Nick Twemlow Wins Norma Farber First Book Award
Hard to believe there were over seventy books submitted to this year's Norma Farber First Book Award, many by presses that were new to me, including the publisher of this year's winning volume, Palm Trees by Nick Twemlow (Green Lantern Press). Reading Twemlow gives one a deep sense about what's exciting about the lyrical possibilities embodied not in just of a first book of poems but any book of poems published in 2012. Of course I was enticed by verbal savvy, consequential wordplay, cultural élan. Of course I value a poetics that does not eschew the personal over the political or vice versa. And of course, I needed the whole book to complete its arc without faltering. Skip the front and back matter. Put off reading the brilliant introduction by Robert Fernandez until after you have committed this "Damage Manual" to memory. This book seared my conscience, altered my sense of what it's like to go on . . .