Monday, December 3, 2012
The Puritan Compendium I
So I just finished reading the beautifully crafted “Best of” anthology that The Puritan launched a week and a half ago at the same event that celebrated the journal’s Thomas Morton Prize for Literary Excellence, for which I won in the poetry category. The Puritan Compendium I collects many of the best works published in The Puritan over the last five years, and I don’t just say that because it also contains my prize-winning poem.
The other prize winner, for the fiction category, is a short story called “Kyle’s Place” by Nathan L. Pillman, which is a well-told (and delightfully unnerving) tale about two pre-pubescent boys who go to great lengths to spy and leer at one of the boy’s attractive older sister. Oddly, it complements my poem well—at least the first sonnet in the cycle, which is also about horny young boys.
The anthology also has a ton of other great fiction and poetry. I was pleased to see Daniel Scott Tysdal’s short story “The Poem” in there, which I read when it was originally published by The Puritan. There is a beautiful poem about a crow by Sachiko Murakami, a writer I’ve been meaning to read more of. I really enjoyed the short story “Ashes” by Nancy Jo Cullen, who won this year’s Metcalf-Rooke Award. (And as you know, I have a certain soft spot for those Metcalf-Rooke winners.) And there is a generous helping of work by other writers I’ve been meaning to read more of, including Matthew Tierney, Jaime Forsythe, Gabe Foreman, and especially Leigh Nash, whose poems I see around from time to time and always blow me away.
Overall, a solid performance by the good people at The Puritan. This compendium is a keeper and I’m honoured and pleased to be published among its pages.