The 2011 Ohioana Book Award Finalist for Best Poetry

Here are the 2011 Ohioana Book Award Finalist for Best Poetry.

We are looking at the Ohioana Book Awards but Ohioana offers a wide range of other awards — for both authors and published works. Check out the Ohioana Annual Awards Page for further information.

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Best Poetry

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How to Catch a Falling Knife

Author: Johnson, Daniel
Format: Trade Paperback
Type: Poetry
Page Count: 80pp.
Pub. Date: April 2010
Publisher: Alice James Books

 

Nominated for the 2011 Ohioana Book Award for Best Poetry

Publisher’s Summary:
How to Catch a Falling Knife is a perfect title for this book: there is danger, playfulness, impossibilities made possible, and surprise, in varying doses, in every poem! Most of all though, what I end up loving most about these spare, intense poems, is their heart, their urgent, nutty, burning, utterly whole heart.”
— Thomas Lux

Like an album of photographic negatives, this book is transformed by light, inhabited by family, illness, mortality, and faith.

Daniel Johnson hammers plain speech into exquisite song that is celebratory, mysterious, and elegiac. This transfixing collection resounds with what’s left unsaid.

From “Hungry for Wonder”:

Smoke smeared the sky.
the sun was a hole,
but my mother wouldn’t believe

the river was burning.
Another drowned twin,
a two-headed perch: perhaps,

but water, brown and crooked
as it was, still wouldn’t burn.
Must be a mill caught fire, my mother said.

The Casanova Chronicles: Poems

Author: Stone, Myrna
Format: Trade Paperback
Type: Poetry
Page Count: 72pp.
Pub. Date: July 2010
Publisher: Etruscan Press

 

Nominated for the 2011 Ohioana Book Award for Best Poetry

Publisher’s Summary:
Voices chafe against circumstances of love, sex, loss, and longing with sometimes humorous, sometimes disasterous results.

Traveler: Poems

Author: Suarez, Lou
Format: Trade Paperback
Type: Poetry
Page Count: 79pp.
Pub. Date: April 2010
Publisher: Mid-List Press

 

Nominated for the 2011 Ohioana Book Award for Best Poetry

Publisher’s Summary:
For Lou Suarez, poetry is a means of asking questions, a method of engaging the world and enriching that experience with a more compassionate understanding.

Clarity and accessibility of language are evident throughout his work, but his poems are vibrantly complex, employing intricate layers of meaning.

The White Museum: Poems

Author: George Bilgere, George Bilgere
Format: Trade Paperback
Type: Poetry
Page Count: 80pp.
Pub. Date: January 2010
Publisher: Autumn House Press

 

Nominated for the 2011 Ohioana Book Award for Best Poetry

Publisher’s Summary:
Once again, George Bilgere has shown that imaginative wonders and deep emotional truths can be achieved with plain, colloquial American speech.

Field of Light and Shadow: Selected and New Poems

Author: Young, David
Format: Hardcover
Type: Poetry
Page Count: 304pp.
Pub. Date: September 2010
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

 

Nominated for the 2011 Ohioana Book Award for Best Poetry

Publisher’s Summary:
A career-spanning volume from one of our most valuable living American poets, offering poems that display an exquisite ear tuned to the natural world, to love and friendship, and to the continually renewable possibilities of language.

David Young’s settings are at once local and universal — an adolescence in Omaha, late summer on Lake Erie, a sleepless night in the backyard during a meteor shower. He moves with dazzling ease between culture and nature, between the literary and the philosophical, microcosm and macrocosm.

Here are poems on Osip Mandelstam and Chairman Mao, the meaning of boxcars on the track, the beautiful names of the months, and a fox at the field’s edge, charged in each case by Young’s fierce intelligence and candor in the face of grief and loss.

“We float through space. Days pass,” Young writes in “The Portable Earth-Lamp.” “Sometimes we know we are part of a crystal / where light is sorted and stored.” His metaphysical reach, balancing remarkable humility with penetrating vision, is one of the great gifts of this exemplary career in poetry.

The 2011 Ohioana Book Award Nominations Series:

Part 1 — Best Fiction
Part 2 — Best Non-Fiction
Part 3 — About Ohio
Part 4 — Best Poetry
Part 5 — Juvenile Book

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