2018 Four Quartets Prize
Geoffrey G. O’Brien
Selected by Linda Gregerson, Ishion Hutchinson, and Jana Prikryl
Danez Smith was selected as the inaugural Four Quartets Prize for their poem “summer, somewhere” from the collection Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf, 2017).
Do you know what it's like to live / on land who loves you back?" In "summer, somewhere," Danez Smith imagines just such a land for the black boys who have died by violence in our time: the violence of vigilantism, of police brutality, of stigmatized poverty and illness, of despair. From a bitter landscape, this unblinking sequence manages to wrest a celebration of black lives, fusing metaphor and emotion in a transformative whole.
Read the Announcement.