Poetry: 2011 First/Second Book Prize Finalists

This week we feature work from our five finalists for the 2011 Omnidawn First/Second Book Contest:

Jill Darling — A Geography of Syntax
Leora Fridman — The Riots
Eryn Green — Eruv
Jane Gregory — My Enemies
Soham Patel — Hello: Ghost



Jill Darling


breaking bowl

this bowl falling and breaking

broken and lying at my feet

is this your bowl

shards i’m afraid

only shards are left

and pieces

pieces of shards of this bowl

at my feet


Jill Darling has had two poetry collections published: Solve For (BlazeVOX, ebooks) and begin with may: a series of moments (chapbook, Finishing Line Press). She also published an essay, “The Content of Essay Form: on Reading Carla Harryman’s Adorno’s Noise” in a section on Harryman’s work in the online journal How2, and has had poems and creative essays published in a number of literary journals including Phoebe, New Millennium Writings, Aufgabe, Quarter After Eight, /NOR, 580 Split, Upstairs at Duroc, and others. She has a Ph.D. in 20th Century American Literature and cultural studies, and currently teaches creative writing and literature in the Detroit area.



Leora Fridman

One thing I’m onto is everyone has massiveness: this thudding early ball

around. She was tired and she didn’t know why: I was tired and I didn’t

know why. This body gets so much bigger down at night. This is

how I hold myself upright in the lagoon: another round of dealing with

emergency. I stand straight in there. How many times can I tell you this

isn’t just another swim. I don’t hear it myself. All I hear is the swimming of

my arms swelling. Maybe this is how someone knows if they are

not right for something: when extremities inflate. I watched the

swollen parts get quiet until the day she phoned herself.

The roundabout in dealing. It wasn’t someone else’s job to give

me her arms.

Leora Fridman is a writer, translator and educator living in Massachusetts. Her recent and forthcoming publications are included in Denver Quarterly, The Offending Adam, H_NGM_N, and others. She is an MFA candidate at the UMass Amherst Program for Poets and Writers where she is Assistant Director of the Juniper Institute and co-curates the Jubilat/Jones Reading Series.


From First Walk

Eryn Green

Afternoon opening into vacant lot—    just a few thin sticks

                    surrounded by gold-tipped weeds          and a small silver rainbird

streams across the scene—

                              all light sources    teeming

                    pulled by the edges of a rock in the river     pulled from.

Back into vortices at work below the surface
                                                                      oil-stained pocket of gravity
                                        only perceivable by
                    convoy of its own swirling                                    enormous brown leaves
          going over the falls                          can’t just walk away from
helpless pink flowers and attendant bees      can’t stop

                                        sudden electric trees

                              Big-toothed maple



Eryn Green is a doctoral candidate at the University of Denver and holds an MFA from the University of Utah. He has been nominated for a Ruth Lilly Fellowship, awarded by the Poetry Foundation, and recently his collection Eruv was selcted by C.D. Wright as a finalist for the 2011 Omnidawn 1st/2nd Book Prize. Eryn’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Colorado Review, the tiny, Bat City Review, H_NGM_N, Word for/ Word, Rhino, Iron Horse Review, Pheobe, Painted Bride Quarterly, Esquire.com and Denver Quarterly.



Jane Gregory

in or at an all

in many languages this
rhymes with misfit.

Police, there is no imagination.

There are lice and the grid of the window,
the door in the door in the wall of the window.

What restlessness rests still on the sill:
cotton threaded with glass become dust
through which.

Oil on land, land on oil.
Is Canada, is Canada Canada Canada.

To vacate is too much of evacuation and patrol
returns verb form to to aware.

Is the more more courageous? This
is the misfit and isn’t,

no heir of to aware. Vision is the dust of,
vision’s dust is air.

Is the more more courageous?

To the police: there is no imagination.
To the polis: imagination is no place.


Jane Gregory is from Tucson, Arizona. She holds an MFA from the University of Iowa and currently lives in Berkeley, where she is a student in the UC Berkeley English department. Her recent work has appeared in JERRY, MARY, and in a chapbook, “Some Books,” published by The Song Cave.



Soham Patel

take each hum up in
          to the throat center

our bodies give to break
     bodies in the sound/bodies of how

—a velvet came running up a ridge—
we open hungry     then

the pink glistening heals
in and out of breath we make


Soham Patel studies poetry in the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh. She is a Kundiman fellow and her work has been included in Copper Nickel, Denver Quarterly, No Tell Motel and other places.

1 comment for “Poetry: 2011 First/Second Book Prize Finalists

Comments are closed.