Global Poetry Prize, North America Winner: Requiem for the Ungoverned by Javier Sandoval

We’re so excited to share this poem by Javier Sandoval, the 2022 Global Poetry Prize winner for the region of North America. About Javier’s poem, the judge J. P. Dancing Bear writes, “This poem captures a lot of different themes of North American life including youth vs. elder, the clash of mythologies, the culture of violence, revisionist history, and aggrandizement of lawlessness—all tied together with a cinematic pastoral that evokes old western movies, all the while narrated by a kind of modern voice suggesting both a look into the past and into the future. This poem has levels and layers and continues to reveal and deliver with each reading of it.”


Requiem for the Ungoverned

For all the brothers and elders back in Chihuahua, where death, and life, forever endure.

Javier Sandoval

Javier Sandoval grew up in the Chihuahuan Desert of Mexico, but later immigrated to Texas and North Carolina. He studied creative writing under Forrest Gander and C.D. Wright at Brown University where he published his first book, Cicada, Ladybug, in the style of other literary gang-thrillers such as No Country for Old Men and A Brief History of 7 Killings. He's now a Graduate Council Fellow at the University of Alabama's MFA program, where he teaches and serves as Poetry Editor of Black Warrior Review. His own cross-genre work has appeared or is forthcoming in Indiana Review, Salt Hill, FOLIO, Anti-Heroin Chic, and The Madison Review, among others. He loves to smoke on the stoop with his lady. (You can follow him on IG for updates and jokes: @JavierWantsCandy.)

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