Mudfish Poetry Prize
Deadline extended to October 1, 2023
Last chance to enter the 17th Mudfish Poetry Prize judged by Deborah Landau! A unique contest in that each entry is passionately reviewed for inclusion in Mudfish 24 which, judging by the poems we've already received, will be a thrilling issue.
Please send at least 3 poems to us via email or snail mail, pay through PayPal or check, and know that your poems will be read with immediate appreciation and skill.
Like putting your foot in a shoe store fluoroscope machine as a child. We see your poem to its bones. See the contest guidelines.
The poet Maud Diamond is smitten with the much younger Russian, Kazimir, in this riotous send-up of New York bohemia in the bombed out, if lovely, 1970s and 1980s. Kazimir is an artist, theoretically brilliant but doomed by his own instability. Maud has two children from a prior marriage and an all-consuming love of pot. Kazimir, fond of grand gestures like luring a full-grown horse to her apartment, prefers vodka. Her children grow, resentfully, in the shadow of this loving, strange, and absurdly volatile relationship—Lily, as a teenager, turns to a phone sex line to make ends meet—and Hoffman, through Maud's deadpan first person, keeps the reader locked into each new frenzied episode. Scattered among the novel's pages are a variety of finely-cut comic gems ("When I was young I was horrified by Eleanor Roosevelt. I thought a woman had to be beautiful.") and punchy asides that lend the novel its subtle force. The muck and blood of old New York are everywhere, and redemption through art is still somehow possible. Maud, through a windy snowfall, carries a four foot by five foot blank canvas from Pearl Paint (since shuttered). She is like "Odysseus tied to the mast," now "pirouetting on the sidewalk, trying not to let the thing drag me off my course like sirens' songs." Soon she'll meet another man. He'll smile at her with "wintery" blue eyes. Another adventure is about to begin.