Anderbo Poetry Prize

2009 Anderbo Poetry Prize

Judged by William Logan

Winner: Nancy K. Pearson
of Cape Cod, Massachusetts

She receives $500, and her winning poem is published here:

Nancy K. Pearson

To be continued,

two things happened.

The oldest daughter went blind.

The dog turned a circle and died.

There were other things too but by that time,

I had cried myself to sleep.

I knew a boy who would not turn his head to the left.

And a dog, who chased his tail like a fish in a bag,

day and night and day and night.

I worry

until you read to me out loud,

the sun rolls over the edge of the world.

This turns me inside out

like an orange slice. The meat of my heart fluffed up.

For want of light, the eye will shrivel.

The fur of a violet, too.

And so again, you read to me in bed:

with hands clasped, they ran a little way—

sisters on a prairie. In New York,

I followed a blind man whose wrist was tied with string.

For 26 miles, two men ran this way.

There are people like that and trees hacked to the heartwood

now growing leaves. It is quiet

when the book slides to the floor.

Nancy K. Pearson's first book of poems, Two Minutes of Light, published by Perugia Press in August 2008, won the 2009 L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. Her book has been selected as a Must-Read from the 9th Annual Massachusetts Book Awards. Pearson recently completed two seven-month poetry fellowships at The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, she now lives on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

William Logan 2009 Anderbo Poetry Prize Judge
William Logan was born in Boston in 1950. He attended Yale, where he studied American history and literature, though he had a long flirtation with game theory. He was a rock critic of no great distinction, though he squandered a good many weekends at the Fillmore East in New York. After taking his MFA at the University of Iowa, he spent a peripatetic six years following his sweetheart to Massachusetts, Virginia, and California. They then spent two years in England, where they held successive Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarships. He is the author of eight volumes of poetry, most recently Strange Flesh (2008). He has also published five books of poetry criticism, including Our Savage Art (2009). He has twice been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award in criticism, which was awarded to The Undiscovered Country (2005). Among his other honors are the Peter I. B. Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets, the 1988 Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle, the Allen Tate Prize, the Corrington Medal for Literary Excellence, and the inaugural Randall Jarrell Award in Criticism. He has been called the “most hated man in American poetry” as well as the “best practical critic around.” He has been teaching at the University of Florida since shortly before the ozone hole was discovered over Antarctica.

Charity Burns 2009 Anderbo Poetry Prize Contest Assistant
Charity Burns, Poetry Editor, earned her MFA in poetry from the University of Florida. Her poems have appeared in Smartish Pace, Madison Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, and West Branch. Charity’s days are spent as a blogger for a website featuring emerging fashion designers. She lives in New York City.

(All entered poems are being considered for publication on; entrants whose work is accepted will be notified by May 1st, 2010)

  fiction    poetry    "fact"    photography
masthead      guidelines