The Honickman Foundation

2001 APR / Honickman First Book Prize Winner

Ed Pavlic, Paraph of Bone & Other Kinds of Blue

"I love books of poetry. There is such massive content in such a slim profile, and they have such a mystical and seductive quality. I wanted my poems to be in such a container, and I couldn't get them out of my head and do more work until they were in that form."

Ed Pavlic, 2001 Book Prize recipient, got his wish. He had written about 80 pages of poems that to him read like a book, so he submitted his manuscript for consideration.

"When APR called to inform me that I had won I thought 'I really can't believe this'. And then a day later Adrienne Rich, that year's judge, called and I thought, 'a Martian landing on the roof was more probable!' I knew of Adrienne's work, especially her essays, and we have since maintained a very important correspondence on our views of American poetry."

Before his work was published, Ed felt like he was writing in isolation. That feeling of isolation created a disconnect between his daily life and the realm of life in his poems. So, knowing that others would read and perceive his poems confirmed that his writing was tangible, and allowed the era of his life depicted in those poems to come to a close.

from "Spheres
after Monk

a brand burned into naked wood Property of PS 129
an old-time upright wheeled out to the playground
paradiddle & round the back hand clap

& tight coil rhythm bounce eyes closed smoke stained
finger tips tangent to ivory sunshine in wide-open mouth
light poured like syrup fast twitch reflex & cold

trust an amber lyric between blurry

"Having that book published was the first burst of 'this-ness' of being in the work, and the first time the work was external to myself. I was able to perceive it through that lens – a perfect lens and vehicle for talking about things that are shared between people."

Since winning the prize Ed has been steady at work and has published four more books in 2002, 2006, 2008, and 2009. He has won many prizes including the Darwin Turner Award from African American Review and Author of the Year Award from The Georgia Writer's Association. He has also had fellowships at the Vermont Studio Center, The Bread Loaf Writers Conference and The MacDowell Colony, and currently teaches in the English department at the University of Georgia.

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