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Orpheus, Turning (Dogfish Head Poetry Prize Winner 2015)


2015 Dogfish Head Prize Winning poetry by Faith Shearin

In Faith Shearin’s fifth collection, Orpheus,Turning, the sixty-one free-verse lyrics are often drawn from the dynamics of an American family. They convey both hope and sorrow in moving ways, and in language that delights when it offers jolts like this possum, “his face a triangle/ of albino dislike.” The power of memory sometimes over-rules the ravages of time, too, when remembered details flesh out events. Ms. Shearin can also stand reality on its head, as when some passengers on the Titanic, still down there in the ship’s hull, carry on as though no disaster occurred, or when the family dog educates itself by watching TV. Add to this some historical characters like Marie Curie and Amelia Earhart, some figures like Orpheus and Eurydice and the Pied Piper of Hamelin, and Orpheus, Turning is a heart-made view of how we live. -- Brendan Galvin



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