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Poem Focus: Great Poems from Identity Parade #01

In the interests of encouraging readers to check out and buy Identity Parade - the most significant anthology in the UK of its kind for a decade - I will from time time be mentioning particular poems, by particular poets that are both memorable, good poems - and possibly even "great". In my now infamous (and curiously reviled) review of the anthology, I said I thought this book did not include more than a dozen major poems of the lightning-strike variety - by which I meant poems as good and immediately authoritative as, for example, 'Prufrock', 'In Praise of Limestone', or 'Lady Lazarus' - poems with the intelligent command of tradition, and insightful originality of 'Church Going' or poems from Wintering Out. But it does have at least twelve of those, - any generation that does is fortunate - and I will mention them here.

Such a poem is Alice Oswald's nature poem, 'woods etc.' The poem opens memorably - "footfall, which is a means so steady" and then works through sixteen lines and four stanzas, avoiding most punctuation and ending on the extraordinary final three lines:

in my throat the little mercury line
that regulates my speech began to fall
rapidly the endless length of my spine

as the poetic speaker is moved into a dark area of the woods, away from the rustling of language and woodsound, and "your voice" - until, entirely alone, they locate an utter zero of the self, where the body and silence enter a chilling (if profound) zone of otherness. It is a breathtaking poem - at once clear, simple, and yet deep - a sort of modern updating or fusion of Frost and Dickinson.
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Announcing the Shortlist for the 2016 Sexton PrizeSeptember 13, 2016 / By Kelly Davio
Eyewear Publishing is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Sexton Prize. The finalists are, in no particular order, as follows:

HISTORY OF GONE, Lynn Schmeidler
SEVERE CLEAR, Maya Catherine Popa
SIT IN THE DARK WITH ME, Jesse Lee Kercheval

The shortlist was selected by Eyewear’s Director Todd Swift with Senior Editor Kelly Davio. Don Share of Poetry Magazine will select the winning manuscript, which will be released at the 2017 AWP conference in Washington, D.C. The winner will be announced in October. 
Congratulations to our finalists!