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I gather, from a later poem, that the poet may be a woman, but I’m not ready to bet yet.There’s something wonderful about that.” —Robert Wrigley, Final Judge 2017 ABOUT THE WINNING POET Erica Funkhouser’s most recent book of poems, Earthly, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in April of 2008. in Poetry from the University of Montana in 1976, where he studied under poets Richard Hugo, Madeline De Frees, and John Haines.
Funkhouser’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Ploughshares, The Paris Review, Poetry and other magazines; one of her poems has been sand-blasted into the wall of the Davis Square MBTA Station in Somerville, MA.
Educated at Vassar College (BA) and Stanford University (MA), Funkhouser was honored as a Literary Light by The Boston Public Library in 2002 and in 2007 she received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry.
In the Bank of Beautiful Sins won the San Francisco Poetry Center Book Award.
, one a quarter century or so ago, the other quite recently.
“Dust” was written about the time I was, you might say, entering into the possibilities of rhyme (it was accepted, as many were in those days, by David Wagoner, to whom I offer my thanks); “Hanging Laundry On a Windy Day in Assisi,” was written in Italy this past May, and it suggests that those possibilities have stayed with me.
Rilke said, “Rhyme is a goddess of secret and ancient coincidences,” and that strikes me as one of the finest things anyone’s ever said about a poetic technique.
Funkhouser’s work on Sacagawea led her to become involved with the production of Ken Burns’ PBS documentary on the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and her essay on Sacagawea appears in Ken Burns’ and Dayton Duncan’s Lewis and Clark (Knopf, 1997).
“Singing in Dark Times,” an essay on war poetry, appeared in the Autumn 2005 issue of The Harvard Review, and a story, Snapper, appeared in The Massachusetts Review in 2006.
to Robert Wrigley, Final Judge, for his insightful choice; and, most of all, congratulations to Erica Funkhouser.
A NOTE FROM THE FINAL JUDGE “I’m fascinated by the formal deftness of these couplets—three per page of almost exactly the same length (without word-processing assistance)—which are, yes, a set of fence rails (and I love the invisible, stolid posts).