Item description for Forms of Gone: Poems by Yerra Sugarman...
"The poetry of Yerra Sugarman functions something like a solar system--around a sun that is Beauty and constant, there moves a planet Clarity of Utterance, there are the planets History and Holocaust, and the twin planets Passion and Eye whose gravitational pulls keep it all in motion, then there is Music (a voice distantly related to a cello), and the planet Language (that like our Venus is the brightest of all), finally there is Decency, which is made of iron and has its own star. This extraordinary display in the literary heavens comes in a first book." --Stanley Moss
The PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry recognizes the high literary character of the published work to date of a new and emerging American poet of any age and the promise of further literary achievement. The PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry was created through a grant from the Kaplen Foundation.
2005 Judges: Linda Bierds, Carol Muske-Dukes, and Grace Schulman
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YERRA SUGARMAN has an MFA in painting from Columbia, a credential that other poets might try to acquire. She recently won a "Discovery/The Nation" Poetry Prize, and a George Bogin Poetry Prize from the Poetry Society of America in 2000. She teaches writing at New York University. Sugarman received the Poetry Society of America's 2007 Cecil Hemley Memorial Award for a section from her poetic sequence, "Journal: Rai'ut Coma Ward, Tel Aviv-Yaffo, July 2003." Parts of her sequence are included in the "Yidishkayt Portfolio," in the 2007 spring issue of Prairie Schooner.
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A POIGNANT CONTEMPLATION Oct 20, 2003
"Forms of Gone" is a lyic meditation on the most difficult questions of our time -- a particularly poignant contemplation for the author, a daughter of Shoah survivors:
What I still don't understand -- the simultaniety: beauty fringing horror, the everyday lined like a coat with the extraordinary
Sugarman's fiercely beautiful and often witty images reflect a visual arts background and an innnovative sense of place. (She grew up in Canada and lives in New York City.) New York and a painting by George de la Tour are the inspiration for the exhilarating poem, "How Easily the City is Lost":
What happens if we are not transported?
In this serious, searching and highly contemporary first book the reader is transported by poem after poem.