Award Winners

William Carlos Williams Award - 2024

Elizabeth Arnold

Brian Teare


Green glass comes alive in water.
I miss bright rooms at the heights of trees.

Like the one in Taos

where a magpie spoke to me
in my dream.

It’s okay to be.

Comfort dogs were brought to the wounded
after the terrible shooting in Orlando.

One man couldn’t lift his head

and yet when he
only barely reached through the bed’s bars,

he pet the warm head pushing up at his hand.

They say animals let you feel,
endure your fear.

You can, with the dog there, cry.

Laughing’s a release
then it goes back in.

This spring and summer it rained and rained,

the trees letting their leaves out
more fully than I’d ever seen.

I want to lie

high up in the thick
panels of the elm tree’s green,

birds in their nests at the same level.

Reprinted from Wave House (Flood Editions, 2023) with permission of the publisher. All rights reserved

Daisy Fried on Elizabeth Arnold

Elizabeth Arnold's greatly beautiful, wonderfully strange poems exist in a “wave house” of memory, instability, and fragility vis-à-vis the body, home, the planet, the mind, and the importunate emotions. Lyrically experimental, experimentally lyric, restless, terrified, and calm, Arnold’s poems simultaneously record and seek. The poems in Wave House are so unostentatious and yet so confident that although they never preach or exhort, it seems to me they teach a way of looking and living. Whether translating the tenth-century Old English poem “The Wanderer” or writing of an invalid mother listening to “sunshine service worshippers” singing “on the bank about a mile down river,” or of the rising ocean encroaching on her childhood home, or about police surveillance during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution “as more than a thousand citizens / were on their way // to being killed in Cairo / while I stood there // falling love,” or singing of the human condition (“You have to keep going all alone”), Arnold's poems have an astonishing capacity to seem fleeting and indelible, tremulous and staunch.


Elizabeth Arnold published six books of poetry, Wave House (2023), Skeleton Coast (2017), Life (2014), Effacement (2010), Civilization (2006), and The Reef (1999). She edited Mina Loy's lost novel, Insel, which was published by Black Sparrow Press in 1991. Arnold received numerous awards for her work, including a Bunting Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, and a fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. She taught in the MFA program at the University of Maryland before retiring and moving to Frostburg, Maryland.

White Flag, 1955

Reprinted from Poem Bitten by a Man (Nightboat Books, 2023) with the permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Daisy Fried on Brian Teare

Brian Teare’s surprising, engrossing Poem Bitten by a Man concerns many things, and the intersections between those things: The chronically ill body, its troubles, pain, and attempts to heal. A love affair and its demise. The artists Jasper Johns and Agnes Martin, their personalities and obsessions and inspiration, their lives in art and in America. Caregiving and receiving. Late-stage capitalism. Queerness. Whiteness. Being from and leaving the South. Teare has found a way, in this complicated, indefatigable, entertaining, fascinating collage of notebook fragments, quotations, verse lines, and prose paragraphs, to get so much of life and its connected, disconnected events all together while resisting any urge to sanitize its messes, normalize its ambitions and longings, or attempt falsely to assuage the reality of trouble and toil and pain. Theoretical without being esoteric, uncompromising and also uncertain, thoughtful about economic, artistic, and physical realities, resolutely inconclusive and full of ideas, Poem Bitten by a Man is a marvelous book that tells a story even as the story it tells continually falls apart.


A 2020 Guggenheim Fellow, Brian Teare is the author of seven critically acclaimed books, including Doomstead Days, winner of the Four Quartets Prize and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His most recent publications are a pair of book-length ekphrastic projects exploring queer abstraction, chronic illness, and collage: the 2022 Nightboat reissue of The Empty Form Goes All the Way to Heaven, and the fall 2023 publication of Poem Bitten by a Man. An Associate Professor of Poetry at the University of Virginia, Teare lives in Charlottesville, where he makes books by hand for his micropress, Albion Books.