Blas Falconer is the author of The Foundling Wheel (Four Way Books, forthcoming 2013) and A Question of Gravity and Light (University of Arizona Press, 2007). He is a recipient of the 2009 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award and a Tennessee Individual Artist Grant. His poems have recently appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, and Puerto del Sol, among other literary journals. A coeditor of Mentor and Muse: Essays from Poets to Poets (Southern Illinois University Press, 2010) and The Other Latino (University of Arizona Press, forthcoming 2011), he coordinates creative writing at Austin Peay State University, home of Zone 3 Journal and Zone 3 Press.
This award gives me more incentive to finish my second collection of poems, The Foundling Wheel, inspired by my son's adoption. When I start to feel the sense of doubt so common when working on a long-term project, this fellowship will motivate me to continue writing.
On a practical note, this award will allow me the time and space to complete the book, to give the individual poems the extended and quiet focus necessary when completing a book of poetry.
I am both honored and humbled to be selected among so many deserving writers and by such distinguished judges, whose poems I have admired for many years.
The Battle of Nashville
Snow gives the sky a new dimension--depth,
a soft glow, as if the air lit the yard,
which slopes to the city, which shimmers.
The river is always moving, but the atrium
on Fifth, the Kress, where blacks locked arms
and would not budge. A plow takes the hill,
where cars line up in rows, and half-built lofts
replace the houses. The man who built our house
built diesel engines, and kept the trucks
he couldn't fix. His daughters sold it all,
except the how-to books, the shop fan
he left in the attic. We're not brave,
but we find one another in bed each night,
your hand or my hand reaching out.
In the morning, you take the trash, and I make
the coffee. Nearby, battles were fought,
and men, whose wives waited for them, died.
If soldiers held the highest ground, one stood
here. If there is one, there is at least
one more. Standing shoulder to shoulder,
they share a blanket, as snow settles in the trees.
I think they are afraid. I think this is love.
("The Battle of Nashville" from A Question of Gravity and Light by Bias Faiconer, © 2007 Bias Faiconer, reprinted by permission of the University of Arizona Press)