"Swan Hammer: An Instructor's Guide to Mirrors" wins Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize

June 8, 2021

Congratulations to Maggie Graber, whose manuscript Swan Hammer: An Instructor's Guide to Mirrors was selected by final judge Sarah Bagby as the winner of the 2021 Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize (Emerging). Graber will receive a $1,000 prize and Swan Hammer: An Instructor's Guide to Mirrors will be published 2022 by MSU Press.

"Swan Hammer: An Instructor’s Guide to Mirrors exposes the collision and co-existence of popular culture, sexual identity, the natural world, virtual reality, families, and the cosmos," writes judge Sarah Bagby. "There is a sonnet in the collection, there is humor, intimacy, there are odes and elegies, a poem called Pi Day. There is fluidity in time and space and voice. There is great pleasure and pain on these pages. There are so many things I love about this collection. I love how 'I Remember Nashville, the dueling piano bar' is not an homage to music, and how in 'At the Twilight of the Big Bang' it might be time for a new origin story. I love the way the poems look on the page. I love the honesty and vulnerability of this collection."

Finalists for this tenth round are Becoming Ribbons by Amber Adams, Breath on a Coal by Anne Haven McDonnell, They're Not Lying When They Tell You You'll Dream of the Dead by Mary Ardery, and We Were Never Here by Catherine Prescott.

To read the full announcement, click here.