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Michael Bowden

2019 Louis Award Winner

The field of entries this year for the Louis Award was impressive. Contest judge Amy Miller has selected the Winner: Michael Bowden age 68, from the Sierra Vista, AZ, for his manuscript Common Uproar.

Amy writes: "This is a poet of importance, a poet who knows this western American landscape and renders its hidden stories and details — ranch life, work, horses, trails, red-tail hawks — in absolutely gorgeous language, weaving a complex portrait of place that is by turns elegiac and starkly realistic. This book is poem after poem of rich, beautiful language, unerringly sophisticated and surprising at every turn. I enjoyed this book from beginning to end; it never flags, and I was compelled to turn every page to see what the poet would do next. It would be a disservice to say this poet has arrived; judging from the brilliance of this book, this poet arrived a long time ago, and we are only now catching up."

"Attendance" from Common Uproar was featured on Poetry Daily [].


Poem from Common Uproar

After the Flood

The swollen river
swept away the blue heron,
the tilted gray trunks hiding her nest.

She’ll rebuild,
it’s easy for us to say.
Sooner or later,

the day comes when
we all do. It’s easy to dismiss
the harshness of her world

if your heart doesn’t beat
with that kind of intensity.
And I was expecting to see her

at watch on the log today,
her long beak pointing,
something, I don’t know what,

behind the trees. Not this
hard luck
mixed with pine and mint

on the breeze, not this fawn,
sudden as rain
on my path, lifting her face,

the luminous
yellow mushroom
in her dark mouth

a sun she was swallowing.
Common Uproar


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First: Christopher Emerson
Second: Penelope Moffet
Luminous Body, Glittering Ash
Carol Berg
Jeff Ewing
Stephanie Ivanoff
Ronald J. Pelias
Tamara Sellman
Timothy Vincent
Miriam Weinstein
An Accidental Species
Lazy Eye
Final Instructions
Intentional Tremor
Pittsburgh Sonnets
How to Thread a Needle
Christine L. Anderson
Karen Arnold
Robin Carstensen
Dan Clark
Curt G. Curtin
Denise David
Michelle Doege
Alan Eyshevitz
Paul Houghton
Cindy M. Hutchings
Kim Jacobs-Beck
Carmela Delia Lanza
Ellaraine Lockie
Ann Lovett
Robert Manaster
Dody S. Matthias
Mark McKain
Tracy Mishkin
John Russell Monagle
Carol Nolde
Patrice Pinette
Elizabeth Robin
Susan Sample
Honorable Mention
Joanne Alfano
June Blumenson
Mary M. Brown
Richard Downing
Rose Hamilton-Gottlieb
Charles Hansmann
Tony Howarth
Mimi Jennings
Eileen P. Kennedy
Meg Lindsay
Rachel Michaud
Mary K. O’Melveny
Kathy Ortiz
Jeanne-Marie Osterman
Yiskah Rosenfeld
Judith Sanders
Diane Schenker
Jennifer Soule
Patti Sullivan
Lucinda B. Watson
Burgi Zenhaeusern