Judge’s Citation by Jennifer Chang

“To hold up a mirror to our hunger” is the gift of this remarkable poem. It’s rare for a discursive rhetoric to be so wondrously ungovernable and still so generous to the reader. Here is a poet who balances a capacious imagination with expert syntactic dexterity. I leapt from line to line, infected by a rapt and thought-driven music, finding one surprising clausal turn after another. “Oculi” renders dislocation philosophically urgent and viscerally material, and it permits one voice’s intrinsic sense of longing to belong to us all. What a beautiful big-hearted, heart-battered poem.