We are so thrilled to announce the winner, runner-up, and finalists of Indiana Review‘s 2022 Poetry Prize, judged by Billy-Ray Belcourt.
“Abecedarian at the End of the World” and “Still Life with Birth Certificate” – Donte Collins
Here’s what Billy-Ray Belcourt had to say about the winning poem:
“Abecedarian at the end of the world” and “Still life with birth certificate” remind me that individual poems can contain as much feeling and historical resonance as long, unwieldy novels. What I love about these poems is that they are bound up in a citational field that is also the work of living and reading and doing these things against the grain of state violence and in the interest of a communal project of shared flourishing. The formal constraints in which the poet is working don’t hinder creativity and innovation but instead give expression to the desire to “rewrite the alphabet,” in the words of Joy James (who is powerfully quoted), and thus to end the world and bring about a new one. At the level of form, the poet renders the ontological fact of existing under intense conditions of duress. “you are your only address,” the poet writes, and this sounds to me like a kind of benediction and a metaphysical argument as well as a rallying cry. I feel relieved that a single line can be all of those things at once! A searing, impactful voice.
“Because of My Mother” – Sara Elkamel
“In This Version” – Aekta Khubchandani
“Creation Myth” – Arah Ko
“Meditations on Ghosts” – Felicia Zamora
“Abecedarian at the End of the World” and “Still Life with Birth Certificate” will appear in Indiana Review issue 44.2, forthcoming in Winter 2022. Thanks so much to Billy-Ray Belcourt and everyone who supported our prize this year!