Winner of The Four Way Books Intro Prize in Poetry
selected by Chase Twichell
Excerpt from Eye of the Blackbird
The perfect day is like pain, years later, pain without the pain.
An old woman looks back on her childhood
and sees only gashes of light. She sees the stretched bags of milk
she never gave her children.
She sees fear warping and bending the bodies of everyone she loved.
She sees herself grown strange to herself, not crazed but shorn,
the nails torn, her crucifixion merely boring,
her tall children, arrows of arrows quivering in the world
like struck guitar strings.
On target, she knows, each heart the center of all things, each worm
turning in the apple at the center of the tree
falling with the apple to the ground, leaving its eggs, its silk,
its perfect day.
“Like the voice in Whitman, which she exuberantly appropriates and updates, McFadden’s speaker is at once uniquely human and recognizable in all of us. . .a genuinely ambitious book, a book with big wings.” —Chase Twichell, judge, Four Way Books Intro Series