At once it struck me what quality went to form a Man of Achievement, especially in Literature, and which Shakespeare
possessed so enormously - I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties,
mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.
– John Keats
An Archaeology of Days contains new poetry from Vivian Shipley. Connecticut State University Distinguished Professor, Vivian Shipley teaches at Southern Connecticut State University where she was named Faculty Scholar in 2000, 2005 and 2008. Her eleventh book, Perennial, was published in 2015 by Negative Capability Press and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and named the Paterson Poetry Prize Finalist. The Poet, her tenth book, was published in 2015 by Louisiana Literature Press, Southeastern Louisiana University. All of Your Messages Have Been Erased (Louisiana Literature Press, SLU, 2010) was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, won the Sheila Motton Book Prize from the New England Poetry Club, the Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement and the CT Press Club Award for Best Creative Writing. Her sixth chapbook is Greatest Hits: 1974-2010 (Pudding House Press, Youngstown, Ohio, 2010). She has received the Library of Congress’s Connecticut Lifetime Achievement Award for Service to the Literary Community and a Connecticut Book Award for Poetry two times. Most recently, she won the 2017-18 Steve Kowit Prize for Poetry for “Cargo” from San Diego Arts & Entertainment Guild. In 2015, she won the Hackney Literary Award for Poetry for “Foxfire.”
See Vivian read from An Archaeology of Days by watching the videos below:
About Annette’s Poems
What is the word I want, I ask myself, to describe the unique quality I find in each of the poems by Annette Allen? What is it that she does in poem after poem that both amazes and satisfies me?
Lying in bed in the dark and the quiet, body at ease, and mind at rest alone with itself, I find myself wanting the simple and true word, a sort of key that unlocks the treasure chest of her achievement, poem after poem.
And I find it.
Each poem is a gathering.
They are gatherings.
[Later, I will think “gatherings like a granary.”]
Each poem embraces complexity, and through memory and abstraction, past and present, through comparison and contrast, through perceiving how each moment is inhabited by complexity—both what it is and what it is not—there is not mere reconciliation but celebration—the celebration of what is.
In what is, Annette Allen gives us both what was, (AND, here’s the miracle:)
and what ever shall be.
Why? And how?
The answer to both questions is the same: in her work, she has unified craft and intuition, intellect and emotion, call and response, and the result is the creation of art. Art that partakes of the eternal.
The mastery of, the achieve of, (as Gerard Manley Hopkins writes in his poem “The Windhover”) the thing I’m calling ART. In poem after poem, her poems, the artifact of the poem rides the air. It holds us miraculously aloft in the moment. It defies the forces that would bring us down and leave us shattered. She shows us how to soar above individual pain and gigantic atrocity.
One may need to read these poems more than once. So what? They stand there, sculptures of the airy word, beautiful and replete with meaning, lighted from within, waiting for thee.
--Sena Jeter Naslund
Author of Ahab’s Wife; Four Spirits;
The Fountain of St. James Court, or Portrait of the Artist
as an Old Woman
Nathan Poole is the author of two books of fiction, Father Brother Keeper a collection of stories selected by Edith Pearlman for the Mary McCarthy Prize and long listed for the Frank O’Connor Award, and Pathkiller as the Holy Ghost selected by Benjamin Percy as the winner of the Quarterly West Novella Contes. Continue reading…
1st Place - Kate Mildew
Kate Mildew is a writer, youth worker, and drummer based in Toronto. She writes about money, disability, work, illness, rocks, nuclear waste, parenthood and more. Kate has self-published two comic books and half a dozen poetry zines and chapbooks. Recently you can find her writing in the 'Music Men Ruined for Me' collection, issue 8 of Feelings Journal and issue 3 of A Velvet Giant. Kate writes the monthly poetry newsletter Accumulation.
Continue to her poetry and other place holders from the contest..