Carl Adamshick Receives the 2010 Walt Whitman Award

Written by

Marvin Bell

Posted on

Mar 30 2010

Publication of first book, $5,000 cash prize,
residency at the Vermont Studio Center



New York, March 30—The Academy of American Poets announced today that Carl Adamshick has been selected by the poet Marvin Bell as the recipient of the 2010 Walt Whitman Award. The Walt Whitman Award is one of the most prestigious first book prizes in the country – the recipient's first book is published and distributed to thousands of members of the Academy. The Award also includes a $5,000 cash prize and a one-month residency at the Vermont Studio Center. This year's finalists were Craig Blais's About Crows and Carmen Calatayud's Cave Walk.

Carl Adamshick received the Award for his book-length collection of poems Curses and Wishes, which will be published in the spring of 2011 by Louisiana State University Press. Born in Toledo, Ohio, Adamshick did not follow the route taken by so many young poets who attend M.F.A or Ph.D. programs in creative writing. He supports himself by working for a printer in Portland, Oregon, where he has lived for the past twenty years, writing and playing an active role in a literary scene that has included Matthew Dickman, Michael Dickman, Michael McGriff, and many other innovative poets.

Bell wrote about Adamshick's book:

Reading these poems is like breathing fresh air. Carl Adamshick's voice is instantly engaging. A sophisticated ear. A continuous feeling for measure. A clarity of complex feelings. The tactile and the mysterious. Emotion embedded rather than proclaimed. A subtle artistry. It is refreshing to read a poet who feels and thinks from inside sound and sense.

Carl Adamshick lives in Portland, Oregon. His poems have appeared in the American Poetry Review, the Harvard Review, the Missouri Review, and Narrative magazine. He is also the recipient of an Oregon Literary Fellowship from Literary Arts.

Marvin Bell has published twenty books of poetry, including most recently the wartime collection, Mars Being Red, from Copper Canyon Press, which will publish the forthcoming Vertigo: The Living Dead Man Poems. Bell was one of seven poets from five countries who collaborated on 7 Poets, 4 Days, 1 Book. His song cycle, "The Animals," which premiered in 2009, was commissioned by the composer David Gompper, and his collaboration with the photographer Nathan Lyons will be published by Lodima Press. He taught at the Iowa Writers' Workshop for 40 years, and also led a teacher's workshop for the urban program, America Scores. He was Iowa's first Poet Laureate and now teaches for the brief-residency MFA program at Pacific University and edits the New Poets / Short Books series for Lost Horse Press. His first collection of poems, A Probable Volume of Dreams, received the 1969 Lamont Prize from the Academy of American Poets.

The Walt Whitman Award, established in 1975, is an annual competition judged by a distinguished poet and is open to any citizen of the United States who has neither published nor committed to publish a book of poetry. Book-length manuscripts may be submitted to the Academy of American Poets between September 15 and November 15 of each year. An entry form and fee are required. For guidelines and an entry form, visit the Academy of American Poets's website, www.poets.org/whitman, or send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Academy in August.

The Academy of American Poets is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1934 to foster appreciation for contemporary poetry and to support American poets at all stages of their careers. For over three generations, the Academy has connected millions of people to great poetry through programs such as National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world; Poets.org, the most popular site about poetry on the web, presenting a wealth of great poems, poet biographies, essays, and interactive discussions about poetry; the Poetry Audio Archive, capturing the voices of contemporary American poets for generations to come; American Poet, a biannual literary journal; and an annual series of poetry readings and special events. The Academy also awards prizes to accomplished poets at all stages of their careers—from hundreds of student prizes at colleges nationwide to the Wallace Stevens Award for lifetime achievement in the art of poetry. For more information, visit www.poets.org.

Louisiana State University Press, established in 1935, is one of the oldest and largest university presses in the South and one of the outstanding publishers of scholarly and regional books in the country. Its long-standing commitment to publishing fine contemporary poetry extends back more than four decades. Since 1964 the Press has published more than 250 books of poetry by more than 100 poets, and many of these volumes have received such honors as the Lamont Poetry Selection, the National Book Critics' Circle Award, the Poets' Prize, the American Book Award, the National Book Award, and Pulitzer Prizes.

The Vermont Studio Center offers four- to twelve-week studio residencies year-round to mid-career poets, painters, sculptors, printmakers, photographers, and writers. The setting is the banks of the Gihon River in rural Johnson, Vermont, a town of 2,500 located in the heart of the northern Green Mountains. Each Studio Center Residency features abundant working time, the companionship of fifty artists and writers from across the country and around the world, and access to a roster of prominent visiting artists and writers. All residencies include comfortable housing, private studio space, and superb food. Two visiting writers per month are in residence at the Studio Center for one week each to offer readings, a craft talk, and optional conferences with each of the twelve writing residents.