Alumna Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr. (poetry, ’09) has been named winner of Beloit Poetry Journal’s 20th annual Chad Walsh Poetry Prize.  The editors of the BPJ select on the basis of its excellence a poem or group of poems they have published in the calendar year to receive the award. This year’s choice is Elizabeth’s poem “Albania,” which appeared in the Winter 2011/2012 issue.

On Sunday I went to Albania.
No one understood, clearly, at first, why I (or anyone) would go to Albania.
Except my father, who knew at once: “Because, before, you couldn’t go to

It had never occurred to me, before, to actually go to Albania.
For years it was there, a Mars, the ultimate hole in the atlas: Albania.

Our government said you couldn’t go to Albania.
Passports self-vaporized, I thought, if you went to Albania.
The Middle Ages with Missiles, over there in Albania.
And somehow also China, Albania...[Keep Reading]…

“The Walsh Prize, which this year carries a cash award of $4000, was established in 1993 by Alison Walsh Sackett and her husband Paul in honor of Ms. Sackett’s father, the poet Chad Walsh (1914-1991), a co-founder in 1950 of the Beloit Poetry Journal.”  To find out more, visit the Journal’s website.

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