Rattle Poetry Prize
The Winter 2020 issue of Rattle has arrived, and with it comes good news: Despite the challenges of this year, poetry is as vibrant, beautiful, and necessary as ever. The proof is here, in poems like “Psalm of the Heights” by Dana Gioia, a reverent homage to Los Angeles; “Deitic” by A.E. Stallings, a formal poem about a museum visit during a pandemic; and “Graffiti” by Josh Lefkowitz, which begins with Indonesian cave art and ends with bathroom graffiti. “A Litany of Lukewarm Sentiments” by Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal made us laugh (“On being gaslighted by a millennial/the millennial will ask another millennial/if gaslighting is a millennial thing. The millennial/will not know.”); “Modesty” by Richard Luftig made us nod in understanding (“I am still waiting for the university to figure out that they meant/to send it to the other guy who had the same name as mine”); and every poem made us feel grateful that poetry exists. We hope you’ll feel the same way.
Additionally, we’re proud to present the finalists of the 2020 Rattle Poetry Prize and their diverse poems, including “I Admit Myself to the Psych Ward in a Pandemic” by Beck Anson, a long poem that approaches its subject matter with honesty and depth; “Mega-” by Shelly Stewart Cato, which colorfully explores the now-trendy “megachurch,”; “Farm Sonnet” by Kitty Carpenter, a beautifully restrained and evocative portrait of farm life; and more. Not to mention, of course, the winning poem, Alison Townsend’s “Pantoum From the Window of the Room Where I write,” a masterful work that moves us more each time we read it.
Finally, Timothy Green and A.E. Stallings meet up via Skype for a conversation that runs the intellectual, literary, and cultural gamut, from classical mythology to quantum physics to the Syrian refugee crisis. It’s a thoughtful and in-depth discussion to round out an issue of Rattle.