2012 Nightboat Poetry Prize Winner

Brandon Som
2012 Nightboat Poetry Prize Winner

Nightboat Books is delighted to announce the winner of the 9th annual Nightboat Poetry Prize competition: Brandon Som of Los Angeles, whose manuscript The Tribute Horse was selected by Kazim Ali. He will receive the $1,000 prize in addition to the publication of his book by Nightboat Books in April 2014.

Brandon Som is the author of the chapbook Babel’s Moon, winner of the Tupelo Press Snowbound Prize. His poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Indiana Review, Black Warrior Review, and Octopus Magazine. He has received fellowships to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. He's currently a PhD candidate at the University of Southern California.

In his citation for the prize, Kazim Ali writes:

As bodies cross boundaries, the zone between the known and unknown or planet-wide bodies of water—for example the Pacific—transmute, transform, becoming something new and other than what they are. Brandon Som’s book The Tribute Horse follows strange knowledges unearthed by explorers like Meena Alexander, Bhanu Kapil and Myung Kim; knowledge about the ways migration acts upon and is affected by a body’s language, culture, perception and physical manifestations. Using found text, fractured lyric, prose poem and oulipian narrative, Som constructs a poetry deep in its theoretical rigor, ravishing in its sonic pleasure, and delicate in its formal constructions.  Drawing from various sources, including Chinese painting, Japanese photography and narrative of immigrants through Angel Island, including that of his own grandfather, Brandon Som channels the “drunk wren between me and dawn/ expert far flung tongue” and by so doing he is able to “forestall the fading path/ burrow straight through song.”

The deadline for the 10th annual Nightboat Books Poetry Prize will November 1, 2013. Please check www.nightboat.org for more details.