There are 7 Kessler Award Finalists for 2012 (in alphabetical order):
- Marvin Bell for Vertigo: The Living Dead Man Poems (Copper Canyon Press)
- Wanda Coleman for The World Falls Away (University of Pittsburgh Press)
- Toi Derricotte for The Undertaker's Daughter (University of Pittsburgh press)
- Janice Gould for Doubters and Dreamers (The University of Arizona Press)
- Joan Logghe for The Singing Bowl (University of New Mexico Press)
- Kevin Pilkington for The Unemployed Man Who Became a Tree (Black Lawrence Press)
The winning selection is Martin Espada's The Trouble Ball (W.W. Norton)
In The Trouble Ball,Martin Espada once again uses his clear, powerful poems to give voice to the voiceless, to those who live outside the margins and are so often unrecognized. He cries out against injustice in all its forms in poems that move from a pilgrimage to the tomb of Frederick Douglass, to an encounter with the swimming pool at a center of torture and execution in Chile and the death of an "illegal" Mexican immigrant.
On my father's island, there were hurricanes and tuberculosis, dissidents in jail
and baseball. The loudspeakers boomed: Satchel Paige pitching for the Brujos
of Guayama. From the Negro Leagues he brought the gifts of Baltasar the King;
from a bench on the plaza he told the secrets of a thousand pitches: The Trouble Ball,
The Triple Curve, The Bat Dodger, The Midnight Creeper, The Slow Gin Fizz,
The Thoughtful Stuff. Pancho Coímbre hit rainmakers for the Leones of Ponce;
Satchel sat the outfielders in the grass to play poker, windmilled three pitches
to the plate, and Pancho spun around three times. He couldn't hit The Trouble Ball.
from "The Trouble Ball"
|MARTIN ESPADA Photo: Bryce Richter|