Henri Cole Receives the Lenore Marshall Prize: $25,000 for the Year's Most Outstanding Book of Poetry

Posted on

Oct 01 2008

New York, October 1—The Academy of American poets announced today that Henri Cole's Blackbird and Wolf (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) was chosen by poets Lucie Brock-Broido, B. H. Fairchild, and John Koethe to receive the 2008 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, which awards $25,000 to the most outstanding book of poetry published the previous year.

About Cole's winning book, judge John Koethe remarked:

Henri Cole has become one of his generation's most assured and accomplished poets, and Blackbird and Wolf is a powerful and masterful book: powerful in the psychological directness of its self-scrutiny, and masterful in its achievement of a poetry so artful it almost seems artless.

Henri Cole was born in Fukuoka, Japan, in 1956 and raised in Virginia. His volumes of poetry include: Blackbird and Wolf (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2007); Middle Earth, which received the 2004 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; The Visible Man; The Look of Things; The Zoo Wheel of Knowledge; and The Marble Queen. He has held many teaching positions and been the artist-in-residence at various institutions, including Smith College, Reed College, Brandeis, Columbia, Harvard, and Yale Universities. He currently teaches at Ohio State University.

Lucie Brock-Broido's books of poetry include Trouble in Mind (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), The Master Letters, and A Hunger. Her awards and honors include the Witter-Bynner prize of Poetry from the Academy of American Arts and Letters, the Harvard Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award, the Harvard-Danforth Award for Distinction in Teaching, the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize from American Poetry Review, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and a Guggenheim fellowship.

B. H. Fairchild is the author of Early Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest, The Arrival of the Future, Local Knowledge, and The Art of the Lathe, a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the Kingsley Tufts Award, the William Carlos Williams Award, the California Book Award, the PEN Center West Poetry Award, and an award from the Texas Institute of Letters. He is the recipient of Guggenheim, Rockefeller/Bellagio, and NEA Fellowships, and the Arthur Rense Poetry Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in California.

John Koethe is the author of several collections of poetry, including Sally's Hair, Blue Vents, The Late Wisconsin Spring, The Constructor, Domes, which won the 1973 Frank O'Hara Award for Poetry, and Falling Water, which received the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award from Claremont Graduate University. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize was established in 1975 by the New Hope Foundation in memory of Lenore Marshall (1897–1971), a poet, novelist, essayist, and political activist. Lenore Marshall was the author of three novels, three books of poetry, a collection of short stories, and selections from her notebooks. Her work also appeared in The New Yorker, The Saturday Review, Partisan Review, and other literary magazines. In 1956 she helped found the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, the citizens' organization that lobbied successfully for passage of the 1963 partial nuclear test ban treaty.

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; the Poetry Audio Archive, capturing the voices of contemporary American poets for generations to come; American Poet, a biannual literary journal; and our 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.