AFTERNOON IN CARTAGO is the 2021 winner of the Richard Snyder Memorial Publication Prize from Ashland Poetry Press selected by final judge Maggie Anderson.
In AFTERNOON IN CARTAGO, Margaret Mackinnon reminds us why we turn to art in our hours of darkness. In an often too-loud world, these elegant ekphrastic poems offer their reader a hushed and haunting refuge, one in which both time and each life unfolding within it feel as diaphanous and changeable as light. From her compassionate and capacious contemplation of the lives and works of others, Mackinnon has fashioned a remarkable portrait of our collective humanity. While these poems do not turn away from deep grief and atrocity, this is a collection in which the spirit is ultimately made to rise, to recollect that there may yet be an unimagined possibility, an open window, an open door. These poems are a necessary and timely celebration of the small and transitory moments that, in the end, sustain and define us.—Kathleen Graber, author of Correspondence
Margaret Mackinnon is the author of The Invented Child, winner of the Gerald Cable Book Award and the 2014 Literary Award in Poetry from the Library of Virginia. A chapbook, Naming the Natural World, was published by The Sow's Ear Poetry Review in 2018. She attended Vassar College and the University of North Carolina and completed the graduate program in creative writing at the University of Florida. Her work has appeared in many journals, including Poetry, Image, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Blackbird. She leads writing workshops in Richmond, Virginia, where she lives with her family.