Boston Review’s Poetry Contest Winner
October 8, 2013
Oct 8, 2013
1 Min read time
This year’s Boston Review poetry contest drew close to a thousand entries in a dazzling range of poetic styles, forms, and subjects, an abundance that bespeaks the vitality of the art. We are pleased to announce that this year's winner is Scott Coffel of Iowa City, Iowa, pictured at right. The final judge, Linda Gregerson, selected Coffel's poems and described them as both athletic and outrageous, and as possessing an "extraordinary amplitude." Coffel’s poem “Goldman Sachs” appears below, and the full set of winning poems will appear in the November/December issue of Boston Review.
We would also like to mention that exceptional entries were received from four runners-up: Tyler Mills of Chicago, IL; Desiree Alvarez of New York, NY; Elisabeth Weiss of Marblehead, MA; and Diane Seuss of Kalamazoo, MI. Thank you to everyone who submitted.
by Scott Coffel
I owe my death as a gardener not to cheap rabbit fencing
but to a botched affair with Persephone, the Garden of Eden’s
willowy seed manager. As William James remarked
after his final Chautauqua, a dance of erotic instruction
that begins with the pH value of chicken shit
ends in a Richter-scale derangement of the senses—after which
I scavenged amongst the undecided, combing the estuaries
for bi-valves, dead set on poisoning the unswayable,
my moral high ground a barnacled rock visible at low tide.
Thank God I failed: my candidate and his churlish spouse
receding faster than a cosmic hairline,
as did my fantasies of Venus on the half shell—a goddess
who could iron shirts as if every Chinese launderer on Mott Street
had been shanghaied into arbitraging for Goldman Sachs.
Photo Courtesy of Scott Coffel
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October 08, 2013
1 Min read time