2021 - Shortlisted
A History of What I’ll Become navigates a future of emergencies, a sober nostalgia for the past, and the pulsing tensions of the present. Through the voice of a queer female speaker, the poems are a lyric exploration of the life that surrounds fragile human and non-human existence. While the speaker is positioned within a rapidly changing world, it is a compassionate witness to slowness: ‘everything sings if you listen hard’.
The author’s imaginative use of form and tone adds intriguing complexity to this collection. In the remixing, misunderstanding, and mistranslation of other source texts, such as that of Sappho, the author creates distinct landscapes to explore. The poems in this collection set the stage for the speaker’s impressive leaps and bounds. Steering away from the didactic, these poems allow the reader space to move freely between the layers of abundance.