Award Winners

Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award - 2008


O how we hanky panky harum
scarum in our happy home, dancing hootchy
kootchy. Sure, it makes for hugger mugger
but we give a hoot for happenstance.
The yard is full o' hound and hares; the door
adorned by hammer and sickle; in the closets, handme-
downs. If Hammurabi and his Queen come
by, we won't be hoity-toity, we'll
offer haggis or humble pie. Our bed
floats on hocus-pocus (our corpore
wholly habeas) and the kitchen hums
a hymn, Hail to Higgledy-Piggledly.
If the world can't call our hurly burly hunky
dory, let it hara-kiri if it dares.

--Originally published in Pool #4, 2005.

Dean Young on Natasha Saje

Resourceful, restless, witty and substantially intelligent—what a rare combination of erudition and nimbleness this group of poems exhibits. Their range is marvelously wide in both form and tone: lists, riddles, prose poems, musical whimseys, something
of a sonnet, biographical narrations, improvisational romps and interrogations, and careful meditations. Sometimes a single poem will swerve between what would seem to be contrary impulses so the dire and the playful often find themselves rubbing
against each other, commingling. "E" quite dexterously narrates a scary event recalled from childhood while puncturing itself with some rather arcane e-words and their definitions
creating a conversation between mind and body. "H" begins "O how we hanky panky harum/scarum" and ends "If the world can't call our hurly burly hunky/dory, let it hara-kiri if it dares." in a giddy, all-out topsy-turvy defense of sexual
play; joissance indeed. But there is also a profound sobriety and seriousness, one so true it welcomes at times buoyancy. Each poem surprised me, taught me something, delighted and illuminated and stretched.