2023 Winner of the Oregon Book Award for Poetry
by Eric Tran
Mouth, Sugar, & Smoke howls and hungers.
This collection, which won the Diode Editions 2021 Full-Length Book Prize, grieves a lover lost to addiction and also swims in the intoxication of desire. While the poems in Mouth, Sugar, & Smoke portray a yearning for intimacy, they create spaces to experience the duality of pleasure and mourning. Even when Tran writes under formal constraint, like the crown of sonnets, these poems struggle and break and, in doing so, explore queer and transformative ways of wanting and being wanted.
The Oregon Book Awards are presented annually by Literary Arts, Inc. for the finest accomplishments by Oregon writers who work in the genres of Fiction, Poetry, Literary Nonfiction, Drama, and Young Readers Literature. Listed here are the winners in the Poetry category.