Saturday, April 3, 2010

Murawski Wins May Swenson Prize

Polish American poet Elisabeth Murawski has just received the prestigious May Swenson Poetry Award for her forthcoming poetry collection Zorba's Daughter.

Her manuscript was selected by distinguished poet Grace Schulman, long-time poetry editor of The Nation.

Here's part of the press release:

The 2010 Swenson Award will go to Elisabeth Murawski, of Alexandria, Virginia for her collection of poems entitled Zorba's Daughter.

Ms. Murawski will receive a cash award of $1000, and Zorba's Daughter will be published by USU Press in the summer of 2010.

Murawski holds an MFA from George Mason University and is a well-published poet. She has been awarded a Hawthornden fellowship (2008), as well as residencies at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Achill Heinrich Boll Association. She is author of the collection Moon and Mercury (Washington Writers' Publishing House) and two chapbooks--Troubled by an Angel (Cleveland State Poetry Center) and Out-Patients (forthcoming from Servinghouse Books).

Over 200 of her poems have appeared in journals that include Yale Review, New Republic, Virginia Quarterly Review, Field, Ontario Review, Antioch Review, Southern Review, Dubliner, Poetry Northwest, and others. The present volume has been a finalist for the Field Poetry Prize, the Brittingham and Pollak Poetry Prize, the Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry, and The Journal/OSU Poetry Prize.

To read more about Elisabeth's book, please go to her book's website by clicking here.

Elisabeth has allowed me to publish the title poem from the collection.

Zorba's Daughter

Night boasted it was eternity.
But here now
through the brown links of trees
the sun spills dawn.

Light's turn (dice on a table)
to be eternal, a current
to feed her house, abruptly
wake her like a thief. Who

will teach her divine
collaboration? Who will love
her dirty hands enough
to leave her head unshaved?

She goes barefoot as the sky,
nectarine slice on a spoon,
sweet coral carnation,
little fish

with wings in her heart,
tempted to fly
from the spear
she cannot escape, resolved

to die like Samson
braced against the pillars
of the temple,
roaring for his eyes.


Other poems by Elisabeth Murawski at Writing the Polish Diaspora include Alias Irene and How We Learned about the War.

Clicking on the above titles will take you to the poems.