The Owl Question

Volume 6 of the May Swenson Poetry Award Series, 2002

Judge for the competition was Mark Doty, internationally known poet and winner of the Bingham Poetry Prize, the T. S. Eliot Prize, and many other major poetry awards. In the foreword, Doty writes of Shearin's poetry: "What she wishes, wisely, is to be able to love and to see clearly at once. She understands that to do so will require all her resources: irony, good cheer, truthfulness, humor and a carefully preserved attention to the strangeness of living, the pecularity of all enterprises. The result is a lovely, trustworthy first book, full of affection and wry clarity, 'all life's finite hope leaning closer for a kiss.'"

The following poems have appeared previously, sometimes in slightly different form:
Alaska Quarterly Review: "Alaska"
Amaranth: "Counting"
New York Quarterly: "Matrimony"
Ploughshares: "Ruins", "Our Story", and "Alone"
The Iowa Review: ""Innocence"
Chicago Review: "Luck", and "Lust"
The Charlotte Poetry Review: "Homecoming"
Lowell Pearl: "Piano Lesson"
Lullwater Review: "Rescue"
Provincetown Arts: "The Unexpectant"
Poetry Northwest: "Retriever", "Hunger", and "On Halloween"
Witness: "Becoming Mother", "Opera"
Third Coast Anthology: "Entropy", "Ruins", "Luck", and "Alone"