Imani Jackson – Edwin Honig Memorial Award, 2021

There's something utterly charming and captivating about these tributes to the modest pea family. On the one hand, they honor this ancient staple of human nutrition, stretching the reader's imagination back for millennia, and on the other, they play with an exotic vocabulary in very contemporary and whimsical ways. They're internally tight, tied together with interlocking sound structures that keep the reader constantly present while the hugeness of history echoes around them. Ambiguous and yet precise, they ring with a sure and timeless knowledge as well as an affection for not only the pea, but, by extension, all the other humble things that support our daily lives and are rarely, if ever, acknowledged.