Airea D. Matthews Wins 2016 Yale Series of Younger Poets

By Dianna Dilworth Comment


Airea D. Matthews’ manuscript, simulacra, has won the 2016 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition.

Yale University Press will publish the work in April 2017. Poet Carl Phillips judged the competition for the 6th year in a row.

“Rebellion is the first word that comes to mind, when reading simulacra, Airea Matthews’s rollicking, destabilizing, at once intellectually sly and piercing and finally poignant debut,” stated Phillips. “The main rebellion here is against all formal expectations of what a book of poetry is or ‘should’ be – Narcissus communicates by Tweets, Anne Sexton sends texts from death to a recipient who may or may not be dead; there’s a miniature opera; there are upended nods to the epistolary tradition, prose poems, even a Barthes-influenced calculus.”