Juliana Daugherty Click to

julianaJuliana Daugherty’s “May” is the winner of this year’s Graybeal-Gowen Poetry Prize for Virginia Poets.  A recent graduate from UVA’s MFA program in writing, Daugherty is the former editor of Meridian and a resident of Charlottesville.  Her work has appeared in Greensboro Review, Boxcar Poetry Review, Midwest Quarterly and DIAGRAM.


I evict myself. At last the days
are good enough to eat, at least

for someone who has lived so long
on crumbs alone.  For someone dumb

as weeds, like me, who has to find a light
to turn towards, or die. It is the season

of permission, when most everything
can flourish, if it tries. I think my body

would do anything to please me. But it isn’t easy
to be kind.  It isn’t effortless to want

to stay alive. Sometimes my mother
starves herself. Sometimes she rises every day

at five & walks for miles on air. A marvel,
how her daughters’ daughters thrive

inside their private wilderness.
How they stage their brightest riots

in the country of despair.