The editors of the Beloit Poetry Journal are delighted to announce that final judge Jane Hirshfield has chosen Anna Laura Reeve’s “The Edinburg Postnatal Depression Scale” as the winner of the 2022 Adrienne Rich Award for Poetry.
Anna Laura Reeve is a poet living, gardening, and getting into tarot near the Tennessee Overhill region, historic land of the Eastern Cherokee. Previous work of hers has appeared or is forthcoming in Room Magazine, Rust + Moth, Terrain.org, The Hopper, Jet Fuel Review, and others. She is a finalist for the Heartwood Poetry Prize and the Ron Rash Award, and her debut poetry collection, Reaching the Shore of the Sea of Fertility, is forthcoming from Belle Point Press.
Of Reeve's poem, Jane Hirshfield writes, "The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale” brilliantly uses its device of psychology-evaluation questionnaire and the responses' contrasting (and changing) diction to bring readers into its interior and exterior landscape with vividness, exactitude, surety, and the discoveries of language's own imaginative powers. Surface objectivity and calmness become increasingly transparent to what is described: the lived experience, feelings, thought, and condition of spirit of the mother of a premature new-born over time. From birthing room forward, this poem is entirely revelatory and harrowing."
Along with naming the winner, Hirshfield selected two finalists, Lauren Camp, for “I'm Always Now Studying the Urgency” and Juditha Dowd, for “Dressing for the Funeral.”
The editors also selected as semi-finalists Erin Marie Lynch's “00000000,” Marissa Davis’s “Diaspora Poetica,” and Marcus Jamison’s “1959 Driving Lesson, South Carolina Highway 77.”
The winning poem, as well as the finalists and semi-finalists, will appear in the Spring 2023 issue of the BPJ.
We’re grateful to the Adrienne Rich Literary Trust and to all who submitted poems for this year’s contest.