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MFA Alumni Wins 42 Miles Press Poetry Award

Bryce Berkowitz, a WVU MFA alum, recently won the 42 Miles press Poetry Award for his manuscript: Bermuda Ferris Wheel

Bryce Berkowitz

David Dodd Lee, 42 Miles Press Editor, said: “Bryce’s poems are stunningly moving and artful. We at 42 Miles Press were won over by the boldness of the autobiographical elements combined with the slightly associative overall of the book, as well as the sense of place (and his ability to describe it). Love the Voice. The tone. That the manuscript is not stuffed with irony (though there are moments of humor, complexity of tone). Decidedly romantic, in some ways the manuscript reminds me of Joe Bolton's work. No other manuscript attracted me as to both content and style as this one did. I like the awareness of nature in the work. I wouldn't call it Nature Poetry, but a kind of super focused awareness of the world around the speaker, his kind of curse blessing, self-consciousness married to an awareness of everything that is other (but which is sometimes internalized--beauty becomes an intimacy). The opening poem kills it (I mean that positively). The author risks coming off as sentimental in some of the "family" poems, and yet they never are. Any self-absorption that might overwhelm the poems seems to fade in a diffuse manner through the endless layers of color emanating from out of the landscape, the various manifold localities that serves as his "home base." It's a kind of higher power, that presence, and acts as a buffering of the ego for the speaker.”

Bryce currently teaches Arts-Based Social Justice, Intro to Professional Writing, Writing in the Entertainment Industry, and The Art of Poetry at Butler University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Yemassee, Zone 3, the minnesota reviewNashville Review, Sierra Nevada Review, Barrow Street, Barely South Review, and more. Bryce’s winning debut collection Bermuda Ferris Wheel is set to be released in October of 2020. He graduated from the WVU MFA program in 2018.