California Poet Named Winner of Carlow University's 2013 Patricia Dobler Poetry Award

May 29, 2013

Award Sponsored by Carlow's MFA Program and Madwomen in the Attic Creative Writing Workshops

Chryss Yost, a poet from Santa Barbara, Calif., is the winner of the 2013 Patricia Dobler Poetry Award, sponsored by Carlow University's Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing Program and the Madwomen in the Attic Creative Writing Workshops. 

Yost's poem, "Furious Bread", distinguished itself with its singular, distinct voice and its willingness to take a risk from a field of more than 450 poems written by 181 poets who entered the contest.

"From the opening couplet of this warm, atmospheric poem, I'm pulled from my role as a reader," commented Patricia Smith, an award-winning poet, spoken word performer, playwright, author, teacher, and journalist, who was the judge of the Dobler Award.  "I become witness, the heat is changing my skin, I hear the blunt, restless struggle between the woman and her task.  And while I am surprised by the shift in the narrative, I actually welcome the anger it sparks, the pushback against a terrible truth.  And back to the warm room, the urgent enterprise.  I love this poem's simplicity and ultimate defiance, which reminds us that wars are fought for long periods of time, with small fists."

As winner of the Patricia Dobler Poetry Award, Yost will receive round-trip travel and lodging as a participating guest of Carlow's MFA residency at Carlow University in Pittsburgh from January 6 through 17, 2014; publication in "Voices from the Attic"; and a public reading with judge Patricia Smith during the residency.

Honorable mentions include Linda Bryant from Nashville, Tenn., for "Three dead after Quantico marine base shooting"; Rose Auslander from Brooklyn, NY for "Delivered unto the Rushes"; and Joanne Hayhurst from Lakeville, Conn., for "Hurricane Sandy: Thank you, Lydia Callas, Sign Language Interpreter Translating for Mayor Bloomberg".

Patricia Dobler lived in Pittsburgh, Pa., and taught for many years at Carlow University, where she directed the Women's Creative Writing Center and the Madwomen in the Attic Writing Workshops.  She is the author of "UXB" (Mill Hunk Books, 1991) and "Talking to Strangers" (University of Wisconsin Press, 1986), which won the Brittingham Prize in Poetry; a chapbook, "Forget Your Life", was published by the University of Nebraska Press.  She died July 24, 2004.  After her death, her "Collected Poems" was published by Autumn House Press in 2005.