Nick Reeves, for his poems “On Framwellgate Bridge In Late December;” “I Whispered;” and “Sonnet (Bus To Dungeon Ghyll),” from the collection Archery in the UK (EIF, February 2023) and Marlene Lee, for her short story “Virgie” from the collection Inner Passage (EIF, October 2023). Congratulations and best of luck to both nominees!
Reasons for nomination
It has been another busy year at EIF: so far, I have published 6 titles across a range of genres including fiction, poetry and self-help. The Pushcart Press states: The nominations may be any combination of poetry, short stories, essays, memoirs or stand-alone excerpts from novels. We welcome translations, reprints and both traditional and experimental writing.
Nick’s poems are expertly crafted, delighting in word-play and rhythmical phrasing. “On Framwellgate Bridge” is a poem of mirror images: the arches of the bridge, which cut the water like glass, the tower of Durham Cathedral (Cuthbert’s finger) bestowing a blessing and a prayer. It is a poem of immense clarity and artistic vision. “I Whispered” says a great deal in few words: I love the echo of the anvil’s vibrations in the poem’s closing lines, which echo the power of speech itself. “Sonnet (Bus To Dungeon Ghyll)” has no flowery poetic diction, its imagery is very much rooted in the modern world, but in its lyricism and romantic themes, this sonnet carries on a tradition stretching back to Wordsworth and Browning.
Marlene’s stories are all expertly written, with a clean prose style which, though seeming effortless, is hard to imitate. I chose “Virgie” for the emotional impact of the story, and the universality of its themes. It is both nostalgic for a bygone era, and accepting of the inevitability of change. What remains after the townspeople have died, the stores have closed, and the descendants moved on, are the words we write about our own humanity. As such, it is a paean to the author’s craft, and deserves recognition.
Below, you can find Nick’s reading of “I Whispered.”
Stay tuned, as EIF has more exciting news to announce in the coming months…