This year’s winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition is Maurice Manning’s Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions. These compelling poems take us on a wild ride through the life of a man child in the rural South. Presenting a cast of allegorical and symbolic, yet very real, characters, the poems have “authority, daring, [and] a language of color and sure movement,” says series judge W.S. Merwin.
From Seven Chimeras
The way Booth makes a love story: same as a regular story, except under one rock is a trapdoor that leads to a room full of belly buttons; each must be pushed, one is a landmine.
The way Booth makes hope: thirty-seven acres, Black Damon, Red Dog. Construct a pillar of fire in the Great Field and let it become unquenchable.
The way Booth ends the Jack-in-the-Box charade: shoot the weasel in the neck and toss it to the buzzards.
The way Booth thinks of salvation: God holding a broken abacus, colored beads falling away.
Maurice Manning is a native of Danville, Kentucky. He holds degrees from Earlham College, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Alabama, where he received his MFA in 1999. He has held a writing fellowship to The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. He currently teaches English at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.
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