Sara Van Horn – Kim Ann Arstark Memorial Award, 2021

Four simple poems in 14-15 line loosely syllabic blocks invoke moments of quiet attention to direct observation mapped by words material music treated here as part of the natural world. The music is threaded in syllables, and also by the use of rigorously scored punctuation, full rests, and line breaks–until quiet descends on the reader, and her pulse slows. Sounds enter the poems riding their nouns, birds, forest mammals, suggested through their "wings" and "tongues" merge with the speakers in this poem to trace feeling: "sees the swoop of joy. sees/the lift and drag. she ties yellow silk to the/certainty of wind. a child calls."