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ICE HOURS wins Michigan State University's
Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize
"Marion Boyer’s Ice Hours is mesmerizing and haunting. At its core is the question, what motivates people to want to be a part of something whose success seems impossible? This is acknowledged even in the recruitment of crew, offering, 'Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful.'"
- Carol V. Davis, competition final judge.
ICE HOURS follows the Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914, whose goal was to make the first land crossing of the Antarctic continent. Poems explore the flora and fauna, crew and families, the challenges, failures and triumphs. It traces this journey from Antarctica where, 'Pink-golden mists of pollen wafted across/ deep valleys' to a winter freeze that sends, 'Violent wind, black waves roiling.' Boyer’s precise language dazzles in portraits of historical figures, letters to a fiancé back in England, and descriptions of brutal weather, the sea, boats, animals, and people. There may be no answer to the central question of Ice Hours, but the reader is riveted by the vision and obsession that sparked this historic expedition."
Selected by Poets & Writers as
"NEW & NOTEWORTHY"book for 2023
What Word for This
Wins Grayson Books 2023 Chapbook Competition
Joan Kwon Glass, judge for the 2023 Grayson Books Chapbook Competition writes: "In this luminous, brilliant collection, the writer journeys into the vast universe of language, with its magic, possibilities and limiations. Each poem explores a word in a different language, asking readers to consider universal questions of grief, of memory, longing and the unknown...By the end of What Word for This, I found myself thinking differently about words themselves, regarding them all as my teachers, whispering questions to me that I didn't know I needed answers for."
Main Street Rag, 2019
The Sea Was Never Far
Marion Starling Boyer’s The Sea was Never Far functions as oral history, dramatic monologue, personal mythology, biography framed by white space, and a novel in verse—but thankfully, it is poetry, salt-tinged and music-lush as the sea. Each poem is an act of lyric ingenuity, offering up a particular voice within the realm of a particular place and time, revived by Boyer’s attention and magic.
- Diane Seuss, poet and Pulitzer Prize Winner
Marion Boyer cannot exist. No one person could give such voice to fishermen, millers, widows, thatchers, herring girls, compass adjustors. An entire community rises from the pages of The Sea Was Never Far, not as pale and whispering ghosts, but as individuals with nicknames and failings and skills and stories that invade your head and become your memories. Whether Marion Boyer is ventriloquist or necromancer or medium, it is certain that she is a poet.
- Susan Blackwell Ramsey, Prairie Schooner Book Prize Winner for A Mind Like This.
Composing the Rain
Winner of Grayson Books 2014 Chapbook Competition
This extraordinarily original and powerful collection of poems strikes me as nearly flawless. The poet makes wildly inventive use of sound, metaphor, and imagery, and I deeply admire the poet's willingness to take chances in both craft and idea. Furthermore, they are all strong and brilliantly written, but the manuscript holds together richly and convincingly as a whole...these poems made me smile with delight. - Edwina Trentham, Competition Judge
The Clock of the Long Now
Finishing Line Press 2003