Happy Poems & Other Lies, by Jeddie Sophronius, has been chosen by Guest Editor Robert Krut as the inaugural work of our new Guest Editor Poetry Series.
Jeddie Sophronius is the author of Love & Sambal (The Word Works, 2024) and Blood·Letting, a runner-up of Quarterly West’s 2022 Chapbook Contest. A Chinese-Indonesian writer from Jakarta, they received their MFA from the University of Virginia, where they served as the editor of Meridian. Their poems have appeared in The Cincinnati Review, The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere.
On Sophronius’ work, Guest Editor Krut comments “the book moved me on both emotional and intellectual levels—it was simultaneously engaging and challenging, a book I returned to over and over again after reading.”
The Codhill Press Guest Editor Poetry Series invites past press award winners to select one book a year for publication, in an effort to bring new voices to its long literary history. Each year, the series poses a theme for entries—this year, the series looked for books that explored “dreams and the subconscious.” In Happy Poems & Other Lies, Sophronius investigates how those worlds affect and reflect our lives, but also uses them as tools to make sense of who we are.
In speaking on the submissions received, Krut noted the high quality of manuscripts sent to the press: “We received countless wonderful books—it was a nice reminder of all the incredible poetry being written right now, at this very moment.”
With that in mind, there were additionally four finalists in the selection process. In alphabetical order:
Feel It Leave The Head, B Rivka Clifton
Balk Headed, Vanessa Couto Johnson
Beneath All Waters Some Death Dissolves, Zackary Medlin
Lung Hours, Jessica Purdy
Happy Poems & Other Lies will be published in 2024. The next Guest Editor Poetry Series theme and call for submissions will be posted in April. Thank you to all the writers who shared their work with the press as we debut the series.