kconlow's blog


Austin Hughes

We are delighted to present Austin Hughes's poem "Similes," winner of the inaugural David Hamilton Undergraduate Creative Writing Prize. This prize is sponsored by anonymous donors who wish to honor the mentorship and support they and other students at the University of Iowa received from Emeritus Professor of English David Hamilton. In addition to publication online, Hughes will will be awarded a $500 scholarship.


I’m like a riddle in nine sylla-
bles—like some bullet train derailed and 

akimbo, I’m like a skinny sea-
horse so gravid with grief and with salt- 

water—a backward seahorse—or e-
ven like some sunk soufflé—too much heat 

or moisture or air; or perhaps I’m
just as Adam’s other, far less fruit- 

ful bones: a digit, vertebrae, or
even his skull—then again, maybe 


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