Award Winners

Robert H. Winner Memorial Award - 2004

John McKernan


In training      He loves pretending he is
A layer of skin      Peeled from Death's moon burnt

Shoulders     Tonight he is resting under
Me    As I write these words
As I lie here on this bank

I tell him    Beware    I am
Breeding a Herd of Fireflies    I am
Weaving a net to skim the starlight
Off the surface of any river

His silence becomes a species of laughter
He thinks the only noise here is
The scraping of my pencil    He does not know
That I am sharpening the tip of each syllable
To impale him    Him & his little brother Fear

Linda Gregg on John McKernan

John McKernan is a fresh voice without being shallow. An original style without being mannered. Efficiently real. Inventive. He writes easily and is deep without struggling. Surprising without being strained. Natural and substantial. A pleasure combined with depth.