Sara Deniz Akant is the author of Babette, selected by Maggie Nelson for the Rescue Press Black Box Poetry Prize, as well as Parades (Omnidawn, 2014) and Latronic Strag (Persistent Editions, 2015). Her work has been recognized with fellowships from Yaddo, MacDowell, and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has appeared most recently in The Brooklyn Rail, The Denver Quarterly, jubilat, and Lana Turner. Akant has taught poetry and writing at the University of Iowa and the City University of New York.
Sara Deniz Akant's Babette, selected by Maggie Nelson for Rescue Press' Black Box Poetry Prize, mixes motor-thrum with incantation, promising to "make no pattern / known again." Perpetually on the move, Babette's populous—from Penny "turned into a toy" to the always absent, always there "gohst in the glare"—are machines of the living, at once spectre, shell, meat, and instrument. Uneasy in their habits, these poems transition between spaces "not made for inhabitants," sifting through manor walls as easily as fog banks. Babette is subversive, menacing, infectious. "There are hazards to Babette."