2013 Nightboat Poetry Prize Winner

2013 Nightboat Poetry Prize Winner

Nightboat Books is delighted to announce the winner of the 10th annual Nightboat Poetry Prize competition: Gabriella Klein of Santa Barbara, California, whose manuscript Land Sparing was selected by the editors. She will receive the $1,000 prize in addition to the publication of her book by Nightboat Books in April 2015.

Gabriella Klein earned her undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University and her MFA at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her poems have appeared in Conduit, Jubliat, A Handsome Journal, FIELD, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Santa Barbara Poetry Conference. With her husband and daughter, she resides on California’s Central Coast.

In his citation for the prize, Kazim Ali writes:

The benefit of the lyric is that it allows us, as music, outside of time or perhaps more accurately at all points of time, to see a moment for what it is. For Gabriella Klein the interest isn't academic but embodied. In Land Sparing, the human and the planet are in a relationship, not tenuous nor extreme but for too long unexamined. And when I say "relationship," I don't mean theoretical, biological or even spiritual but an actual relationship: personal, erotic, possessive and tender.

They are gyroscopic, telescopic, microscopic. Insects and universes each are as grand and intimate as the other. There doesn't seem to be an "intent" in these poems--to know is enough for this poet and so one encounters the work as processes, interactions, experienced as lyric moments. The stars, the forest, mud, a daughter, the Chinook wind, a honeybee, the sea--they all have as much agency and presence in this work as the poet/speaker herself.

In couplet, stanza and monostich, Gabriella Klein gathers together all her kind-hearted faculties. She is brave enough to be desperate, to be agitated, to be wrecked, to be in love.  There is a music so grounded yet so light that one wants to believe this tricky and fraught relationship is going to survive even against what seem now like steep odds indeed.

The deadline for the 11th annual Nightboat Books Poetry Prize will November 15, 2014. Please check www.nightboat.org for more details.