albrecht’s What the Trapeze Artist Trusts (Press 53). Brewer states that what strikes him about Terry’s collection is not only “the want hiding in each poem” but also the “sense of duty that seems to rear its head time and time again.” He adds that “Albrecht invites the reader to join her on the poetic trapeze act she performs” but “is always there, ready to catch the reader before sending her off again.”

All of the books submitted for the contest will be archived in the Poetry Council collection at Catawba College in Salisbury. Winners will be recognized in the Council’s annual awards anthology, Bay Leaves, to be released at Poetry Day on April 20 at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory. Winners of the Oscar Arnold Young Competition and all of the Poetry Council’s annual awards will be given the opportunity to read from their work at Poetry Day.

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