Really excited to announce that my poetry manuscript has won the 2015 Iowa Poetry Prize, judged by Craig Morgan Teicher. My first book System of Ghosts will be published by the University of Iowa Press in April 2016.
The judge’s citation:
Lindsay Tigue has, first and foremost, a curious mind: her poems are motored by information. Bits of knowledge, gathered magpie-like, which others might consider trivia–the origins of the red and green on traffic lights, the different ways distant towns told time before railroads connected them, the composition of the asteroid Ceres–spur these poems toward startling personal and public insights. As in the poetry of Robyn Schiff and the prose of Eula Biss, these esoteric facts, knit together carefully and with a gentle sense of mischievous humor, and come to generalize about human suffering and hope. Like Biss, Tigue is also wary of knowledge, of what it gets used to justify: “I always question/ the most rigid convictions,” she writes. The imagination, she asserts again and again, is a slippery place: what it sees and says always depends on what it needs. “On a pilgrimage/ you must look for something,” she writes, whether or not there is actually anything to find. “There are portents/ everywhere” in this book, but they are not to be trusted. Or not quite, not always. There is also “tragedy everywhere and/ everywhere.” What Tigue is seeking in all this minutiae, all these forgotten facts, is what everyone wants, what everyone’s afraid not to find: recognition, company, balm for the aloneness that starts at the edge of everyone’s skull. It’s why, when her cat leaves the bed, “I put my nose to that warmed/ crater-space his body left”; it’s why “I wake you at night”; and it’s why you’ll read this book again and again.
-Craig Morgan Teicher
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