quarterly poetry editor - 2018
Born in Albany, Georgia, D.A. Powell earned an MA at Sonoma State University and an MFA at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His first three collections of poetry, Tea, (1998), Lunch (2000), and Cocktails (2004), are considered by some to be a trilogy on the AIDS epidemic. Lunch was a finalist for the National Poetry Series, and Cocktails was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry. His next two books were Chronic(2009), which won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys (2012) won the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry.
Poet Carl Phillips observed on awarding Powell the fourth annual Boston Review Poetry Prize, “Here is work that manages to be entirely of-the-moment while at every turn it announces (without preening over it) not merely an awareness, but an actual confidence with such prosodic traditions as the heroic couplet and the pentameter line, such cultural and literary traditions as those of the Old Testament and of meaningfully comic punning.” Noting Powell’s “open-secret sexiness, his confident collage effects and his grave subjects” in Cocktails, New York Times critic and Harvard professor Stephen Burt says, “No accessible poet of his generation is half as original, and no poet as original is this accessible.”