2010: Elyse Fenton, 'Clamor'

Massachusetts-born Elyse Fenton’s Clamor was the first poetry collection to win the Dylan Thomas Prize. Widely praised for the skill with which Fenton interweaves the themes of love and war, the collection is one of ‘huge ambition and spectacular delivery.’

Elyse's poetry and prose has appeared in American Poetry Review, Best New Poets, and The New York Times."

In 2017 she published her second poetry collection Sweet Insurgent, which grapples with themes of conflict, ethics, and identity in a constantly shifting world. As a manuscript-in-progress, it was awarded the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award in 2013.

She recently completed her first novel, a wartime love story that traces the lives of civilians left to navigate the devastating and bewildering aftermath of violence.

2010: Elyse Fenton, 'Clamor'

Reviews - 'Clamor'

"From the smoldering wreckage of a battle-scarred Iraq to "the last unmuzzled throatful of air," Elyse Fenton's debut collection clamors with such exigency that it drops us right into the danger zone. Her art is precise, persistent and volatile when deployed to the front lines. But also, sparing: "a human camera" embedded within a relationship tested by the distance from battlefield to home. This book certainly has its disquietude-but how else to measure the brutality of the world? The recompense of it, though, is Fenton's passionate eloquence; her unfaltering fidelity to the word." - D. A. Powell

"Clamor connects the forward operating bases in Iraq with the homefront here in America. It is a necessary poetry which brings us the `work of shrapnel;' `the thing that, trying and trying---/ you can never spit out' (while continually recognizing that there is always more to give). In keeping with the best traditions of war poetry, the underlying subjects of Clamor are love and loss. Clamor is a book that refuses to turn away. It exists within the deeply personal, the deeply private, and yet---as the poems finish within the reader---it is a work which ultimately speaks to the universal." - Brian Turner

"The astonishing paradox of Clamor lies in its raw, disturbing subject matter: the Iraq war, the body's destruction, desolation, and grief, set against an achingly beautiful love poetry. From "the fever dream of wartime chaos and debris" Fenton deftly and unabashedly tells a story of passion and doubt, of the terrible waiting and an otherworldly reunion, what we are capable of doing to and for each other, and what we do to endure." - Dorianne Laux

"With lines that show an unyielding dedication to craft, these poems are not afraid of meaning or the meaningful. More and more every day, the thinking American asks how she is to believe in love when there is war all about her, and in each of her deeply felt lyrics, Fenton confronts this question with the kind of tenderness one lover reserves for another. If every poem is indeed a love poem, Clamor is indeed a debut worth reading and about which we must make noise." - Jericho Brown