THE SHARED DREAM IMMIGRANT PRIZE
Thrilled to announce the winner of the Shared Dream Immigrant Contest. Janine Joseph selected “Mother Said, I Want Your Pain” by Naoko Fujimoto. Congratulations!! Look forward to this chapbook in Spring 2018.
Of the collection, Janine Joseph writes:“I do not know/ if I am even right to be a mother at a right time,” discloses the speaker in the opening poem of Mother Said, “I Want Your Pain.” Evocative and startling in their unflinching clarity of image, these poems are inheritors of the aftermath of nuclear fallout and chemical warfare. They are tuned to the movement of transgenerational traumas. Grandmothers who “hid in a ditch with three horses” while B-29s shot bullets overhead, leave relatives who later ask of our bequeathed earth, “Is the land poisoned or not poisoned?” Here is a striking collection with a deft voice, poised even as it turns on or transcends an observation or emotion: “Grandfather watches TV on the highest volume,/ the howling-wind.”
In addition to the winning manuscript, we are pleased to publish “Present Values” by Jose Edmundo Reyes.
“They come in droves like refugees, fleeing a colder sun. They brave our crooked, cratered roads, they offer dark, red coins. We welcome them for their eyes blue as the sky, their skin white as the sand. Listen: even the coral reefs sing them lullabies at night.” In Present Values, Reyes constructs taunt and lyrical poems filled with dark coins and deals. Often customary in the immigrant’s experience, there is witness bearing to wealth and waste. A furtherance of mere poetry, this is insightful examination of free market culture, its lure and power— how it feeds us when we are most hungry or destroys us in our worship of it.