Best Poet

City Paper

Poetry is, perhaps, the most beleaguered of the perpetually beleaguered arts. How do you seriously engage with printed verse in the age of Instagram? Shelley Puhak can fucking show you how—with wit, humor, pathos, intellect, and sexiness. In her Anthony Hecht-prize-winning “Guinevere in Baltimore,” she brings the myth of the love triangle of Guinevere, Arthur, and Lancelot to contemporary Baltimore nearly as successfully as Joyce brought Odysseus to Dublin, making it, as Joyce’s benefactor Ezra Pound put it, new. And, as a result, she makes the whole form of broken lines on a page feel not only fresh, but utterly necessary. We fell in love with her writing and keep scanning poetry magazines for her byline. 

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