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Charleen McClure Chosen as Next Blessing the Boats Selection

Rochester, NY—BOA Editions is pleased to announce that Charleen McClure's d-sorientation is the next Blessing the Boats Selections title. Ms. McClure will receive a $5,000 honorarium and her manuscript will be published in September 2024 as part of the New Poets of America Series. d-sorientation was selected by Blessing the Boats Selections Editor-at-Large Aracelis Girmay from a pool of one hundred and seventy-two submissions. 

Of McClure's manuscript, Girmay writes, "d-sorientation is a work of staggering beauty, intellect, and grace. Here, Charleen McClure takes up the wondrous, radical work of being in ongoingly deep relation with another. A mother, a body, a place, a lover. And so these richly interior, sensual, precise works gleam with labor and time. The intimacies of caretaking. But also the imagination and feeling that exceed the words. Each page is a field charged through with palpable energy. Processual yet minimalist. Formidable and tender. I am deeply humbled and grateful to read this work of such rigorous reflection—a work which scrutinizes as it attends to its quiet and privacy. Truly truly truly truly truly: it is an astonishment out of which such beauty emerges." 

"It is humbling to have my manuscript chosen for BOA’s Blessing the Boats Selections by Aracelis Girmay, a poet whose work I cherish. I am grateful for the opportunity to celebrate Clifton’s legacy in this way," said McClure. 

Charleen McClure writes and lives a few miles off the Chattahoochee River. A Fulbright scholar, she was a 2020 recipient of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award. Her writing has been supported by VONA, Cave Canem, Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, the Watering Hole, Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon, New York University, and the Conversation Lit Festival. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in The Poetry Project, The Offing, Academy of American Poetry’s Poem-a-Day, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. McClure made her film debut in All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (A24, 2023), written and directed by Raven Jackson. Her first poetry collection is a Blessing of the Boats Selection from BOA Editions, Ltd. and is forthcoming in September 2024.

Named after celebrated poet Lucille Clifton’s National Book Award-winning collection Blessing the Boats, and in recognition of her enduring legacy, The Blessing the Boats Selections spotlights poetry collections by women of color. Previous Blessing the Boats Selections titles include fox woman get out! by India Lena González, A Tinderbox in Three Acts by Cynthia Dewi Oka, Casual Conversation by Renia White, Year of the Dog by Deborah Paredez and Letters to a Young Brown Girl by Barbara Jane Reyes. The Blessing the Boats Selections are generously supported by the Lannan Foundation and the Amazon Literary Partnership. 


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