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Roze & Blud


Winner of The 2020 Miller Williams Poetry Prize
Finalist for The National Poetry Series and The Green Rose Prize

In this long poem–almost a novel-in-verse–Jayson Iwen examines the intimate thoughts and feelings of two would-be poets: Roze Mertha, a teenage girl growing up in a trailer park, and William Blud, a veteran navigating age and loneliness in an apartment he shares with an Afghan refugee. Deftly crafting distinct voices for these characters in the upper Midwestern terrain they inhabit, Iwen explores the quiet heartbreak and tenderly treasured experiences of two apparently unremarkable people using poetry to understand a world that doesn’t make much space for them.

“It renewed my faith in the heart and art of poetry.” Kathy Fagan

“A seriously delicate range of sorrowing beauties–and a hard look at America’s state.” Lisa Samuels

“Iwen captures sweet despair and a sense of having traveled, in aloneness, common ground.” Julie Gard

“The great discoveries here feel effortless in the presence of Roze and William.” Ryan Vine

“Iwen captures a lucid and lasting beauty…. his writing reaches the sublime.” Sheila Packa

Available from UAP and all other major booksellers.

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