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All Fall Down

There is a good case for arguing that 2009 is shaping up to be the most catastrophic year in world history since 1939 (the start of the second world war). Despite the "Obama effect" - now in its 101st day - the world, in '09, is currently facing the most serious economic downturn since at least 1945, and, the most dangerous pandemic threat for forty years. On top of that, ongoing environmental degradation, and all the other problems that usually confront humanity, promise to make this end of the decade a particularly nail-biting one.

Eyewear, for one, is cautiously pessimistic. A few days ago, I believed that the swine flu virus might stay confined to those who had been to Mexico, or had contact with those there - but today, and as we move to Level 5, that seems less likely. Instead, health officials are now speaking of deaths - and the only question seems to be how many zeros after the one. One is reminded of Dylan Thomas who wrote that "after the first death there is no other" - but in a pandemic, that seems reversed - "after the first death there are so many".

This is a chilling time, almost a calm before the storm. London feels a bit like the first hours after the Martians landed on the common, that eerie normalcy that at heart is dreadfully false. How many days before the pandemic breaks out of its relatively contained mode, and really starts wreaking havoc in North America, Europe, and beyond? Time - often a healer - here may not be so kind. We all fall down.
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Announcing the Shortlist for the 2016 Sexton PrizeSeptember 13, 2016 / By Kelly Davio
Eyewear Publishing is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Sexton Prize. The finalists are, in no particular order, as follows:


THE BARBAROUS CENTURY, Leah Umansky
HISTORY OF GONE, Lynn Schmeidler
SEVERE CLEAR, Maya Catherine Popa
GIMME THAT. DON’T SMITE ME, Steve Kronen
SCHEHERAZADE AND OTHER REDEPLOYMENTS, David McAleavey
AN AMERICAN PURGATORY, Rebecca Gayle Howell
SIT IN THE DARK WITH ME, Jesse Lee Kercheval

The shortlist was selected by Eyewear’s Director Todd Swift with Senior Editor Kelly Davio. Don Share of Poetry Magazine will select the winning manuscript, which will be released at the 2017 AWP conference in Washington, D.C. The winner will be announced in October. 
Congratulations to our finalists!