Consolation Prize (Finishing Line Press, August 2018)
Sheldon's newest chapbook Consolation Prize is a study in trauma and grief, as well as the work we do to surmount both. Poems here reflect the author's personal experiences with surgery and trauma, and abstractly reframe surgeries witnessed by Sheldon's friend Taryn Möller Nicoll (Program Coordinator of the Frank C. Ortis Art Gallery, former Artist in Residence for the LSU Neuroscience Center). Through discussions of mortality and how these issues shape our lives, Consolation Prize asks just what it is to be human and temporary.
"The poems in Tyler Robert Sheldon's Consolation Prize render the traumas of premature infant death and car wrecks into a beautiful music of grief and relatedness. The verses brim with imagination and wit, and, like the benevolent shark that appears in one of the poems, they show us a way through an unfixable human condition."
Author of Coltrane's God and The Water Leveling With Us
Winner of the Robinson Jeffers Tors House Poetry Prize
"Tyler Sheldon’s Consolation Prize shifts the prism of language to a modality of lyric vignettes. He tells tales of mortality, like his twin who died at birth. He celebrates beauty of rain and survival. About scars he writes, “some stretch to fit / the holes we make / in our hearts.” This poet pulls readers into a richly textured alternative reality that refracts wisdom."
Author of Shadow Light
Winner of the Red Mountain Press Editor's Choice Prize
"These poems are a journey into the dark space between life and human understanding of life. They explore trauma in delicate and yet deft ways, with a deep understanding of what it means to be human, imperfect, and broken but yet whole. A powerful little collection."
-Holly Lyn Walrath in Entropy Magazine
Author of Glimmerglass Girl
More Praise for Consolation Prize
"I see throughout this collection a poet awake to connections that might be lost without careful concentration . . . I was awake when I started reading, and afterwards I was somehow even more awake."
Editor, Coal City Review
Author of Jail Time and Blue Notes