Dara Yen Elerath's debut book, Dark Braid, was selected for the 20th John Ciardi Prize for Poetry through BkMk. The book is scheduled for publication in fall 2020.

"In Dark Braid, Dara Yen Elerath’s dark and disturbing debut collection, the poet crafts fables for the body. In “The Survival of My Wound,” she writes:


Will you tend me, my wound asks, as you tend your garden?

With a scrupulous eye for the body’s frailties, the poet crafts urgent and eloquent elegies and autopsies, the scalpel of her language exposing bone. In poem after poem, Elerath chronicles in spare and suggestive narratives the fairy tales of living inside the confines of skin, and exposes the feral underbelly of personal myth."

     - Doug Ramspeck, prize judge

Praise for Dark Braid

Dara Elerath is an immensely gifted poet who has written a memorable and highly quotable first book. I underlined many lines, dog-eared page after page. Her language glints and thrums and startles. Curiosity underscores her work—her imagination seeks new ways of seeing and understanding. It listens to ‘secrets told by cantaloupes,’ notices ‘violence against apples.’ It enters a glacier, its’ ‘milk-white center,' discovers ‘the coldest heart on earth.’ Dark Braid is a terrific book. I highly recommend it.”

     - Eduardo C. Corral

There is such brilliance in these poems—a kind of hypnotic power. Each poem is a pearl from another world—together, they make a necklace of unsettling beauty. Dara Elerath is clearly a brilliant
new voice for American poetry."

     - Nin Andrews

© 2020 Dara Elerath

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