"These poems possess a quiet urgency - an elegant, stark beauty. The sentences are prisms conjugating light."
– Elaine Equi, Final Judge
"Gouirand repunctuates the world in stops and starts as she reaches toward new ways to parse the complexities of love. Open Winter shows us how language breaks and fails, how poems repair and revive."
– Mark Wunderlich
"Rae Gouirand's poems glow with motion and stillness, the richness of consciousness, as they delicately enlarge the boundaries of comprehension and desire. This is a generative - and deeply generous - book."
– Alice Fulton
2010 Bellday Prize Award Winner: Leslie Williams
"A reader never knows what is coming next in the poems of Success of the Seed Plants—they move as one would cross a stream, by adroitly leaping from rock to rock. The mood here therefore feels risky, as the narrator gambles against falling. I found her mental agility exhilarating."
– Lucia Perillo, final judge, 2010 Bellday Prize competition
"Robbins can spin a hitherto-undiscovered cosmos out of a single, wayward proposition, but he never loses footing in the radiant, mortal, given world."
– Linda Gregerson, Final Judge
Shelby Stephenson's Family Matters: Homage to July, the Slave Girl
An intense and heart-breaking poetic narrative which, in its exploration of historical and personal materials, holds affinities to the work of Susan Howe and to James Agee’s classic Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. Family Matters is a strenuous questioning — and exposure — of the fictions of ownership, whether of persons or places, graves or farms.
- Allen Grossman, final judge,
2008 Bellday Prize competition.