Michael Teig's Big Back Yard was awarded the inaugural A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, chosen by award-winning poet and fiction writer Stephen Dobyns. Teig's poems display his ability to create surprising metaphors and images. These are integrated seamlessly into startlingly original poems, which, though often difficult, aren't inaccessible. "With Teig I could never calculate the poem's direction," Dobyns writes in his Foreword. "Yet where the poem wound up . . . felt exactly right, while the ride itself, the reading experience, gave great pleasure."
When the neighbor girl emerged
calling, Blackberry, Blackberry,
it was late enough the traffic lights
were just repeating themselves.
Someone left the crickets on.
The field powdered in cobweb.
I thought she was growing beautiful out there
and beyond hope. Already we are dancing
in the Versailles Ballroom at the Holiday Inn.
I promise if we don't need food,
we don't have to get dressed all day.
I can make a small boat with my hands.