The fifteenth annual Blue Lynx Prize has been awarded to Thomas Brush for his full-length poetry collection, Last Night. The winning collection was chosen from among more than five hundred submissions and will be published in spring, 2012, by Lynx House Press, the contest’s founding sponsor. The winner also receives a cash prize of $2000, payable upon publication.
Thomas Brush is a life-long resident of Seattle. He has a B.A. from Central Washington University and an M.A. from the University of Washington and taught for many years in nearby Kent, Washington. His work has appeared in many distinguished journals, including Poetry, Prairie Schooner, the Iowa Review, Crazyhorse, and the North American Review. The quality of that work has also been acknowledged by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Washington Arts Commission, and the Washington Artist Trust.
The poems in Last Night are drawn from the lost who walk the streets, discarded road signs and postcards, the natural world, and memory. The people in them wager every day on cars, their dreams, garage sales, love (real and imagined), old hymnals, rain forests, raccoons, and flights of gulls. Sometimes they win, more often they lose, even when the bartender says, “sure thing.” The overall effect of the book is hard hitting, direct, gritty, and sweet; it has much in common with the work of another Seattle area native, the late Richard Hugo.