Former US poet laureate Louise Gluck, whose poetry I have posted here many times, just won the coveted Wallace Stevens award. Well deserved.

Also awarded: An academy fellowship granted to Brigit Pegeen Kelly, a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize in 2005. After reading some of her work online, I am adding Kelly to my list. Here’s a sample.

Doing Laundry on Sunday

So this is the Sabbath, the stillness
in the garden, magnolia
bells drying damp petticoats

over the porch rail, while bicycle
wheels thrum and the full-breasted tulips
open their pink blouses

for the hands that pressed them first
as bulbs into the earth.
Bread, too, cools on the sill,

and finches scatter bees
by the Shell Station where a boy
in blue denim watches oil

spread in phosphorescent scarves
over the cement. He dips
his brush into a bucket and begins

to scrub, making slow circles
and stopping to splash water on the children
who, hours before it opens,

juggle bean bags outside Gantsy’s
Ice Cream Parlor,
while they wait for color to drench their tongues,

as I wait for water to bloom
behind me—white foam, as of magnolias,
as of green and yellow

birds bathing in leaves—wait,
as always, for the day, like bread, to rise
and, with movement

imperceptible, accomplish everything.

–Brigit Pegeen Kelly

Poet Stephen Dobyns described Brigit Pegeen Kelly as “one of the very best poets now writing in the United States. In fact, there is no one who is any better. Not only are her poems brilliantly made, but they also give great pleasure. Rarely are those two qualities seen together in one poet.”

The critic Robert Buttel wrote that in Kelly’s poems, “spiritual certainty or any connection with divinity remains elusive,” but still, in dealing with nature and everyday occurrences, “she experiences uncanny, fortuitous moments that have all the revelatory impact of epiphanies.”