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'Red Hawk' wins national poetry competition

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Posted: Wednesday, September 8, 2010 12:00 am

Dr. Robert “Red Hawk” Moore’s book-length poem, Raven’s Paradise, has won the national Bright Hill Press Poetry Book Competition.

Moore is a nationally-acclaimed author and a member of the faculty of the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, where he serves as a professor of English.

Raven’s Paradise is a love story, a book-length poem in 42 sections. It takes up where Milton’s Paradise Lost left off – the story of Lucifer’s rebellion against God, his refusal to serve, his demand that the angels have free-will choice. When his rebellion failed, he was cast out of heaven along with his minions (who became the human race). Raven’s Paradise, with Raven being the Lucifer character, is the story of Lucifer’s redemption due to his love for the Feminine/the Goddess.

Nationally known Hispanic poet Rhina Espaillat was the contest’s final judge. The competition featured 250 manuscripts which were narrowed to 22 finalists. Espaillat praised Raven's Paradise as “so packed with pleasure that I was distressed when I reached the last page, disappointed that there was no more of it to read. There is pleasure, first, for the five senses – that essential sign of genuine poetry at work – and then pleasure for the imagination, in the bold details of the unfolding narrative and the way they draw the reader into the action from the poem's opening line until the very last. And finally, there is enduring pleasure for the intellect, in the way the poet summons up material we all know but places it in the challenging light of an entirely new sensibility.

“This delightful, outrageous, profound, wise and hilarious creation story takes on the mythology and the sacred writings of various cultures, delves into philosophy, sex, history and human nature, and nods gracefully to Shakespeare, Hopkins, Dickinson, Yeats and Whitman, among others. I'm hoping – as a reader, for purely selfish reasons – to encounter much more in the future from this highly original American voice.”

Raven’s Paradise is available at the UAM bookstore and may be ordered from Bright Hill Press, P.O. Box 193, Treadwell, NY  13846-0193 for $16 plus $2.50 postage. To order a signed copy by the author, send $16 plus $2.50 postage to: Red Hawk, 824 North Hyatt, Monticello,  AR 71655.

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