Congratulations all around.

Three friends of mine were announced as Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Award winners yesterday: Emily Rosko, Robin Ekiss and Xochiquetzal Candelaria. Emily and Robin and I were all Stegners together, and Emily and Xochi and I were all on an AWP panel together last year. I'd like to reprint all three of their poems here, but I fear that would be stretching the limits of fair use beyond reason, so I'll stick with Xochi's poem since I've posted poems by both Emily and Robin before, and because this is the first of Xochi's creative work I've ever read. Enjoy.

The Irises

Their green sepals begin like mouths, forming the word
okay, turning over at the tips to say
yes, then oh yes.
Three deep purple petals smoldering give way
to three more giving way.
Fire breaks through as a seam in the center.
These are messengers remembering that to speak
one should bloom and to bloom
is to sing and sing and sing.

You can read the other winners over at the website for the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Awards.

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