Authors / Awards & Prizes

Claire Wahmanholm wins 2018 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry

Milkweed Staff — 04/30/2018

Rick Barot, judge of the seventh annual Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry, has selected Twin Cities resident Claire Wahmanholm to be recipient of the 2018 prize, for her manuscript, Wilder. Wahmanholm will receive $10,000 as well as publication by Milkweed Editions in November 2018. (The title of the manuscript, Wilder, is pronounced like the last syllables of bewilder​.)

About the collection, Barot said:

“Long after I finished reading Wilder, I was in grief that its beauty had ended, and also in grief over the spoiled world it describes. Stripped wholly of autobiographical content, the poems in this book seem like the texts written by an ancient collective—texts that are at once full of wonder and bewilderment, cosmic vision and earthly pain. Except that the book’s voices aren’t those of the ancients after all, but of those in a disturbingly probable future where bleach dapples the ground, relaxation tapes play in manic loops, there are bombs in everyone’s bellies, and grief travels through the body like mercury. Intimate as well as mythic, Wilder is a staggeringly dark proposition about where we are going. And while the book offers no easy scenarios of rescue or solace, its lyricism is nonetheless steeped in vibrant making. As the speaker of one poem says, ‘We had seen many last things: the last acorn, the last lightning storm, the last tide.’ And maybe, just maybe, in the artfulness brought to that exquisitely vatic catalog, the work of repair takes place.”

Now in its seventh year, the Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry is designed to support outstanding poets from the Upper Midwest and to bring their work to a national stage.

About the prize and winner, Milkweed Publisher & CEO said:

“Hundreds of poets took part in this year’s contest. Taken together, this beautiful multiplicity of voices sings of an Upper Midwest that is increasingly heterogeneous, in an art form that has arguably never been more vibrant. All of us at Milkweed Editions would like to thank the poets who submitted manuscripts. We are truly humbled by your artistry. And I would like to thank Rick Barot for serving as judge. As difficult as it surely was, I could not be more pleased with his decision.”

Wilder will be published in November 2018, and a public reading and celebration will be held around its publication.
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The finalists for this year’s prize were honored at Milkweed’s third annual National Poetry Month Party on April 26.

Su Hwang, for Bodega
Elizabeth Tannen, for Notes on Distance
Michael Torres, for Homeboys with Slipped Halos
Angela Voras Hills, for The Account of Worms

L to R: Claire Wahmanholm, Su Hwang, Angela Voras-Hills, Michael Torres, and Elizabeth Tannen.

Claire Wahmanholm is the author of the chapbook Night Vision, which won the 2017 New Michigan Press/DIAGRAM chapbook contest. Her poems have most recently appeared in, or are forthcoming from, anthropoid, Paperbag, Saltfront, New Poetry from the Midwest 2017, PANK, Bennington Review, The Collapsar, Newfound, Bateau, DIAGRAM, elsewhere, Best New Poets 2015, Handsome, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, The Journal, The Kenyon Review Online, BOAAT, 32 Poems, and Waxwing, among others. Wilder will be published by Milkweed Editions in November 2018. Another collection of poems will be published by Tinderbox Editions in 2019. She lives and teaches in the Twin Cities.