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This author appeared at the 2010 festival. Please view the list of authors appearing at this year's festival or see our suggestions for similar authors below.
"In that place, at that time,/the way it worked was/there came a moment—/maybe you brought it on yourself,/maybe not—/when you became the kind of person/you were meant to be," Carrie Fountain writes incisively in her National Poetry Series Award-winning first collection, Burn Lake, an exploration of the complex relationships between the past and the present, spirituality and materialism, and the places we're from versus the places we want to go. Set in Southern New Mexico, Burn Lake effortlessly juxtaposes modernity in America's Southwest with the odd journey of Don Juan de Oñate, a conquistador dispatched by Spanish royalty in the sixteenth century to settle New Mexico and report upon the geographical details of a (non-existent) New Mexican North Sea. Poet Marie Howe raves that Burn Lake is "a clear crisp collection that seems made of joy...a miracle." National Poetry Series Award judge Natasha Trethewey notes that Fountain's debut displays both "grace and a keen attention to the implications of history" and shows us "that our own losses are not only what is taken from us, but also what we take from others." Fountain was born and raised in Mesilla, New Mexico, and was a fellow at the University of Texas's Michener Center for Writers. She lives in Austin, and teaches at St. Edward's University.