I am honored and excited that Ravenna Press chose my work, Variations in an Emergency, to receive the 2014 Cathlamet Prize for Poetry, and that the press is committed to publishing the manuscript. The title of the work alludes to the idea of emergence: how desires emerge, how even imagined encounters make themselves known, how memories insist on happening. Perhaps along these lines, the prize and accompanying publication are allowing me to emerge as a poet in a way I haven’t felt able to do before. The title also hints at the musical genre of a theme and variations, and the poems engage with a discourse of music from Baroque to Romantic and beyond. I am grateful that the Cathlamet Prize is offering an opportunity for me to share my love of music, and especially keyboard literature, with others. Finally, for me the prize represents the fruit of departmental collegiality and mentorship, since several colleagues read some of the poems in draft, and my mentor, Professor Carl Grindley, is a previous recipient of the award.
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