This news came as a welcome surprise after many years of writing and trying to put my work out there. Despite having published five books of poetry, and a sixth on its way to the printers hopefully before the end of October 2013, I have never really won a major award in my country of birth for this art. The closest one was when my book of poetry in Filipino, Baha-bahagdang Karupukan, was shortlisted for the National Book Award.
Last month I received an email informing me that I had won some prize I’d never even heard of, for a poem that, until then, I didn’t know had been accepted for publication back in 2012. I remember sending a few poems to New Coin late in 2011, but since I never heard from the editor, let alone saw a copy of the issue, I had simply forgotten about it. That poem, “Village Potter’s Wife,” found a home in my collection Alien to Any Skin.
Bjork’s song “All is Full of Love” insists on keeping a sense of hope that someone worth sharing what you have to offer will one day come around. Maybe you’re just not looking in the right direction.
The big news then, which came days before another milestone for me (that’s another story for another post), can now be shared.
DALRO New Coin prize winners announced
The winners of the DALRO New Coin Prize, awarded for the best poems that appeared in the literary journal New Coin, have been announced. Genna Gardini took first prize with her poem “The Pot”, while Jim Pascual Agustin’s “Village Potter’s Wife” came second and Megan Tennant’s “On a June day that I spent on the beach with two children” was awarded third prize.
Colleen Higgs was the judge and had this to say:
“Village Potter’s Wife” is a short, striking poem, full of painful contrasts. At the heart of the poem is the joyful creation of pots, measured against death, destruction, grinding poverty. The poet manages to say a great deal about the life of this woman in three quick brush strokes, and to evoke deep sorrow and loss in this reader.