"Moses Jeune describes their poetry as "another extension of my imagery and emotional evocation". The collection is centered in their home state of Florida, a tale of their ever shifting, and often wrenching experiences in becoming. Their poem, "Brad's Honey", zooms the reader directly into a sea of sweat-sweltering anxieties of navigating social scenes, unspoken implicit policies, and eventual surrender to the all too familiar pain of dismissal, amidst a space of "belonging". Each stanza of the poem creates another layer to unpack, drawing up literary and literal contradictions of feeling alone while being fully surrounded, yet never fully seen. The last stanza, "Is it ever worth the one night of hoping for false affection / to step out to places / that'll always grin / when saying no?" hovered unanswered, displaying the vulnerability that we all attempt to stifle."
Thank you to all the applicants for your excellent entries and congratulations to Moses!