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Photo by Lisa Vining

April 2020 Verse Daily Reprint

“In the Ural Mountains, A Woman With No Tongue” (original published by Lake Effect) was reprinted by Verse Daily.

June 2019 American Life in Poetry Reprint

“I Ask My Grandmother What Trinidad Was Like in 1960” (originally published by Third Coast) was reprinted in Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry, a free weekly column for newspapers and online publications featuring a poem by a contemporary American poet and a brief introduction to the poem by Ted Kooser.

March 2019 Voertman / Academy of American Poets Prize Winner

David Keplinger has selected “Jaw” by Megan Arlett as the winner of the 2019 Voertman / Academy of American Poets Prize.

He writes: “The imagery in this exquisite piece of writing immediately transports us into a marsupial world in which a baby is housed in a cupboard; the speaker pouched in a bathtub; “a possum family/ trundl[es] out from the crawl space across our lawn.” The world is a nesting doll full of vacancies, one inside the other, the poet suggests, and the weight of its gaps and spaciousness provoke sometimes an existential emptiness (“little lamb in his casket”), and other times a sense of possibility and becoming (“arms pregnant/with a paper bag filled to the lip/by oranges”). The solace of biology evokes for me the work of Katherine Larson; the way the mother engages with “the literature” of motherhood; but it is the voice of this poem that is most remarkable, translucent here: the frankness of these translations from abstract worry and spiritual exhaustion allow for some redemption–if only for some future self, “a woman like me”–in the marvelous closing stanzas of the poem.”

March, 2018 Voertman / Academy of American Poets Prize Winner

“Allison Benis White has selected “Turn of the Millennium” by Megan Arlett as the winner of the 2018 Voertman / Academy of American Poets Prize. She writes:

“Turn of the Millennium” is an exceptional poem about the female body, unspeakable violence, and the “luckiness” that draws a thin line between who is safe and who is destroyed. This poem does what all good poems should do: startle the reader into a sublime awareness that she is in a human body with a finite number of breaths.”

September 28, 2017. “The Winner of the 7th Fortnight Poetry Prize Is…”

“The judge, Alexandra Payne wrote: With the autumn equinox not long behind us, the numerous winter poems among the entries this fortnight really came into their own. None, however, with more delicacy and precision than ‘Snowfall in Pennsylvania’ by M. J. Arlett. Like an iced-over lake, or a deer that freezes then bolts, this poem exudes a peacefulness with a simultaneous undercurrent of energy. In a time when everything seems to be moving so quickly and with so little meaning, ‘Snowfall in Pennsylvania’ is a pause to inhabit and relish.”

April 14, 2016. “Talent on Display at 2016 FIU Student Literary Awards”

“Of Megan’s winning poem, “Genesis II,” judge Aaron Smith says: This poem is striking in its elegance, in its use of direct, exacting diction and organic form. The moment of observation when the speaker stands on the bedside table witnessing a changed world opens gorgeously into the realization that what we’re told, or not told, bears its own kind of sad, fragile weight. A beautifully executed poem.”