SIX by Julie Marie Wade
SIX, winner of the 2014 To the Lighthouse Poetry Prize.
Judge: C.D. Wright
“I call six times just to be sure you heard,” this speaker announces on the first page. These poems are also the six calls—calls to attention, calls to action, calls to account for something of our own. The speaker in SIX is insistent, scrupulous, and unflinching as she plumbs six essential aspects of human experience that have shaped us all: art, language, desire, vocation, faith, and life-changing love.
I chose SIX not in spite of but because of its discursiveness, its willingness to wander through the poem with technique at hand, but also a permit to allow both substantive and ephemeral material to wander into the field of the poem and exit without a conclusive goal in mind. It’s an accumulative project, inclusive, and busy about the business of sifting and sorting through this thing we call life that we carry out in this creation we call a body on this tumultuous blue orb we call earth.
Julie Marie Wade is the author of four collections of poetry, including When I Was Straight (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2014) and Postage Due (White Pine Press, 2010), and four collections of lyric nonfiction, including Catechism: A Love Story (Noctuary Press, 2016) and Wishbone: A Memoir in Fractures (Bywater Books, 2014; Colgate University Press, 2010). She has received an Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council, a grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir. She teaches in the creative writing program at Florida International University in Miami.