Minneapolis poet Dore Kiesselbach has won this year's Bridport Prize for his poem "Non-invasive." The prize, which is awarded in both short fiction and poetry, is the heart of an annual literary festival in Bridport, England, and carries an award of £5,000 (about $8,300).
Kiesselbach, 45, studied at Oberlin College and the University of Iowa. He has lived in Minneapolis for six years and has published in a number of literary journals, including South Carolina Review, Poetry East and Barrow Street. He was short-listed for the Bridport last year.
"I'm still a little floaty," he said Friday. "It feels really good. It's a thrill, it's unexpected, but delightful."
The Bridport Prize has steadily gained in prestige since it was founded in 1973. This year saw a substantial increase in submissions, with more than 14,000 entries from about 80 countries -- up from 10,000 last year. Kiesselbach's poem was chosen from a field of 7,838 poems.
The poetry judge, Jackie Kay, said in a statement, "The choice was difficult to make. There were wonderful poems in this year's entry, so various and so commendable in many ways. In the end, I chose poems which were memorable, and touched me, poems about the age-old, time-worn themes of love and loss, relationships and grief, time and change."
"Non-invasive" is about Kiesselbach and his wife, Karin, removing buckthorn from their Bryn Mawr neighborhood garden. "It's about the act of planting something that should be there," he said. It can be read at tinyurl.com/ykt4f4j.