Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

Eduardo C. Corral

I approach a harp        abandonedin a harvested field.        A deer leapsout of the brush        and follows mein the rain, a scarlet        snake woundin its dark antlers.        My fingerscurled around a shard        of glass—it’s like holding the hand        of a child.I’ll cut the harp strings        for my mandolin,use the frame as a window        in a chapelyet to be built. I’ll scrape        off its bluelacquer, melt the flakes        down witha candle and ladle        and paintthe inner curve        of my soup bowl.The deer passes me.        I lower my head,stick out my tongue        to tastethe honey smeared        on its hind leg.In the field’s center        I crouch neara boulder engraved        with a numberand stare at a gazelle’s        blue ghost,the rain falling through it.

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Eduardo C. Corral’s second book, Guillotine, will be published by Graywolf Press next August. Slow Lightning, his first book, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets in 2011. He’s the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. He teaches in the MFA program at North Carolina State University.

The Yale Younger Poets prize is the oldest annual literary award in the United States. Its winners include some of the most influential voices in American poetry, including Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery, Margaret Walker, Carolyn Forché, and Robert Hass.

In celebration of the prize’s centennial, this collection presents three selections from each Younger Poets volume. It serves as both a testament to the enduring power and significance of poetic expression and an exploration of the ways poetry has evolved over the past century. In addition to judiciously assembling this wide-ranging anthology, Carl Phillips provides an introduction to the history and impact of the Yale Younger Poets prize and its winners in the wider context of American poetry, including the evolving roles of race, gender, and sexual orientation.

"In the annals of publishing there is surely no comparable record of hospitality to poets, young or old.”
The New York Times

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