Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Introducing the winner of the 2016 Mary Ballard Poetry Prize

We are pleased to announce the winner of the 2016 Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook prize -- David Allen Sullivan's book Take Wing.

Photo by Jules Barivan
David Allen Sullivan is a former Fullbright scholar who has written a number of poetry books on topics ranging from the Iraq war to his father's dementia. His poems have been read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer's Almanac.

He teaches at Cabrillo College, where he edits the Porter Gulch Review with his students, and lives in Santa Cruz with his love, the historian Cherie Barkey, and their two children, Jules and Mina Barivan.

Our 2016 judge was Rosemary Catacalos. Catacalos was the 2013 Poet Laureate of Texas, a Paisano fellow, National Endowment for the Arts fellow, and her poetry has been nominated for many Pushcart prizes and included in poetry anthologies.

Catacalos said that Sullivan's depiction of the loss of loved ones was "central to our shared humanity. Take Wing has given us poems that confront death with the mineral strength of a spiritual warrior."

She praised the language in the collection, calling it "useful, spare, washed clean: bones that play an essential music."

Take Wing will be released in April 2016 as both a paperback and digital edition.

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