The Honickman Foundation

2004 APR / Honickman First Book Prize Winner

Kevin Ducey, Rhinoceros

"Winning this prize gives you permission to take poetry-writing more seriously. It also gives you the psychological space to pursue it, which is liberating."

Kevin Ducey, 2004 Book Prize recipient, had almost completed his MFA program at the University of Notre Dame when he found out that he had won. Making the most of that sense of liberation, he began working on projects that to him were even more ambitious.

"Rhinoceros contained more single groupings of poems from undergraduate and graduate school. Since publishing Rhinoceros I have tried to create works that can work cumulatively, comment on each other, talk to each other, and illuminate each other."

Far off in a field once

Far off in a field once
I chanced to see my hand
bathing in a pond.
I think it was my hand—
it had its front turned toward me.
I was astonished
to see the small, naked thing there.
So vulnerable to the world,
the hand, bathing itself,
shivered once in the autumn air.

Kevin, who thinks of himself as a writer and not just a poet, has been a prolific writer since 2004. His collection of poems on the life of Simone Weil was a finalist in the 2007 Sarabande book competition, his one-act play "Dust Music" won a Madison-area competition and a grant from the Puffin Foundation, his 10-minute play was a finalist in a 2006 Actors' Theater of Louisville competition, his novel "Calamity's Daughters" is currently in the hands of an agent, and his manuscript of prose poems, Half cent, was a finalist in the 2008 New Issues Press contest.

"You always hope that something like this happens, and I am very grateful that I was lucky enough to win. I hope that people have read, and will read, the book. For those who have already read it I think it has been well received, and I guess that's all you can ask for!"

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