May 1-15, 2005 Awards

May 1, 2005
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May 1-15, 2005 Edition AWARDS C.K. Williams

Wins Lilly

Prize for Poetry

CHICAGO, IL/04/20/05—C.K. Williams, the author of nine collections of poetry and recipient of multiple awards, has won the 2005 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Established in 1986, the prize is one of the most prestigious given to American poets, and at $100,000 it is one of the largest literary honors for work in the English language. Christian Wiman, editor of Poetry magazine and chair of the selection committee, made the announcement today. The prize will be presented at an evening ceremony at The Arts Club in Chicago on May 24th.

C.K. Williams’s first published poem, “Sleeping Over,” appeared in Poetry in 1964.

In announcing the award, Wiman said: “C.K. Williams is a master at dramatizing complicated psychological states, but he is also always equally concerned with the self’s relation to the larger world. He has created a signature style, which more and more seems a permanent part of our literature.”

Williams was born in New Jersey in 1936, and was educated at the University of Pennsylvania. He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University and lives part of the year in Paris. He is recipient of the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters (1989), a Lila Acheson Wallace/Reader’s Digest Fund Writer’s Award (1992), the PEN/Voelker Career Achievement in Poetry Award (1998), the Berlin Prize of the American Academy in Berlin (1998), the Harriet Monroe Prize from the University of Chicago (1993), and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature (1999). He has also received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Williams’s most recent volume of poetry, The Singing (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003) was the winner of the 2003 National Book Award. Previous collections include Repair (FSG, 1999), winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for poetry; The Vigil, (FSG, 1996); A Dream of Mind, (FSG, 1992); Flesh and Blood (FSG, 1987), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry; Tar (1983); With Ignorance (1977), I Am the Bitter Name (1972); and Lies (1969). Williams is also the author of five works in translation: Selected Poems of Francis Ponge (1994); Canvas, by Adam Zagajewski (with Renata Gorczynski and Benjamin Ivry, 1991); The Bacchae of Euripides (1990), The Lark. The Thrush. The Starling. (Poems from Issa) (1983); and Sophocles’ Women of Trachis (with Gregory Dickerson, 1978).

“A C.K. Williams poem works like a joint venture between place, often a place as distinctly unromantic as an auto graveyard, and the state of mind observing the place. Invariably, the collaboration brings us to a more nuanced understanding of what it is to be human,” said John Barr, President of The Poetry Foundation. “The Foundation is extremely pleased to represent Ruth Lilly, once again, in giving this major award to a poet as outstanding as Williams.”

Judges for the 2005 prize were Michael Hofmann, J. Allyn Rosser, and Christian Wiman.

The Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize honors a living U.S. poet whose lifetime accomplishments warrant extraordinary recognition. Established in 1986 by Ruth Lilly, the annual prize is sponsored and administered by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. Over the last twenty years, the Lilly prize has awarded over $1,000,000. Previous recipients of the Ruth Lilly Prize are Adrienne Rich, Philip Levine, Anthony Hecht, Mona Van Duyn, Hayden Carruth, David Wagoner, John Ashbery, Charles Wright, Donald Hall, A. R. Ammons, Gerald Stern, William Matthews, W.S. Merwin, Maxine Kumin, Carl Dennis, Yusef Komunyakaa, Lisel Mueller, Linda Pastan, and Kay Ryan.

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, has embarked on an ambitious plan to bring the best poetry before the largest possible audience. In the coming year, the Foundation will sponsor a recitation contest in the schools, a major new poetry website, and an unprecedented study to understand poetry’s place in American culture.

Founded in Chicago by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry is the oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. Harriet Monroe’s “Open Door” policy, set forth in Volume I of the magazine, remains the most succinct statement of Poetry’s mission: to print the best poetry written today, in whatever style, genre, or approach. The magazine established its reputation early by publishing the first important poems of T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, Carl Sandburg, and other now-classic authors. In succeeding decades it has presented-often for the first time- works by virtually every significant poet of the 20th century.

Poetry has always been independent, unaffiliated with any institution or university-or with any single poetic or critical movement or aesthetic school. It continues to print the major English-speaking poets, while presenting emerging talents, in all their variety. In recent years, more than a third of the authors published in the magazine have been young writers appearing for the first time. On average, the magazine receives over 90,000 submissions per year from around the world.

Minnesota Book

Award Winners


Minneapolis, MN/04/17/05—The Minnesota Humanities Commission announced the winners of the 17th annual Minesota Book Awards on April 16 at The woman’s Club of Minneapolis. .

Now in its 17th year, this year’s event honored winners in 13 literature categories as well as the recipient of the Kay Sexton Award, which is awarded to an individual or organization that has fostered books, reading, and literacy activities in Minnesota.

Hosted by WCCO-TV’s Don Shelby, the Minnesota Book Awards ceremony featured Minnesota authors Marion Dane Bauer, Debra Frasier, Judith Guest, Erin Hart, Pete Hautman, P.J. and Traci Lambrecht, Mary Logue, Alison McGhee, and Larry Millett, as well as U.S. Senator Mark Dayton.

Jack Weatherford, a teacher at Macalester College, won the award in the History and Biography category for Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World.

The Autobiography and Memoir award was given to Jennifer Vogel for Flim-Flam Man: A True Family History, the tale of the author’s relationship with her bank robber father.

The Young Adult Fiction and Poetry award was given to Minnesota writer Pete Hautman for Godless. Hautman also won a National Book Award for the book in November. The boomk portrays a skeptical teenager who helps launch a new religion.

The Minnesota Humanities Prize for Literature went to Joseph Amato, a professor emeritus at Southwest Minnesota State University. The author is a six-time Minnesota Book Award finalist. He was recognized for his many contributions to literature and the humanities in Minnesota.

The Kay Sexton Award for outstanding service to the local literary community was awarded to Marly Rusoff, founder of the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.

Other Minnesota Book Award winners are:

Anthology and Collection: Old Glory: American War Poems from the Revolutionary War to the War on Terrorism, edited by Robert Hedin (Persea Books). Children’s and Young Adult Nonfiction: The Hidden Folk: Stories of Fairies, Dwarves, Selkies, and Other Secret Beings, by Lise Lunge-Larsen, illustrated by Beth Krommes (Houghton Mifflin). Children’s Fiction and Poetry: The Darkest Evening, by William Durbin (Orchard Books). Children’s Picture Books: The Best Pet of All, by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Hanako Wakiyama (Dutton Children’s Books). Fine Press: Distance from the Sun: Thirty Prose Poems from Thirty Years, by Louis Jenkins, illustrated by Chandler O’Leary, design and binding by Jeff Rathermel and Jana Pullman, printing by Sara Langworthy (Minnesota Center for Book Arts). General Nonfiction: Why Do They Act That Way? A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen, by David Walsh (Free Press). Nature and Minnesota: Minnesota Treasures: Stories Behind the State’s Historic Places, by Denis Gardner (Minnesota Historical Society Press). Novel and Short Story: The Work of Wolves, by Kent Meyers (Harcourt). Poetry: Naming the Stars, by Joyce Sutphen (Holy Cow! Press). Popular Fiction: Alone At Night, by KJ Erickson (St. Martin’s Press).

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