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The Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry was inaugurated in 2003 to honor the late poet, a nationally recognized writer and former professor at the University of Utah, and is sponsored by the University of Utah Press and the University of Utah Department of English. Fire Pond is the 2008 prizewinning volume selected by this year’s judge, Medbh McGuckian, poet, editor, and teacher from Belfast.
Jessica Garratt grew up in rural Maryland. A doctoral candidate, she currently teaches and holds a Creative Writing Fellowship at the University of Missouri. She has also received fellowships from the Michener Center for Writers and the MacDowell Colony. Her poems have appeared in Shenandoah, Michigan Quarterly Review, North American Review, and other journals. This is her first book.
Table of Contents:
The State of Things
Home after a weekend with old friends
Climate of Refrain
Woman drives past, crying
The End of Things
Things said (me & others, dreams & waking, yesterday & years ago): An Exorcism
Praise and Reviews:
"Jessica Garratt’s Fire Pond sifts through raw experience and suffering, toward acceptance and understanding of a deep nature. Garratt’s philosophical curiosity and openness are counterpoints to her refreshing wit and humor. She narrates her private heartbreaks candidly but without self pity or narcissism, while infusing her work with an Emersonian sense of place as sacred."
"These poems are beautifully constructed handbooks full of clues toward the meaning of ourselves and our fate in the world and they are written in such a way as to show, unhidden, the steps the poet took in order to seek that knowledge...We can surely look forward to new and exciting work from this poet as she develops."
— Christopher Crawford, Gently Read Literature
2008 Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry Award