Mikko Harvey

2nd Place Winner of the Emerging Poet Prize

So much to love in this poem. I loved, for instance, this: “A goose flew / overhead and appeared / on the screen of the ice / briefly, passing like a taxi.” There is a depth to these images, they build a world in a way that feels honest, yes, but also in a way that gives this world a weight. Take, for instance, this: “The ice fantasized / about being shattered / suddenly by something / heavy, like a piano” – here the abstraction of “suddenly/something” is surprised by the “piano,” which becomes more than a piano. It becomes a fully realized emotion. But the poem doesn’t end there. The poem makes a point of walking away: “I fantasized / about not having / any fantasies, / and in / so doing drifted / even further from the pond.” This negation-via-images, allows us to move from the already imagined world into an ext one. Not at all an easy thing to do. Bravo. — Guest Judge, Ilya Kaminsky

Mikko Harvey is the author of Unstable Neighbourhood Rabbit (House of Anansi Press, 2018). His poems appear in places such as Gulf Coast, Kenyon Review, Maisonneuve, The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2019. He has received the 2017 RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award as well as fellowships from MacDowell, Yaddo, and the Vermont Studio Center. He currently works as a writer for an immigration law firm and lives in Ithaca, New York.