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“Colloquy with St. Mary of Egypt” Is a Semi-Finalist in the Black River Chapbook Competition - February 9, 2015

“Colloquy with St. Mary of Egypt” endeavors, over the course of 46 octets, to draw a desert ascetic into open dialogue. That ascetic is Mary of Egypt, whose twin lives as a prostitute and penitent offer twin virtues which the speaker, a new parent, newly desires: erotic freedom and extended solitude. The poem, which constitutes the bulk of my second book–tentatively titled The Identity Thief–is an overtly bookish seduction that muses on the relative heaven of embodied books. Berryman’s Homage to Mistress Bradstreet is an acknowledged forerunner. The poem’s a saint’s life (rewritten), a civic portrait (of San Francisco), and a walk home.

And now it’s been named a semi-finalist for the Black River Chapbook Competition from Black Lawrence Press. Many thanks to the editors at BLP and congratulations to Philip Schaefer and Jeff Whitney, co-winners of the chapbook competition.

Derek Mong