Shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award
Emergencies, faith, truancy, and poverty intersect in this wry debut that volunteers a transfusion of the unpredictable for those who yearn to transition beyond a muralized Olive Garden world.
Stevie Howell's [Sharps] takes its cue from an Egyptian hieroglyph used interchangeably to represent "waters," the letter N, and all prepositions within a sentence. Similarly, [Sharps] alters its structure and functionality from page to page. The Queen launches an advertising campaign to procure our envy. The last unicorn crochets a sweater out of the sisal cords of the books. The falsity of Billy Joel's New York propaganda is grounds for libel. We discover the one thing you can do "With a sawed-off rifle, a low IQ, and curiosity/about human biology."
From certain angles, [Sharps] embraces the possibilities of poetry — from others, it engages in a protracted street fight with language.
About the author
Stevie Howell is an Irish-Canadian writer, critic, and editor. Their first collection of poetry, Sharps, was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Stevie's poetry has appeared in U.S. publications, including BOAAT, Prelude, and Gigantic Sequins; in Canadian publications, including Hazlitt, The Walrus, and Maisonneuve; and in overseas publications including The Rialto, The Moth, and Southword. They have written literary criticism for The Rumpus, Ploughshares, and the Globe and Mail. Stevie Howell is the poetry editor at THIS Magazine, and is an MFA candidate in creative writing at NYU.
- Short-listed, Gerald Lampert Memorial Award
"Howell's stunning debut ... Her ear is impeccable."
"These poems are coded emergency and emergent code: hail, cut glass, cathedrals, systems, skeletons, and scorched earth. Stevie Howell has found a fault line underwriting Reality and turned this fissure, this terrible brokenness, into a lens. She sees the queasy, exact particular and can phase from its contours into metaphysics and back before we sense the ground shifting. An astonishing debut. An astonishing collection, full stop."