The Rape of Chryssipus

2007 Spoon River Poetry Review Editors' Prize

I chose "The Rape of Chryssipus" among a remarkable field of finalists for three reasons. The
poem displays both wildness and restraint, and arranges the tension between these impulses
through the clean elegance of its prosody. It makes me think of Yeats's ambition to write a poem "as cold and passionate as the dawn."  The poem also displays great breadth, making us feel both the particularity and the universality of the brutal acts it recounts. And finally, "The Rape of Chryssipus" recalls one of poetry's prime functions: to curse. Appalled by the occasion of the poem, I'm entranced by its ambition to transcend accusation. "The Rape of Chryssipus" is no less than a spell, calling upon elusive powers to enter the human world.

-- Dr. Philip Brady, Judge
    2007 Spoon River Poetry Review Editor's Prize

The judge, Dr. Philip Brady, is the author of three books of poems and a memoir. He has received fellowships from Ohio and New York, and residencies at Yaddo, Hawthornden Castle, Fundacion Valparaiso, the Headlands Center, and Ragdale. He teaches at Youngstown State University, where he directs the Poetry Center and Etruscan Press.


The Spoon River Poetry Review