Breakfast at the Shangri-La
by Joanna Catherine Scott


Black Zinnias
Book Award Winner
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"I read countless poetry collections within the space of a few months, and Breakf ast at the Shangri-La is one of the most beautiful, resonant, and exquisite collections I've encountered in years...Scott's collection is, simultaneously, a gorgeous narrative with fascinating and beautifully developed characters (sympathetic characters, no less), as well as a poignant and lyrical revelation about what it means to adopt three Korean children and rear them to all the tragedy and joy of adulthood...Scott is a glorious formalist as well as a terrific free-verse poet."

—Terry Brown-Davidson, Pedestal Magazine


"What makes judging especially difficult is that so often, as in this case, after reluctantly setting aside submissions with lovely but unsustained moments, I end up with an impossible number of publishable manuscripts. Choosing one can feel a bit like preferring one of my children to another. Over the years I've developed a method, which works for me. Here's what I do: I read the last three or four manuscripts every day for several days. And the one I wake up thinking about most often is the one I pick. Now almost every time I'd go through the pile of the submissions to this contest, Breakfast at the Shangri-La, would come up as the most authentically sustained. It's the personal journey of a western woman who adopts two Korean children. This is a dangerous subject, one which could be easily sentimentalized, but Ms. Scott avoids those rapids. She handles her subject with restraint, honesty and love. And because she uses such simple words, their resonance makes the book as a whole subtle, like a brush painting. I very much admire this effort, both for its skill and, in the end more importantly, for its soul."

—Lola Haskins, author of Desire Lines: New and Selected Poems (Anhinga, 2001),
The Rim Benders (BOA, 2004), Extranjera (Storyline, 1998)


About the Author
Joanna Catherine Scott is a novelist and poet living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She has won the Rita Dove Poetry Award, Longleaf Poetry Award and the Acorn-Rukeyser Award, the Capricorn Poetry Award, the americas review Prize for Social Poetry, the PEN/Nob Hill Poetry Award, and the New England Prize for Poetry. Miss Scott is also the author of The Road from Chapel Hill; Cassandra, Lost; The Lucky Gourd Shop; Charlie and the Children; and Indochina's Refugees: Oral Histories from Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Click here to visit Joanna Catherine Scott's Web site.

 

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