This morning Jane Springer’s book Dear Blackbird, arrived in the mail. (Yes, the comma is part of the title.) The book, which won the 2006 Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry, is exciting to me in part because it is so blindingly good, and in part because Sycamore Review published two of her “Dear Blackbird” poems in issue 18.2.
J.D. McClatchy, who judged the 2006 prize says of Springer’s work, “The skin of each poem quivers with the mind’s contradictions, the heart’s panic. It is risky, not merely reckless; rapturous, not merely rapacious. Memories spill over into fantasies, Southern lore collides with hipster know-how. This book is the most exciting debut in years, and when we remember that ‘debut’ originally meant to score first in a new game, that is just what Springer has done” taken on a new set of terms and struck first, struck gold.” Damn!