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SWAYING WITH WICKED GRACE

A Preface to the Furious Flower Folio

Lauren K. Alleyne

It is always a joy and a privilege to read all the poems submitted to the Furious Flower Poetry Prize. This year I was assisted by Furious Flower Advisory Board Member Desiree Cooper, and together we combed through the 2020 submissions. We looked for work that was luminous, daring, and honest. We looked for poems that took risks, that resisted cliché, and that sparked revelation. We looked, too, for writing that demonstrated technical sway—images that lifted us off the page, line/ breaks that made us swerve, turns of phrase that made our tongues dance. We were both wide open and ruthless. We whittled our pile down to the final sixteen and are so pleased to present to you the winner, honorable mention, and finalists, whose words, Gwendolyn Brooks might say, move with “wicked grace.”

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