Doing the Washington Book Award Finalist Dance with Kelli, Oliver, and...

Kelli and I are doing the book award finalist dance
Today the Washington State Book Awards are announced and Kelli Russell Agodon and I are two of the four finalists for the prize in poetry. Somehow we've stayed quiet about it since we found out the news while at Poets on the Coast. Friday night in the middle of organizing gift baskets and collating folders, I'll admit it, I  checked my email. Right there in the Emily Dickinson room, where Kelli's manuscript, Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room, first came together, we found out the good news. And there we were, crazy busy helping other women poets believe in themselves and dive more deeply into their own creative work. Somehow finding out about our own success in that moment seemed right.

My book, The Alchemist's Kitchen has now been out in the world for 16 months, it's no longer the new kid on the block. And this prize marks the last prize that I believe it was considered for. A finalist for two prizes -- this one and the Foreword Prize -- is nothing to sneeze at, but I will confess I wanted it to have a sticker. Maybe there is a finalist sticker for the Washington State Book Award? Maybe I should make one? Do prizes matter? Only if they come with stickers or trophies...

Congratulations to fellow nominees Oliver de la Paz for Requiem for the Orchard and Don Mee Choi for her book, The Morning News Is Exciting.

Huge congratulations to the Washington State Book Award winner, Francis McCue for her book, The Bled, by Factory Hollow Press.


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