Kevin Holden
  • Series: 2014 Chapbook Prize
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-934103-58-6
  • ISBN-10: 1-934103-58-6
  • Pages: 36
  • Price: $12.00


Kevin Holden

Winner of the 2014 Ahsahta Chapbook Prize, judged by Susan Briante


“In the lineage of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ compound and clustered perceptions of our dappled nature, Birch glistens with exponential desire. There’s beauty in couplings (milkstar, sunshafts, lakeice) and the doublings of ‘boy to boy,’ body to landscape, ‘like to like.’ Birch slurs and praises, drawing our attention to our math and meth, our tenderness and violence, our beauty as well as the ‘harder real.’ Risky, raw, playful, enigmatic, Birch startles in its contrasts and its attention to change: ‘we play into/ a song we think we hear as ice melts at the/ frothing sea.’ It celebrates the transformative power of our relations with our lovers and our surroundings. It incites: ‘go up the cliff/ lone pine atop it/ that would be a lilac bush/ him running past you/ turning into lilacs.’” —Susan Briante, judge of the 2014 Ahsahta Press Chapbook Contest

from Birch

then something we might see, some glassy talisman

of snow or flowers, some piece of bone, some

article of speech, and then it’s gone,

all with the rest, inside a column of a figure

in the land, tower of ash, and crows, circling

in the thing we want to call the air,

and we wait with tins we play into

a song we think we hear as ice melts at the

frothing sea, a sound of solid into water, and the foam,

branching into liquid, the patterning of time

shot through with snow, over the scattered

islands, the snowy beaches, and the air

Copyright © 2015 by Kevin Holden

Kevin HoldenKevin Holden is the author of two chapbooks, Identity (Cannibal Books) and Alpine (White Queen Press). His first full-length book of poetry, Solar, won the 2014 Fence Modern Poets Prize. His poems have appeared in such places as Conjunctions, Jubilat, 1913, Aufgabe, Typo, and Colorado Review, and have been included in the anthology The Arcadia Project (Ahsahta Press) and in Best American Experimental Writing (Omnidawn). He also translates and writes about poetry and is a PhD candidate in comparative literature at Yale. He is originally from Rhode Island.