Get ready for the announcement of the winner of this $10,000 prize on Nov. 18. A roundup from The Washington Post:
  1. “Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude,” by Ross Gay
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    A charming collection that gives readers permission to feel joyful. One finds a fig tree that brings neighbors together in Philadelphia, a man plays a flute and becomes the instrument, and a father’s ashes nurture a plum tree that in turn inspires the son.
  2. "How to Be Drawn,” by Terrance Hayes
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    In this challenging collection, Hayes examines perception – how we see and are seen – through a variety of lenses that reveal the realities of life for black Americans.
  3. “Voyage of the Sable Venus,” by Robin Coste Lewis
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    A surprising debut by a poet whose ambitious triptych considers the nuances of race and identity throughout time. Her sharp intelligence is matched by stunning insight and a wiliness to confront her own painful history.
  4. “Bright Dead Things,” by Ada Limón
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    Limón balances power and wildness from the first page, where the speaker establishes her love of horses and the confidence they represent.
  5. “Elegy for a Broken Machine,” by Patrick Phillips
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    Phillips does a brilliant job of capturing family tensions and connections between generations, and of giving new life – however briefly – to friends, acquaintances, and suicides whose passings have haunted him.