Award Winning Poetry

2011 American Poetry Journal
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Winner of the 2011 American Poet Prize

1-800-THE-LOST

The weight of the receiver in my hand:
the down bird in my palm first lifting you.
The counselor’s words: rehearsed, a burlesque bland...

2011 American Poetry Journal

2020 Sky Island Journal
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Pushcart Prize Nominee 2020
Best of the Net Nominee 2021

Smiling at the Executioner

Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

As if the open barrel were a lotus;
its roots anchored in mud.
How undeterred...

2020 Sky Island Journal

2019 Folio
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Winner of the Folio Editor's Prize

Ode for an Ode on a Grecian Urn

Ode, let your sorrows go.
Let brides be ravished, trees forsake their leaves,
let lovers kiss and fade, daughters age.

2019 Folio

2005 National Poetry Review
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Winner of the Annie Finch Prize

On Recognizing Saints

As if to find new icons for her life
or as if - piece by piece - to dismantle mine
she scans our purchases too consciously...

2005 National Poetry Review

2013 new south: Georgia St. Univ. Journal
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Winner of the New South Writing Contest

Amber Alert

A white Ford, black gate, Georgia plate,
squeezes into our lane. In the back, a Whitetail –
tagged and slashed from her chest to hind legs...

2013 new south: Georgia St. Univ. Journal

2016 Naugatuck River Review
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Robert Frost Award

Sugaring

Sestina for an ill boy

A loyal maple lingers by your bed: nature fiercely altered.
Its sugar finds your pulse, then trickles in with a rhythm
partly boy, partly tree.  For comity we call it Mr. Pipes...

2016 Naugatuck River Review

2004 National Poetry Review
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Featured in Verse Daily

Against Elegies

What if we let you sing first?
What if we look for you with Mallarme’s
blank stare: birds round an empty dish...

2004 National Poetry Review

2007 Spoon River Poetry Review
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Winner of the Spoon River Poetry Review Editors' Prize

The Rape of Chryssipus

She came home bone by bone. First her shin bone, then her skull. In the end, 26 of Molly's bones came home to us."
― Mother of 16-year old Molly Bish, whose remains were found 3 years after she was abducted and murdered in June 2000.

For the rape of Chryssipus, King Laius suffered.
The gods saw what he took -- a young boy's chance
to play in the Nemean Games, to make his offerings...

2007 Spoon River Poetry Review

2012 The Adirondack Review
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Winner of the 46er Prize for Poetry

Bingo Night for Missing and Exploited Children

Before we went underground. Before you fell through a gyre with no sound.
If one piece were unwound. If you had run. If we had looked  for you
sooner. If you had screamed. If the gods had intervened...

2012 The Adirondack Review

2006 Willow Springs
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Winner of the Vachel Lindsay Poetry Award

Sanriku

The game was not to look - but feel -
the slow drag, the distant rise
and fall, the quiet revolt of crests...

2006 Willow Springs

2006 Comstock Review
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Muriel Craft Bailey Award - Finalist

Odalisque

Early light, the chill of souls leaving. You draw up the sheet
to cover us; the soft of musk, the body's heat
from an air pocket, nudged and wayward. The scent...

2006 Comstock Review

1974 Emerson College Review
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Winner of the Emerson College Original Poetry Award

On Rewinding

I have been told that by wish and will I fell from His sheep-
wool pocket into one dame's arms; and that was birth.
I have been told that angels bowl; heaven opens up when the...

1974 Emerson College Review

2012 Beauty/Truth: Ekphrastic Poetry
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Robert Frost Award - First Runner Up

The Arrangement

Because we were getting old enough
our instructor took us to look at (not to touch)
some pictures grown men drew...

2012 Beauty/Truth: Ekphrastic Poetry

2012 Smartish Pace
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Erskine J. Poetry Prize - Finalist

Catharsis

A portly man on TV says he’s eating jelly donuts
since his doctor recommended more fruit.  My head
tucked beneath your chin, I feel you grin. A welcome joke...

2012 Smartish Pace

2017 SWWIM
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Narrative Poetry Contest - Semi-Finalist

Bad Apology

As if in an endless rehearsal,
I packed and unpacked. The challenge,
you said, was to take no more...

2017 SWWIM

2012 River Styx
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Rita Dove Poetry Award - Semi Finalist

At the Grieving Parents Meeting

In the parish hall of Saint Anthony’s Catholic Church,
pictures of murdered children in our hands,
we huddle in a sphere of folding chairs...

2012 River Styx