Congratulations to Paisley Rekdal
For being awarded the 2013 UNT Rilke Prize
Paisley Rekdal'sAnimal Eye, published by the University of Pittsburgh Press, has won the 2013 UNT Rilke Prize. The $10,000 prize recognizes a book written by a mid-career poet and published in the preceding year that demonstrates exceptional artistry and vision.
Paisley Rekdal's Animal Eye explores the fundamental hunger for light, for ever greater perspective and revelation, not as the thing that sets the human apart but rather as that which expresses what it is to be animal, or, as the etymology suggests, an anima, a spirit whose vitality presumes the ability to choose and thus to disobey. With choice comes the possibility of the imagination, and with that the creation of prospects and anxieties the poet sees entangled with personal tragedy, cultural revolution, and the violent and restorative powers of the natural world. The x-ray, the guillotine, the flower's cup of bees—they summon us to take ever greater care with the here and now, to look not only at the surface before us but to the hidden depth it must suggest, the sense of some sacramental other side longing to be seen.