Hamline News

Caitlin Bailey, MFA '12, Wins Lindquist & Vennum Prize

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Solve for Desire, a collection by MFA ’12 graduate Caitlin Bailey, has won the Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry! The award includes a publishing contract from Milkweed Editions. Read the news release from Milkweed here.

Caitlin received her MFA from Hamline in 2012. Her poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Carolina Quarterly among others. Solve for Desire is the sixth manuscript to win the Lindquist and Vennum Prize and was selected from a field of more than 200 manuscripts.

Solve for Desire began as an imagined letter from Austrian pianist Grete Trakl to her brother Georg, a poet. In a press statement, Bailey said:

“When I read about Georg and Grete I found myself drawn to Grete’s story — one that is often eclipsed by Georg.... I started thinking about what a correspondence between the two of them might have looked like. How would her big, unwieldy desires — and my own — show up on the page? ‘Solve for Desire’ became a sort of love letter to Grete.”

Bailey’s book will be published in November by Milkweed Editions. The prize is sponsored by Milkweed and by the Lindquist & Vennum Foundation and is open to writers in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas. Previous winners include Tula, by Chris Santiago; Beautiful Zero, by Jennifer Willoughby; and You Must Remember This, by Michael Bazzett.

This year's judge was Srikanth Reddy. He is the author of two books of poetry, Facts for Visitors (2004) and Voyager (2011), both published by the University of California Press. A scholar as well, his critical study Changing Subjects: Digressions in Modern American Poetry was published by Oxford University Press in 2012. He has received fellowships and awards from the Asian American Writer’s Workshop, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Whiting Foundation, and the Creative Capital Foundation, among others. A graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and the doctoral program in English at Harvard University, Reddy is currently an Associate Professor of English at the University of Chicago.

Milkweed Editions is one of the nation's leading independent publishers, with a mission to identify, nurture and publish transformative literature, and build an engaged community around it. The Lindquist and Vennum Foundation was established by the Minneapolis-headquartered law firm of Lindquist and Vennum LLP and is a donor-advised fund of The Minneapolis Foundation.

Read the announcement in the Star Tribune here