For a second year, Boston Review, in partnership with the 92nd Street Y Unterberg Poetry Center, proudly presents the winners of the Joan Leiman Jacobson Poetry Prizes. Now in its fifth decade, the Discovery Poetry Contest recognizes and celebrates the achievements of poets who have not yet published a first book. Many winners of this contest have gone on to distinguished careers as poets. This years judges include Mary Jo Bang and Mark Strand, themselves former Discovery winners, as well as Terrance Hayes. From a pool of almost 900 entries, the judges selected the following poets, citing formal invention, uniqueness of voice, and clarity of vision as distinguishing characteristics. The winners read from their work at the Unterberg Poetry Center in New York on May 11, 2009.
They smuggled turnip seeds into the new world by /
sewing them in a hem. Welcome, the customs official said...
Jynne Dilling Martin
Too much to lose, he thinks, for anything else, picking pockets, /
say, casually, without arousing suspicion out front of downtowns...
Hear Jeffrey Schultz read his work at the NewsHours Art Beat blog.
Instinct, treasured dangerous thing, survival-sharp /
and folded in the breast pocket of a loaned wool suit...
In this last, clear-cut story, you are tree, I am /
Wind shaking, you scuttling through spring /
Sphere. We are water, I am current, you are...
Annabelle Yeeseul Yoo
Last year's contest winners: May/June 2008