Finalist for T.S. Eliot Prize

I am extremely delighted to announce that my collection of poems, Pruning Burning Bushes, was selected as a finalist for the T.S. Eliot Prize through Truman State University Press.  It was one of five finalists out of 450 submissions.  While the judge did not ultimately select my manuscript for publication, she had this to say about the manuscript:

“I really enjoyed reading this collection, and it even has one of the best titles of the submissions.  It’s unified, well-organized, and would make a fine published book as is.  It balances the author’s spiritual life with humor such as “Jesus Walks Into a Bar.”  There’s the bawdy life of carnivals and yet a true spiritual practice mixed harmoniously in.  One marvelously original touch concerns a wound “bleeding” maple syrup from the broken glass of an Aunt Jemima bottle.  The pregnancy/birth poems are genuine, unaffected, and purely firsthand.  She stands humble before her subjects.  Some poems I particularly like are “Last Born,” “Hymn of Skin,” “Crater,”  “Assailants.”  It’s a book I would have liked to publish with my own chapbook press, if it were a little shorter.  The personality of the author comes through attractively.”

—Sandra McPherson, 2012 T. S. Eliot Prize judge

Certainly a bright spot for me to kick off 2012! And now I can stop worrying about what to put on the cover of my book, for now anyway 😉

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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