Monday, April 7, 2008

Elisabeth Murawski Awarded Hawthornden Castle Fellowship

Poet Elisabeth Murawski has recently been notified that she is a recipient of a Hawthornden Fellowship. She will be spending a month at the Hawthornden Castle writer's retreat in Scotland.

Elisabeth is the author of Moon and Mercury (Washington Writers Publishing House, 1990) and Troubled by an Angel (Cleveland State UniversityPoetry Center, 1997). Her work has appeared in Spoon River Poetry Review, The Yale Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Field, Chelsea, Grand Street, Doubletake, Crazyhorse, The American Voice, among others. She is a native of Chicago, graduated with an MFA from George Mason and lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

Here's a poem by her from Janusz Zalewski's recent broadside dedicated to Polish-American poets:

Alias Irene

She broke loose from her father’s hand,
turned and found the small cars
circling in their route. Little boys
and girls like her were ringing the bells
of fire engines, tooting horns. No way out.
She pressed against the legs of mothers
and fathers, bumped into lines of kids
all pushing to be first. Maybe someone
here at the carnival could guess her weight
and take her to a place quiet as a church,
where dishes didn’t break. Maybe
she could win a kewpie doll with glitter
on its eyelids. Or find a nickel
in the dirt. The woman who found her
that night didn’t take her home
but gave her up over the microphone--
”We have a little lost girl called Irene.”
Even changing her name didn’t work.
She was claimed like a coat, scolded
for disobeying the rule of staying put.
Her father with his lower lip stuck out
held her hand so tight it hurt. Her mother
had that look she got scrubbing the floor
until it shone like a dinner plate.

(The broadside is available from Janusz Zalewski for $5. His address is 21784 Brixham Run Loop, Estero, FL 33928.)

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