Winner of the 2014 Ahsahta Press Chapbook Award
“In the lineage of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ compound and clustered perceptions of our dappled nature, BIRCH glistens with exponential desire. There’s beauty in couplings (milkstar, sunshafts, lakeice) and the doublings of ‘boy to boy,’ body to landscape, ‘like to like.’ BIRCH slurs and praises, drawing our attention to our math and meth, our tenderness and violence, our beauty as well as the ‘harder real.’ Risky, raw, playful, enigmatic, BIRCH startles in its contrasts and its attention to change: ‘we play into/ a song we think we hear as ice melts at the/ frothing sea.’ It celebrates the transformative power of our relations with our lovers and our surroundings. It incites: ‘go up the cliff/ lone pine atop it/ that would be a lilac bush/ him running past you/ turning into lilacs.’”—Susan Briante, Judge
Kevin Holden is a poet, translator, and essayist. He is the author of seven books and chapbooks of poetry, including Solar, which won the Fence Modern Poets Prize, Birch, which won the Ahsahta Press Chapbook Award, and Pink Noise, forthcoming from Nightboat Books. His writing has appeared in publications such as Conjunctions, Lana Turner, and The New Yorker, and in anthologies including The Arcadia Project (Ahsahta), If Bees Are Few (University of Minnesota), and Best American Experimental Writing (Omnidawn). His work focuses on queer experience, ethics, and the ecological, and he translates from French, German, and Russian. He is a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows.