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Jess L. Parker Wins Dynamo Verlag Book Prize

Aug. 09, 2021
Category: Career

Jess L. Parker MA’12’s debut poetry collection, Star Things (Dynamo Verlag; paperback; November 2021), has won Dynamo Verlag’s inaugural book contest for 2020. In Star Things, Jess Parker pulls down the cosmos as if a blanket, hangs the firmament itself as if a string of festive lights to illuminate the magic in the worldly mundane. The 61 brief yet powerful poems work in a broad array of forms, at once playful and serious, taking risks, toying with readers’ expectations and delivering seemingly effortless coups de grâce with a sly wink. Said Josh Norman (Telescopes and Other People), one of the final judges: “Every love, every scraped knee, every abandonment, every moon is at once familiar yet alien.” Cynthia Marie Hoffman (Call Me When You Want to Talk about the Tombstones) reckoned that “if the stars’ reflection in a pond creates a ‘morse code’ that communications with the constellations, … so do these poems.”

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Jeffrey Vande Leest ’75 retired June 30, 2021.

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