Jennifer Nelson’s Sawtooth-winning book released!

j nelson - portrait - ana maría leónCivilization Makes Me Lonely, winner of the 2016 Sawtooth Poetry Prize, has been published by Ahsahta Press and is available now.

Anne Boyer, judge of the 2016 prize, wrote of Jennifer Nelson’s book, “This book is wicked. Who knew that poetry could frack the totality?”

Nelson, who teaches in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the Art Institute of Chicago, is the author previously of Aim at the Centaur Stealing Your Wife. Of Civilization Makes Me Lonely, she writes, “The intense normalization pressures on me from an early age—as a person of color in the U.S., as the child of an immigrant and a class-shifter, and as my weird self, beyond these demographics—have often had disastrous consequences. I see analogues of the same pressures everywhere. Is there any point in being a warrior against those pressures? One of my reactions is to show some of the many ways normalization works to isolate people (and makes them lonely) rather than bringing them together.”

The book, the fifteenth Sawtooth Poetry Prize winner, is available from Small Press Distribution ( and Ahsahta Press.

(Author photo by Ana-María León.)


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