TLR poet July Westhale has won the Kore Press 2016 First Book award, selected by Robin Coste Lewis, for her poetry collection Trailer Trash.
Trailer Trash is Westhale’s debut collection. She is also the author of The Cavalcade, a chapbook, from Finishing Line Press, and Occasionally Accurate Science, a children’s book of collective nouns, forthcoming from Nomadic Press.
Coste Lewis had high praise for Westhale's work:
“I was wholly unprepared for the exceptional skill and aesthetic courage I encountered when I opened the book, skill and courage that remained from the first line to the last. It is so much easier to perform rather than to be honest. You can offer the world a mask, then walk away, pretending to be somewhere, someone. This is especially true when one is poor, or a woman. But from beginning to end, these poems about both are neither cute, nor nice. They are strong, quiet, new, unapologetic, even ruthless in their refusal to play any role, including 'girl' or 'poor.' Which is to say, July Westhale constantly creates wholly unfamiliar constructions that run back and forth between that pole of both exquisite and horrifying with courageous agility.”