Professor Kupinse forwards the following announcement regarding Exquisite Disarray Publishing, a nonprofit Tacoma press he helped to found. Note that the book release event will take place on Monday, November 15–details below. From the press release:
What Other Choice, Jeremy Halinen’s Debut Book of Poems
Named as Winner of the Exquisite Disarray 2010 First Book Poetry Contest
Tacoma, Wash. – What Other Choice, a poetry collection by Washington State writer Jeremy Halinen, has been selected by Exquisite Disarray Publishing as the winner of its 2010 First Book Poetry Contest.
Exquisite Disarray will publish What Other Choice in November 2010 and showcase Halinen’s work at a reading to be held Monday, November 15 at 7 p.m. in the Olympic Room of the Tacoma Public Library’s main branch, at 1102 Tacoma Avenue South, as part of the Tacoma’s Art at Work Month. The November 15 event, which is free and open to the public, will also recognize the runners-up in the First Book Poetry Contest and announce the winner of a separate “Best Tacoma Poem” Contest.
Describing What Other Choice as “eerily elegant” and possessed of a “beautifully tuned voice,” guest contest judge Kathleen Flenniken selected Halinen’s collection from nine manuscripts forwarded by Exquisite Disarray’s editorial board. Flenniken, herself the author of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize winner Famous and president of Floating Bridge Press, said that Halinen is “a poet who makes me see beauty where I didn’t expect it, not by overlooking ugliness or despair, but by being faithful to it.”
“Since this was the first year of our contest, we were delighted to have such a strong showing of manuscript submissions,” said William Kupinse, president of Exquisite Disarray, a local nonprofit press. The contest was open to all poets residing in Washington State who had not yet published a full-length volume of poetry.
About the poet: Jeremy Halinen was raised in Tacoma, earned an MFA in creative writing from Eastern Washington University and holds a BFA in creative writing from St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, North Carolina. He now resides in Seattle, where he is coeditor and cofounder of Knockout Literary Magazine.
Two poems from Jeremy Halinen’s Debut Collection, What Other Choice
Afternoons above I-5
We used to drop acid
and sit on the overpass
to watch the dragon faces
the cars would make at us
as they raced
beneath our dangling legs.
Cars like it when you’re high enough
above them to notice
more than their surfaces.
It’s the story of their exhaust
they want you to care about,
not their paint jobs
or the treads
on their tires. They want you to lean down
and touch them.
I know what you’re thinking.
what we used to do. But
the cars told us they’d catch us if we fell.
You say, So what if they did?
And you’re right.
There’s always a catch.
Copyright © 2010 Jeremy Halinen
A Brief History of Heavy Petting
It started in the cold, one boy
attempting to pay back another
a debt he thought he owed.
Intended only as a transfer
of heat, it listed soon
into the ark they’d been
waiting for. Deep in the cave
that night, far from the bark
of the moon, both knew it.
This was long before the dawn
of fiction, before their newfound
fortune could be called trespass
They are not alone.
Copyright © 2010 Jeremy Halinen