Beast is aptly and perfectly named. From start to finish the poems in this collection are physical — resolutely alive to all that is alive in us, all-too-frail, all-too-human, ‘beasts’ with ‘ our self deceptions, encumbrances, limitations’ (“River Musk Perfume”). Yet at the same time, metaphysically, poem after poem turns a questioning, lively, and emotionally honest eye on how we ‘ pass our days, metering the hours now/until morning’s last solitary stars’ (“Reckonings”)
Beast is always much, much more than one poem facing another across a page, or simply following on. The sequencing throughout is both intelligent and instinctive — something as rare as it is wonderful. Poems call out, wait for an answer, and then listen. The protagonist of “Chores”, ‘wiping up messes- today’s/tomorrow’s – ‘ knows the truth that we, as humans, are simply custodians ‘of all things that fall apart’ ‘(Handyman’) These assured poems speak to each other before they turn to speak to us, and the collection as a living, breathing whole is all the more powerful as a result.
The poetic voice in Beast is sometimes raw, often compassionate, frequently beautiful, consistently real, and devoid of any posturing. This is mature work crafted by a mature poet in full command of her art. I am not at all surprised that it has been awarded such a prestigious prize.
Enda Coyle-Greene author of Map of the Last Dublin, February 2015
About Mara Adamitz Scrupe (Twin Cities, Minnesota Author)
Mara Adamitz Scrupe is a poet and visual artist. Her fellowships include NEA CEC/ArtsLink, Washington DC Arts Commission, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia Arts Commission, MacDowell Colony, Djerassi Foundation, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Montalvo Arts Center, Irish Museum of Modern Art Residency Programme, and USF Verftet-AiR/Bergen.
She is the author of six award-winning poetry collections: in the bare bones house of was (Brighthorse Press), Eat the Marrow (Erbacce-press), Beast (NFSPS Press), a daughter’s aubade/ sailing out from Sognefjord (Middle Creek Publishing), Magnalia (Eyewear Press) and Sky Pilot (Finishing Line Press). Her poems have been published widely in national and international literary magazines and journals including London Magazine, Mid America Review, Maine Review, Rhino, Comstock Review, Off the Coast, Narrative Magazine, Cincinnati Review, Bare Fiction, Matador Review, Ruminate, Crosswinds Review, Crab Creek Review and Sentinel Quarterly Literary Review (UK).
She has won or been shortlisted/nominated for many international poetry awards and prizes including Canterbury International Arts Festival Poet of the Year (UK), Forward Prize for Poetry (UK), Pushcart Poetry Prize (USA) Rubery Book Award (UK), Brighthorse Poetry Book Prize (USA), Grindstone International Poetry Competition (UK), Fish Prize (Ireland), Aesthetica Award (UK), Erbacce-press Poetry Book Prize (UK), Plough Prize (UK), Ron Pretty Prize (Australia), Periplum Book Award, Cornwall Festival Competition (UK), Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s Award, (Australia), and National Poetry Competition (UK). She is a marathon runner, an accordionist, and dean of the School of Art, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, USA.