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ON THE HONORABLE MENTION POEMS
BY KWEKU ABIMBOLA

Kei Miller, Judge

Growing up in the kind of place that often experiences power cuts, it has occurred to me before how these outages often create intimacy, a time when families draw closer. I have never thought to write about it and am so grateful this poet has. When the lights go out we look for other sources of power, and the intimacy that charges through and electrifies these poems is the kind boys yearn for, even need, from their fathers—a love that is both strong and soft. The poems ache with this vulnerability, the impossibility of the need. What is especially successful here is how the poems remind us with words what words can never do—the importance of touch, how love is sometimes most eloquently expressed through the presence of our bodies.

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