BOA Editions announced that Subhaga Crystal Bacon of Twisp has been awarded the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award for her collection “Transitory,” which will be published by BOA in fall 2023 within the American Poets Continuum Series.
The Isabella Gardner Award carries an honorarium of $1,000 and is given biennially to a poet with a new book of exceptional merit.
The most recent winners of the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award are Derrick Austin for “Tenderness,” Bruce Weigl for “On the Shores of Welcome Home,” Christian Barter for “Bye-Bye Land,” Marsha de la O for “Antidote for Night” Jillian Weise for “The Book of Goodbyes,” and Aracelis Girmay for “Kingdom Animalia.”
“The joy of returning to the BOA Editions family has been crowned by their selection of ‘Transitory’ for the Gardner Award … it’s a special thrill, and all the past recipients are poets whose work I admire. I’m honored beyond words to be included in their ranks,” Bacon said in a press release.
“‘Transitory’ has been a labor of love,” Bacon added in an email. “It started in a workshop led by Cindy Williams-Gutierrez on poetry of protest in forms shortly after the murder of George Floyd. I was aware of the violence against transgender people, and after writing my first poem that only briefly mentioned those murdered between Jan. 1 and July 4, I felt deeply the call to write a poem for each person, to elegize them and to reckon with the forces that contribute to violence against them. It was a hard book to live with through the writing process, and it’s not an easy read, so it’s all the more important to have a well-established and respected press like BOA take it on.”
Bacon is the author of two previous collections of poetry, “Elegy with a Glass of Whiskey (BOA, 2004),” which was awarded the A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Stephen Dunn, and “Blue Hunger” (Methow Press, 2020). She was a nominee for the 2021-23 Washington State Poet Laureateship and was nominated for both Pushcart and Best of the Web prizes in 2021.
Bacon lives with her partner, Sugandhi Katharine Barnes, a painter, and their Labradoodle, Lola.
BOA Editions Ltd. is a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning nonprofit publisher based in Rochester, New York. BOA has released more than 300 titles, including more than two dozen books of poetry-in-translation.