Bookcover: Felling


vol. 31: Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry

Kelan Nee — author. 
  • “Winner, Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry”
Subject: Poetry

April, 2024






Paperback, E-Book


About Nee's Felling

This collection is a record of one man’s navigation of loss, addiction, and labor. At once a meditation on the allure of a legacy in self-destruction and a giving over to hope, Felling is an exploration in honesty. Rendered in direct language and through clear eyes, this book, as its title indicates, is concerned with tensions of agency, creation, and destruction— upward and downward motion.

“After the 1940 publication of Native Son, Richard Wright shared some of his stylistic goals in the novel. ‘I wanted the reader to feel that Bigger’s story was happening now,’ he writes, ‘like a play upon the stage or a movie unfolding upon the screen. Action follows action, as in a prize fight.’ Kelan Nee’s poetry delivers the immediacy and punch that Wright demanded of literature. Nee has the head for poetry, the heart for poetry, and above all, the guts. This debut collection holds back nothing and leaves me reeling with high hopes for Nee’s future in the craft.”—Gregory Fraser, judge and author of Designed for Flight and Answering the Ruins

About the Author

KELAN NEE is a poet and carpenter from Massachusetts. He is a 2023 Adroit Djankian Scholar and has received support from the Poetry Foundation, The Academy of American Poets, and The Breadloaf Writers’ Conference. He lives in Texas, is pursuing a PhD, and holds an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. He has lived and worked throughout New England.

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Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry: Recent Titles

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