Final judge Laura Goode has selected Julia Rose Lewis’ How to Hypnotize a Lobster as the winner of Fathom’s PITCH VIPER PRIZE for 2017. About the shortbook she writes:
The poems of <<How to Hypnotize a Lobster>>, in the images of their informants Maggie Nelson, bell hooks, and Anna Akhmatova, reveal bodies that are, like all, both queered and constructed. And magnificently so: with deft, subtle flourishes of geology, mathematics, and eros, these poems accrue into a system of logic that succeeds entirely on the unique terms of its own self-invention. As it articulates “my bluest wish” and asks “What is the distance of blue from the origin?,” this collection seeks an “absolute” blue after Nelson’s <<Bluets>>, and situates that unattainable absolute within an original and inevitable poetic movement, keenly controlled, intricately felt, and stark in its elegance. <<How to Hypnotize a Lobster>> is an auto-da-fé, illuminated by its own burning.
Very sincere congratulations to Julia, who will receive paperback publication in 2018, $250, author copies, and the right to judge the contest in 2019.
Laura Goode also generously commended Devon Balwit’s finalist manuscript, After the Singularity:
<<After the Singularity>> evidences itself in a gasconade of vocabulary so expansive it verges on erotic. Loss, longing, and “Journeying” make métiers in these poems, and even more so, becoming: the world of <<After the Singularity>> is protean, “prehensile,” primordial, in exquisite flux. These poems are unhumble in their showy range, yet closely attuned to earth all the same, as the bodies in “Earth Lab” are: “sporting extra / fingers or toes, hidden cells blooming, or / arms and legs ending in nubs, as if the potter / tired and set us down.”
Two poems from each manuscript will be featured in the 2017 issue of SHARKPACK Annual, due out this fall. Our love to all writers who entered.