Congratulations to Robert Adamson, who has just won the Blake Poetry Prize for his poem “Via Negativa, the Divine Dark.” You can watch him receive the prize, discuss William Blake, and read his poem here.
Named for William Blake and administered by the Blake Society, this prize “encourages Australian poets to engage in the dialogue between religion, spirituality and poetry.” Of “Via Negativa, the Divine Dark,” the 2011 judges (Brook Emery, Bronwyn Lee, and Judith Beveridge) said, “This is a powerful, visually striking, intelligent poem that explores complex ideas associated with negative theology in a humble but resonant way. The poem beautifully manages the movement between the immediacy of the present and difficult concepts such as time, suffering and the existence and nature of the soul; between the trivial ordinariness of the world and the large abstractions; between what can be knowable and precisely observed and what remains unknowable and concealed. The voice of the poem is engaging and convincing, the movement and rhythm assured, and the natural imagery convincingly detailed.” The poem itself can be downloaded here. Adamson’s book The Goldfinches of Baghdad is available from Flood Editions.