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Titles 1998-2018

Beasts for the Chase, Monica Ferrell


Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry

By turns sumptuous and stark, the thirty-eight poems of Monica Ferrell's debut collection carry us along on a breathless pursuit. Here the hunting grounds are lushly imagined landscapes drawn from both fantasy and the familiar—a drowned Atlantis, the hospital room where a baby is born, a kitchen where two lovers vie—and our quarry the perilous raptures of creaturely existence. What lies at the heart of this work is a fearless and generous spirit, undaunted in its quest to fully meet experience. Whether she speaks through the mask of an emperor's orphaned son or in the sly cadences of modern street-talk, the urgency propelling Ferrell's poems can always be discerned, pulsing in the beat of her fierce music, peering out from her riotous imagery. The effect of such language is enchantment—what Nabokov claimed as the primary function of literature. Beasts for the Chase is an audacious, assured debut, and Monica Ferrell is a young poet who has already found her own wild voice.

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Additional Info

Monica Ferrell was born in 1975 in India. A former Discovery/The Nation prizewinner and Wallace Stegner Fellow, she currently teaches in the creative writing program at Purchase College. Her first novel, The Answer Is Always Yes, was published by Dial Press in May 2008. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.


“Her poems make vivid what has become dusty, and return us to, as real art does, the brilliance of initial perception.”
—Jane Hirshfield

“The mythmaking in these poems is fierce and wildly original—this is a thrilling new poetic voice.”
—Nick Flynn