Winner of the Levis Poetry Prize
selected by Jean Valentine
OUTSIDE: WINTER SOLSTICE
I bathe you with my robe open.
The heat rises from the floor
and moves our hair. Your skin
is nearly transparent in water.
It’s morning, you close your eyes,
we’ve missed a thousand other details.
“Valerie Martinez has written an extraordinary book: these poems are expansive, surprising, intelligent; her subjects are as alive as her language. Her willingness to take risks is uncommon, and so is her compassion; she doesn’t shy away from pain, and she lives in the poet’s task of praise.” — Jean Valentine, judge