Laurie Hertzel is senior editor for books at the Star Tribune, where she has worked since 1996. She is the author of "News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist," winner of a Minnesota Book Award.

Hats off to Kristal Leebrick

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel under Book stores, Competitions, Garrison Keillor, Poetry Updated: April 28, 2014 - 12:33 PM

Kristal LeebrickKristal Leebrick's prize-winning love poem has it all: winter, North Dakota, young love, first love, the northern lights, sentimentality, and the wise perspective of later years. It's evocative without being sweet, nostalgic without being mawkish, and it attracted the admiration of the three fine judges of Common Good Books' second annual Love Poems competition, who awarded it first prize.

Leebrick lives in St. Paul, edits a monthly newspaper, and is the author of "Dayton's: A Twin Cities Institution."

The four runners up in the competition are:

Edwin Romond of Wind Gap, Penn.

Kathleen Novak of Minneapolis

Ann Harrington of St. Paul

and Chet Corey of Bloomington.

Judges were Garrison Keillor, Patricia Hampl and Tom Hennen; Leebrick wins $1,000 and the four runners-up each with $250. May they spend it on fine pens, thick journals, and lots of books!

Here is the winning poem:

New Year Love

I remember our breath

in the ciy air

and how the northern lights gathered

in a haze at the horizon,

spread up past the water tower

then vanished into the dark.

I remember that January night in North Dakota:

We left the dance,

the hoods of our dads' air force parkas zipped tight,

our bare hands pulled into the coat sleeves.

We ran

into the wind

down the drifting sidewalks of our eight-grade lives

to the brick-and-clapboard row houses on Spruce Street.

We ducked between buildings

and you pulled me close.

A flickering light from someone's TV screen.

A kitchen window.

Your fingers tracing my face.

Your hair brushing my eyes.

Your skin, your lips.

My legs.

My heart.

I remember that January night in North Dakota,

but I can't remember you rname.

---Kristal Leebrick.

Garrison Keillor interviews Kristal Leebrick on Sunday.

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT