Los Lorcas: Partridge Boswell

A troubadour of Roma and Luso-Sephardi descent, Partridge Boswell is the author of the Grolier Poetry Prize-winning collection Some Far Country. “Such desperate beauty in these poems,” remarks Marie Howe, “such rendered and willed surviving. Read this book if you want to remember what poetry can do to us, how it can find words for what can’t be said and shake us by our shoulders until we feel achingly alive again.” His writing has recently received the Edna St. Vincent Millay, Julia Darling Memorial, Words by Water, Bray Festival, Red Wheelbarrow, Gemini, Saguaro, and Lascaux Poetry Prizes, and surfaced in Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Salmagundi, The American Poetry Review, Green Mountains Review, Plume, Solstice, Prairie Schooner, Rattle, The Moth and Forklift, Ohio. His poems and essays have been anthologized in Roads Taken: Contemporary Vermont Poetry and Vermont Poets and Their Craft. Co-founder of Bookstock Literary Festival, Boswell is the recipient of fellowships from Vermont College of Fine Arts, University of New Orleans, Ireland’s Tyrone Guthrie Centre and Vermont Studio Center. He teaches at Burlington Writers Workshop, ArtisTree Community Arts Center and Vallum Society for Education in Arts & Letters in Montreal, and serves as an advisory trustee of the Grolier Poetry Foundation.

Recognized for his open, passionate and personalized engagement, Partridge is available for solo performances and workshops in school and community settings, and happy to tailor his repertoire to a wide variety of poetry-centric needs, topics, curricula and fora.

The Stone Cottage

sits tacit as a tomb, quieter than noise-cancelling headphones on a windless pandemic afternoon that can only think of itself, and so opts not to think. The owners are away but left a note. Walk in, latch the door, and you’ve stoppered time. Nothing gets in or out, save smoke from a basket of black turf by the hearth. From that refurbished famine farm perched too cliff-high to hear rollers roar below, you can see Fastnet tacked to the horizon and Cape Clear where once birders sighted a vagrant bobolink blown clear across the pond. As a rule, stones will sing, though these lie silent as the she-hare we spied our first morning crouched like a doorstop nibbling dew grass under the hedge, so still she disappears when you blink. Stone mute as devoted oath keepers sworn to archive windward sighs of luck and loss, joy and woe—stone thick as hay bales quarried from another time before ignorance and thought-light engulfed the barren land with furze yellow and rueful as Athenry, benign and lovely to look at until you slipped and fell into a copse of it crossing the moor. Then, you found other names for it.

That day we fell into a new rhythm old as a fulacht fiadh, resisting an urge to leap up and run outside every time sun’s face appeared like a neighbor at the window—begging sugar, offering jam, expecting tea. No urgency. She’d be back in a moment, and again tomorrow. Come morning, a pale horse grazing the slope across the road, horizon in every direction. We folded our secrets and left them beside a spray of hawthorn on the kitchen table. On cool wet days, a thin braid of peat smoke threading the sea mist. But only if you live in those parts.

The Stone Cottage: Selected for the 2022 Fish Flash Fiction Prize

Winner of the 2022 Saguaro Poetry Prize

Not Yet a Jedi by Partridge Boswell

The contest judge, Wendy Barnes, had this to say about the collection:

“Partridge Boswell’s Not Yet a Jedi rockets through the late 20th century and into the present with its diction in hyperdrive, fusing whimsy to seriousness, blunt statement to syntactic complexity. These tautly constructed poems evoke the aspirations, fresh-cut grass smell, and low-level depression that characterize cookie-cutter suburbia—and the ways the adults who grew up there cling to a played-out, optimistic vision of the American Dream despite themselves. Poems span a range of emotional registers, but even in their pensive moments, they are so kinetic that their full force can only be appreciated if you read them while popping wheelies on your BMX or grooving under the splattering light of a disco ball, where the melancholy will still find you, as “your black-lit heart blooms luminous in the blue dark.”