We are delighted to congratulate Patricia Clark, whose selection, "In Praise of the Dickcissel" has been selected by esteemed judge Allison Joseph, as this year’s winner!
About Patricia’s work, Joseph says:
It was my keen honor and pleasure to select Patricia Clark's poems for the Fourth River Folio contest. As a self-avowed "hater" of "nature poetry," it took a voice as persuasive and heightened as Patricia Clark's to make me drop my short-sighted preconceptions about what poems about the natural world can do. Clark's poems are lively and exact--sparse when they need to be, more voluble when the occasion demands. Her vision is painterly without being stodgy, and her poems make vivid word-portraits in the reader's mind without giving in to undue sentimentality. Her language is that of an artist--small strokes at times, but often those small detailed strokes add up to an entire world in a poem. This is a poet who loves language, and that love and inherent trust in what language can do makes me drop my inhibitions and immerse my self fully in her work.
Watch for Patricia’s work in our fall online issue, due out in November, 2019!
Karen Holmberg’s "Everything Is an Instrument and Gives Its Own Song”
Katy E. Ellis
About our winner:
Patricia Clark is the author of five volumes of poetry, including most recently The Canopy (2017) and Sunday Rising (2013). She has also published three chapbooks: Wreath for the Red Admiral and Given the Trees; a new one, Deadlifts, is just coming out from New Michigan Press. Her work has been featured on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily, and has appeared in The Atlantic, Gettysburg Review, Poetry, Slate, and Stand.From 2005-2007 she was honored to serve as the poet laureate of Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is Poet-in-Residence and Professor in the Department of Writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan.
About the judge:
Allison Joseph lives in Carbondale, Illinois, where she is Professor of English and Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Southern Illinois University. She serves as poetry editor of Crab Orchard Review. Her books and chapbooks include What Keeps Us Here (Ampersand Press), Soul Train (Carnegie Mellon University Press), In Every Seam (University of Pittsburgh Press), Worldly Pleasures (Word Tech Communications), Imitation of Life (Carnegie Mellon UP), Voice: Poems (Mayapple Press), My Father's Kites (Steel Toe Books), Trace Particles (Backbone Press), Little Epiphanies (NightBallet Press), Mercurial (Mayapple Press), Mortal Rewards (White Violet Press), Multitudes (Word Poetry), The Purpose of Hands (Glass Lyre Press), Double Identity (Singing Bone Press) Corporal Muse (Sibling Rivalry) and What Once You Loved (Barefoot Muse Press). Her most recent full-length collection, Confessions of a Barefaced Woman was published by Red Hen Press in June 2018 and is the Gold/First Place winner of the 2019 Feathered Quill Award in Poetry and is a nominated work for the 2019 NAACP Image Award in Poetry. She is the literary partner and wife of poet and editor Jon Tribble.